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Feminism and multiculturalism
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voice of the damned
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

(elmateo: just in case you missed it, my reply to your comments on the FGC issue are on the last post of the previous page. Sorry, I though it might have slipped your notice, seeing as how the one below is by me as well.)

Quote:
voice of the damned wrote:

Perhaps they're being told that Canada is a multicultural place, and SOME of them are naively assuming this to mean that they will be able to do everything they want, so long as it was allowed in their country of origin. If that's the case, then I think it makes a pretty good argument for scrapping the policy of official multiculturalism.



Waitaminute. Some immigrants (not to mention plenty of locals) might be misunderstanding the nature of multicultural society, and that's a good reason not to try to have one?


Yeah, that last line was a non-sequitor. What I was trying to say was that, if the multiculturalism policy is giving immigrants the impression that they can come to Canada and do everything the same as they did back in the country of origin, then we seriously have to question whether it's really been a benefit for Canada at all.

But I will put my cards on the table here, so to speak, and admit that I have been opposed to official multiculturalism since I took a class on the subject back in the early 90s. A rough fascimile of the prof's argument, using an example provided by me...

The culture of a country is ultimately reflected in that country's legal system. In North America, for example, hardcore pornography is NOW a pretty accepted aspect of the culture. Larry Flynt appears in Hollywood movies, Ron Jeremy turns up on talk shows, Hugh Hefner hosts Democratic fundraisers, and so on and so forth. And this is reflected by our legal system: store owners can display magazines promising "wide open pink pussies" within eyesight of chidren at the grocery store, without fearing prosecution.

Now, in Korea, explicit pornography is definitely illegal, as per the cultural norms. The porn mags you can buy are about like what Playboy was before the early 70s "pubic wars": T&A, lingerie, but no full frontal nudity, and certainly no pulsating boners or "wide open pink pussies". The long and the short of it: if you're a fan of the "hardcore" aspects of North American culture, you can pretty much count on having to give that up when you relocate to Korea. No hardcore here, end of story.

Now, suppose the Korean government wants to institute a policy of multiculturalism. Okay, so they start giving grants to groups purporting to represent the cultural interests of Americans, Canadians, Brits, Fillipinos, etc. And they start holding Heritage Days where the North American pavillion features distinctive North American food and dances. Etc etc. But it will always remain the case that certain aspects of North American culture are going to be out-of-bounds, as far as the law is concerned, pornogrpahy being just ONE obvious example. The Korean legislature is NEVER going to pass a law giving foreigners the right to look at material that is denied to Koreans. Just not going to happen.

In a nutshell: multiculturalism, carried to its logical conclusion, has to entail "multilegalism". And since no one, at least in Canada, wants to have multiple legal systems, any claims that we are pursuing a policy of multiculturalism are patently hollow.
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Makwa
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

voice of the damned wrote:
The long and the short of it
Tee hee. (yet another example of one who avoids a detailed argument by seizing on the first weak double ententre. Snerk.)
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peppermint
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good point, clear example and all that, though I've got to say, just the first sentence of this paragraph had me shooting coffee out my nose. Laughing Uri Nara indeed!

voice of the damned wrote:


Now, suppose the Korean government wants to institute a policy of multiculturalism. Okay, so they start giving grants to groups purporting to represent the cultural interests of Americans, Canadians, Brits, Fillipinos, etc. And they start holding Heritage Days where the North American pavillion features distinctive North American food and dances. Etc etc. But it will always remain the case that certain aspects of North American culture are going to be out-of-bounds, as far as the law is concerned, pornogrpahy being just ONE obvious example. The Korean legislature is NEVER going to pass a law giving foreigners the right to look at material that is denied to Koreans. Just not going to happen.
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Rufus Polson
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2007 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

voice of the damned wrote:

The long and the short of it: if you're a fan of the "hardcore" aspects of North American culture, you can pretty much count on having to give that up when you relocate to Korea. No hardcore here, end of story.


I think you'll find that what you specified is no *legal* hardcore. Doesn't actually mean there isn't any. Of course, that drifts way off the analogy so it's not really relevant.


Quote:
In a nutshell: multiculturalism, carried to its logical conclusion, has to entail "multilegalism". And since no one, at least in Canada, wants to have multiple legal systems, any claims that we are pursuing a policy of multiculturalism are patently hollow.


Well, I think nearly *anything* carried to "its logical conclusion", becomes absurd or dangerous. Drinking lots of water is healthy, for instance. Drinking a gallon every two minutes is probably fatal. Does that mean if I claim to drink lots of water for my health, but have no intention of drinking a gallon every two minutes, my claim that I'm pursuing a policy of drinking lots of water is patently hollow?
Freedom of assembly carried to "its logical conclusion" would entail freedom of random groups of people to assemble in critical wards of public hospitals. Now there may be reasons for suggesting that claims to allow freedom of assembly in Canada are hollow, but the notion that we haven't carried the concept to "its logical conclusion" is not one of them.
Similarly, in a political economy that purports to treat private property as some kind of absolute good, the fact is that private property is and always has been hedged about with all kinds of limitations, and even a private-property oriented polity can't function without those limitations.

But in any case I would still argue that the root reasons for multiculturalism, the principles that drive the concept, are in fact betrayed if you try to take it to this kind of "logical conclusion", which makes the conclusion rather less logical IMO. Multiculturalism is for people, so that people with different cultures can be not discriminated against or have obstacles placed in their way due to their cultures, and they can retain pride and self-respect celebrating their cultures and whatnot. You do not help people not be discriminated against by making them unequal before the law, ergo multilegalism does not serve the goals of multiculturalism.
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sikorski
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2007 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

voice of the damned wrote:
Now, in Korea, explicit pornography is definitely illegal, as per the cultural norms. The porn mags you can buy are about like what Playboy was before the early 70s "pubic wars": T&A, lingerie, but no full frontal nudity, and certainly no pulsating boners or "wide open pink pussies". The long and the short of it: if you're a fan of the "hardcore" aspects of North American culture, you can pretty much count on having to give that up when you relocate to Korea. No hardcore here, end of story.

Korea has Jeju Love Land, an erotic theme park with life-sized statues in every conceivable sexual pose.
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peppermint
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2007 10:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

yeah, and the annual phallus carving festival in Kangwon province, not to mention places where you can rent a woman's body under various guises on nearly every street corner.

Doesn't change the fact that one of the very few laws that's actually followed in Korea is the one against showing pubic hair or anything more explicit than that in porn

Either way, it's irrelevant to VOTD's point
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voice of the damned
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2007 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Well, I think nearly *anything* carried to "its logical conclusion", becomes absurd or dangerous. Drinking lots of water is healthy, for instance. Drinking a gallon every two minutes is probably fatal. Does that mean if I claim to drink lots of water for my health, but have no intention of drinking a gallon every two minutes, my claim that I'm pursuing a policy of drinking lots of water is patently hollow?


No, but if you were to say that you were going to orange juice every day, but on some days you did not consume a liquid derived from the fruit known as an orange, then I would say that that renders pretty hollow your claim to be drinking orange juice every day.

What I'm saying is that just as the idea of "orange juice" contains the idea of "liquid derived from the fruit of an orange", so the idea of culture contains the idea of "legally priviliged", at least when we are talking about areas where the law traditionally concerns itself.

Suppose a family from Texas moves to Toronto. Under our multicultural society, they will be entitled to cheer for the Dallas Cowboys, celebrate Lincoln's birthday, fly Old Glory in the backyard, and maybe even get a government grant to start an American heritage club. However, if they try to stockpile shotguns in the basement, they will find themselves answerable to culturally-inspired gun laws that are considerably more restrictive than the ones that they left behind in Texas. And I would say that easy access to firearms is a pretty integral aspect of American culture. (2nd Amendment and all.)

So, multiculturalist rhetoric aside, at the end of the day only ONE culture gets to have its precepts enshrined into law, and everyone else is expected to subordinate themselves to those laws, or face criminal sanctions. Even in cases where the rules are loosened for a particular group(eg. turbans in the RCMP), the beneficiary group is expected to show that the exemption will not violate pre-existing established-culture values. (Turbans in the mounties, yes; guns in the basement, no.)

Thus, I think that the claim that multiculturalism is all about promoting equality between the cultures is pretty much a false one. I will concur that the policy might have the beneficial effect of making the assimilation process for newcomers less painful, by allowing them to maintain the more superficial trappings of the home culture. However, if that is the case, then so-called multiculturalism is best thought of as a means toward an assimilationist end, a more gentle toss into the melting pot as it were.


Last edited by voice of the damned on Sun Jun 03, 2007 6:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
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voice of the damned
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2007 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

peppermint wrote:
yeah, and the annual phallus carving festival in Kangwon province, not to mention places where you can rent a woman's body under various guises on nearly every street corner.

Doesn't change the fact that one of the very few laws that's actually followed in Korea is the one against showing pubic hair or anything more explicit than that in porn


I'm pretty sure I've seen pubic hair in drawings of nudes that were being advertised on "art street" here in Gwangju. But definitely never in things that would be regarded as photographed or filmed pornography. Perhaps the censors make the usual distinction between art and porn, or maybe the artists were just trying to push the envelope. Probably the former, because I doubt a picture of Michelangelo's David would be banned here.
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voice of the damned
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2007 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The achilles heal of censorship in Korea, of course, is the internet. But the government is now working to shut that down as well.

Quote:
South Korea will introduce an Internet code of ethics to curb the distribution of pornographic material and other information deemed inappropriate, officials, quoted by an AFP report said.
The AFP report said a bill will be sent to parliament for approval this year, vice information communication minister Yoo Young-hwan told a news conference.

"Our (web) portal industry has grown rapidly in the absence of regulations. Now they must take social responsibility because of their enormous influence," he said.

The AFP report said local portal operators will be asked to filter out obscene, defamatory and other unwanted material. If they do not, they will be punished, according to the official.



http://www.americasnetwork.com/americasnetwork/article/articleDetai...
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ronb
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2007 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yabbut, because Korea is a monoculture, so there is little internal pressure to accomodate other cultural norms. Canada was never a monoculture. As a nation, thanks in part to the English/French compromise, we have a history of accomodation - not to mention brutal oppression, apartheid and genocide.

Quote:
So, potential immigrants are being told that they will be able to do all the same things in Canada that their culture permitted in their country of origin? Somalians, for example, are being told by immigration officials that they will be allowed to practice female circumcision? Americans are being told that they will be able to stockpile all the weapons they want? Somehow, I doubt that this is what people are being told.


Those are both ridiculously extreme examples. I'm an American immigrant, and I have precisely zero expectation that my culture obligates me to stockpile nuclear weapons, or own slaves or praise the baby Jeebus astride his pet dinosaur or watch HeeHaw. Just as very few Somalis in Canada are keen to carry on the practice of FGM - and let's be clear here, when we're talking FGM in Canada, we're talking Somalis, and refugee Somalis at that. It was made quite clear to me that while Canada is a nation of laws, it is also a tolerant nation where all Canadians are free to follow their conscience if it doesn't interfere with others.

Many immigrants are under the impression, not surprisingly all things considered, that their cultures are not only permitted in Canada, but valued. This includes cultures that some of us consider to be abhorrent due to their gender roles and so forth. And unusual clothing and cooking smells and skintones and general not-us-ness as well.

If not multi-culturalism, what then? Enforced assimilation? Into which culture? Anglo? Quebec? Metis? What would be the norm we would force all Canadians - not just new ones, right, because that's hardly fair - to adhere to?
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voice of the damned
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2007 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Quote:
So, potential immigrants are being told that they will be able to do all the same things in Canada that their culture permitted in their country of origin? Somalians, for example, are being told by immigration officials that they will be allowed to practice female circumcision? Americans are being told that they will be able to stockpile all the weapons they want? Somehow, I doubt that this is what people are being told.


Those are both ridiculously extreme examples. I'm an American immigrant, and I have precisely zero expectation that my culture obligates me to stockpile nuclear weapons, or own slaves or praise the baby Jeebus astride his pet dinosaur or watch HeeHaw. Just as very few Somalis in Canada are keen to carry on the practice of FGM - and let's be clear here, when we're talking FGM in Canada, we're talking Somalis, and refugee Somalis at that. It was made quite clear to me that while Canada is a nation of laws, it is also a tolerant nation where all Canadians are free to follow their conscience if it doesn't interfere with others.


I never said that any significant number of Somalis wanted to practice FGM in Canada. I was just wondering if immigration officials were telling them that they could do so, as part of the "sales pitch" you mentioned...

Quote:
But they didn't leave their "culture" they left their countries, many of them with the explicit understanding that Canada would happily allow them to maintain their cultures once they got here. It is part of the Canadian emigration sales pitch. Some return to the old country when they realise they've been duped.


Okay, so you've confirmed my suspicion that the right to practice FGM is not something that is being promised to potential immigrants. But would you then be able to give me an explicit example of something that immigrants are being promised they will be able to do, and then subsequently being prevented from doing after entering Canada? Because the only things I can think of would be things that violate the criminal code.

Quote:
If not multi-culturalism, what then? Enforced assimilation? Into which culture? Anglo? Quebec? Metis? What would be the norm we would force all Canadians - not just new ones, right, because that's hardly fair - to adhere to?


Well, I wonder why we need an official policy at all. I guess I would just suggest a default policy along the lines of...

"Welcome to Canada. Feel free to eat, dress, and worship as you like, all within the bounds of the law of course. You can speak French, English, both, or neither, but expect your kids to be schooled in one of the two official languages. If you want them to learn whatever language you may have spoken in your country of origin, feel free to speak it at home or check out our fine selection of Berlitz tapes at your local library. Thank you for your time and attention."

Basically, it's an approach of do-your-own-thing-but-don't-expect-anyone-else-to-care-about-it, which I don't think requires any official policy.

And I should add that if people are being harrassed for "doing their own thing"(which I'm sure they will be, just as they are now) then programs to combat this harrasment can certainly be implemented at various levels of government. I don't see anti-racism campaigns as being at all linked to multiculturalism.


Last edited by voice of the damned on Mon Jun 04, 2007 4:19 pm; edited 1 time in total
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voice of the damned
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2007 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Yabbut, because Korea is a monoculture, so there is little internal pressure to accomodate other cultural norms. Canada was never a monoculture. As a nation, thanks in part to the English/French compromise, we have a history of accomodation - not to mention brutal oppression, apartheid and genocide.


I wasn't suggesting that Canada should become as monocultural as Korea is. I was simply using Korea's pornography laws as an example of how the law can only reflect the standards of one culture. To re-work the example...

Yes, Canada has a history of accomadation. However, if someone moved from Gwangju to Edmonton, and wanted to sit in the park outside his apartment buidling drinking soju, no one would feel obliged to re-write Alberta's liquor laws to accomodate Korean culture's easy acceptance of public drinking.
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voice of the damned
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2007 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh here's something...

While doing research into this topic, I came accross this 2002 National Post review of the latest edition of Neil Bissoondath's book criticizing multiculturalism(which I have never read). The reviewer seems to think that Bissoondath is fighting phantoms, because multiculturalism as originally conceived is now dead in the water. But this part stood out for me...

Quote:
In the 1990s, the Multiculturalism Program had its budget slashed, was demoted to a portfolio in the department of Canadian Heritage and, most crucially, abandoned its original goals. On its Web site there is little talk of preserving old cultures. Indeed, the opposite idea is championed: "Through multiculturalism, Canada recognizes the potential of all Canadians, encouraging them to integrate into their society and take an active part in its social, cultural, economic and political affairs." (Emphasis added). Get a bureaucrat on the phone and they will claim with a straight face that integration was multiculturalism's goal as far back as 1971. In reality, government policy, like public opinion, has undergone a sea change. A policy promoting immigrant cultural retention is now widely seen as a bad idea, to which most fair-minded people say good riddance.


The reviewer quotes the 1990s website, and claims that it contradicts the 1971 policy, but doesn't seem to provide any direct evidence of this, besides telling us that the the program "abandoned its original goals". Does anyone happen to know anything about this official shift that allegedly took place in the 90s?

the Post review


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ronb
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2007 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like wishful thinking to me. "Integrating" a multitude of cultures into Canada sounds quite plausibly the 1971 policy as well, at least how it's worded there - that certainly doesn't imply erasing immigrant cultures and demanding obedience to some ideal "Canadian" cultural norm to me. And the reality is that immigrant cultures by and large end up having the pointy edges knocked off of them by contact with the mainstream over time anyway, which Bisoondath and his freinds at the CD Howe tend to overlook. That the Canadian mainstream is far more likely to be MTV than Katimivik doesn't necessarily fill me with any great hope for the future. Probably makes the CD Howe folks quietly very happy though.

Canada can't be a monoculture, which is precisely how we've ended up with laws permitting gay marriage, for instance. And an official policy that encourages multiculturalism.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2007 9:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good point about losing the pointy edges over time ronb. I also agree that integration is not the same as assimilation. It means being able to practice your cultural norms in our society without fear of repercussion. It means going to the Forks and being able to buy Jamaican roti, Greek gyro or Indian paneer under the same roof.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2007 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ronb wrote:

Canada can't be a monoculture, which is precisely how we've ended up with laws permitting gay marriage, for instance.

Eh?
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2007 11:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Is it appropriate and/or adequate for the state to provide a "right of exit" for people within cultural minorities who might be oppressed by that culture?

This made me think of the compromise that was drawn up in the Civil Marriage Act. Gays are free to marry, but ministers/priests/etc are also free to not perform the marriage ceremony if it contravenes their religion. This compromise seems to have been accepted by most everyone.

[later edit]

Of course, a theist priest and/or minister having the "right of exit" stemming from his or her religion to not perform a marriage function for a minority may, now that I consider it, not be what the quote was referring to. However, I suppose it could still fit in that the state provides an alternative remedy, for minorities, to the church, for the purpose of minorities being able to marry. In other words, my initial interpretation was backwards, I think.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2007 11:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mark_alfred wrote:
Gays are free to marry, but ministers/priests/etc are also free to not perform the marriage ceremony if it contravenes their religion.


This was a "freedom" that the various churches always had -- Roman Catholic priests, f'r instance, have never been "required" to marry divorcees, or non-Catholics; Rabbis have never been "forced" to marry non-Jews, etc.

The suggestion that it ever might be otherwise is nothing more than fear-mongering lies promulgated by homophobes, dressing up their bigotry as "guarantees of religious freedom"...
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 12:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Hephaestion. I stand corrected. I edited my post.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 12:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No probs. I just get tired of hearing that "spin" that the churches like to put on it, as if someone was "endangering their rights"... Rolling Eyes (Not that you were intending to do that, mind you; I think perhaps you were just unconsciously falling for their line of twaddle.)
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voice of the damned
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Sounds like wishful thinking to me. "Integrating" a multitude of cultures into Canada sounds quite plausibly the 1971 policy as well, at least how it's worded there - that certainly doesn't imply erasing immigrant cultures and demanding obedience to some ideal "Canadian" cultural norm to me.


Who's demanding obedience to any ideal norm? I respectfully submit to you that that is a bit of a strawman. As I said, in the absence of official multiculturalism, the only "norm" I would "demand" of immigrants is that they follow the laws of the land, which is already the status quo anyway. Other than that, they can do whatever the hell they wanna do as far as I'm concerned.

Quote:
erasing immigrant cultures


I find this rather loaded teminology. My mother is a French-Canadian Catholic who speaks fluent French, and attends mass every week. I can't speak French(mostly because I wasn't interested in learning) and rarely set foot in a Catholic church. Am I a victim of cultural erasure here? I sure as heck don't feel like a victim.

Quote:
Canada can't be a monoculture, which is precisely how we've ended up with laws permitting gay marriage, for instance.


What does gay marriage have to do with multiculturalism? Was gay marriage a major part of the home cultures of some groups that are funded under official multiculturalism? As far as I know, Canada was one of the very first countries to legalize gay marriage, so I can't imagine the input from foreign cultures was all that significant.

Sparqui wrote:

Quote:
I also agree that integration is not the same as assimilation. It means being able to practice your cultural norms in our society without fear of repercussion. It means going to the Forks and being able to buy Jamaican roti, Greek gyro or Indian paneer under the same roof.


So if we scrap the policy of offical multiculturalism, it suddenly becomes impossible to buy all those things at the Forks?

I think people are giving official multiculturalism a bit too much credit for some of the things that have resulted simply from having a diverse population of immigrants.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One more thing...

Ronb wrote:

Quote:
And the reality is that immigrant cultures by and large end up having the pointy edges knocked off of them by contact with the mainstream over time anyway, which Bisoondath and his freinds at the CD Howe tend to overlook.


Is Neil Bissoondath associated with, or supported by, the C.D. Howe Institute? I did a google, and couldn't find anything suggesting a formal link between Bissoondath and the Howe people.

For the record, I'm not in any way defending Bissoondath's opinions, as I have not read his book and my own views on multiculturalism were formed before its publication.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

voice of the damned wrote:
Is Neil Bissoondath associated with, or supported by, the C.D. Howe Institute? I did a google, and couldn't find anything suggesting a formal link between Bissoondath and the Howe people.


As an aside, there are 'network analysis' sites, such as my ancient favorite, http//namebase.org , which help classify or clarify idealogical and financial relationships. It appears that now there are many such sites nowadays.

There is a pictorial representation as well as 'hot-link' textuals.

Quote:
HOWE CLARENCE DECATUR
pages searched: 6

These names share the indicated number of pages with the above name. Click on a name below (or on the one above) for a standard name search:

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ronb
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Is Neil Bissoondath associated with, or supported by, the C.D. Howe Institute?


The link was implied by the article you posted. They share the same position. They are ideological soulmates, on this issue.

Quote:
Who's demanding obedience to any ideal norm?


Again, from the article. The Post seems delighted by their misperception that "integration" is the new offical policy as opposed to "multiculturalism". In my view, they are conflating "integration" and "assimilation", and this is where their joy stems from. Not your position from what I understand. Do you favour "assimilation"?

Quote:
What does gay marriage have to do with multiculturalism? Was gay marriage a major part of the home cultures of some groups that are funded under official multiculturalism? As far as I know, Canada was one of the very first countries to legalize gay marriage, so I can't imagine the input from foreign cultures was all that significant


In order to accomodate all of the cultures in Canada, we have ended up retreating from definitive culturally bound moral stances on issues like gay marriage. This is less easy to do in monocultures which often have more fixed, less movable positions on these kinds of issues - as you have noted, there aren't a lot of cultures that permit gay marriage.

Quote:
I think people are giving official multiculturalism a bit too much credit for some of the things that have resulted simply from having a diverse population of immigrants.


I see multiculturalism more as a natural consequence of the desire to manage the challenges associated with having such a diverse population of immigrants. With the English/French compromise, assimilation was out of the question from early on.
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voice of the damned
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Quote:
Is Neil Bissoondath associated with, or supported by, the C.D. Howe Institute?


The link was implied by the article you posted. They share the same position. They are ideological soulmates, on this issue.


Well, I dunno. I'm guessing that you're opposed to the current war in Iraq, as is Pat Buchanan. But I don't think you'd consider it very sporting of me to come on here and refer to Buchanan as your friend.

But again, if Bissoondath has expressed sympathy with the Howe Institute's overall worldview, then it might be valid to refer to them as his "friends". I await the evidence.

For the record, I posted the Post article not because I agreed with it, but just because I wanted to know if their description of the alleged change in policy was accurate. With that out of the way...

Quote:
Do you favour "assimilation"?


I think I've pretty much outlined my view already...

I think immigrants should obey the law, and have their children educated in one of the official languages. Other than that, they can do whatever they want, and on their own dime, as far as cultural practices are concerned.

So that would basically be my policy. If this leads to the children and grandchildren of immigrants completely abandoning the original culture on their own volition, that's fine with me. If, on the other hand, some of them prefer to keep various aspects and practices of the culture going, that's fine by me as well.

So, does this make me an assimilationist?


Last edited by voice of the damned on Wed Jun 06, 2007 10:19 am; edited 1 time in total
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voice of the damned
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 10:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Revisiting the qiestion below, I should probably clear up one possible misconception...

Quote:
Do you favour "assimilation"?


I do not favor anything at all like the French regulations restricting what people can wear in schools, or any sort of coercive policy like that. I suppose I can see the logic within the French context, where they have this preoccupation with secularism resulting from a history of church/state warfare, but I see no reason for Canada to adopt such coercive, quasi-authoritarian policies. If that's the sort of thing you have in mind when you ask me about assimilation, then you can count me as defintiely opposed.
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Tehanu
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 9:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kathy Pollitt in The Nation is calling on American feminists to push back against the criticism that they (we, it happens in Canada too) are complicit in the mistreatment of women in developing and Muslim countries. She's asking people to sign a letter:

Quote:
With advice and counsel from the History in Action e-mail list, I wrote up the Open Letter below to protest the way the media slanders the women's movement as indifferent to the human rights of women in the developing and/or Muslim world. Fact: it's feminists who first identified atrocities against women around the world--female genital mutilation, forced marriage, child marriage, spousal violence, rape-- as violations of human rights, not family matters or customs of no state importance. It is feminists who have consistently pushed for women's rights to education, health care, and legal and social equality and who've pushed organizations from the UN to Amnesty International to broaden their perspective to include women's rights to be free from violence and coercion. "Women's rights are human rights" was not a slogan dreamed up by David Horowitz or Christina Hoff Sommers.

In only four days, the Open Letter has gathered 700 signatures. it's been signed by people from all walks of life and every part of the country: writers, scholars, students, activists, leaders of feminist organizations and global health organizations, doctors, nurses, kindergarten teachers, clergypeople, stay-home mothers and so on and on--to say nothing of a whole bunch of people who simply describe themselves as "feminist."

If you'd like to sign, send your name to me at kpollitt@thenation.com, and be sure include how you would like to be identified; for example, writer, professor (with department and university), activist, astronaut, parent, movie star. if you are active with a feminist/progressive or global organization or NGO, that would be a good thing to mention. I would like the list to show that all sorts of women, and men, are feminists and how many are actively working for women's human rights. And yes, men can sign!

An Open Letter from American Feminists

Columnists and opinion writers from The Weekly Standard to the Washington Post to Slate have recently accused American feminists of focusing obsessively on minor or even nonexistent injustices in the United States while ignoring atrocities against women in other countries, especially the Muslim world. A number of reasons are given for this supposed neglect: narcissism, ideological rigidity, reflexive anti-Americanism, fear of seeming insensitive or even racist. Yet what is the evidence for this apparently now broadly accepted claim that feminists don't support the struggles of women around the globe? It usually comes down to a quick scan of the home page of the National Organization for Women's website, observing that a particular writer hasn't covered a particular outrage, plus a handful of quotes wrenched out of context.

In fact, as a bit of research would easily show, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of US feminist organizations involved in promoting women's rights and well-being around the globe--V-Day, Equality Now, MADRE, the Global Fund for Women, the International Women's Health Coalition and Feminist Majority, to name some of the most prominent. (The National Organization for Women itself has a section on its website devoted to global feminism, on which it denounces a wide array of practices including female genital mutilation (FGM), "honor" murder, trafficking, dowry deaths and domestic violence). Feminists at Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the United Nations have moved those organizations to add the rights of women and girls to their agenda. Feminist magazines and blogs--Ms. magazine, Feministing.com, Salon.com's Broadsheet column, womensenews.com (which has an edition in Arabic)--as well as feminist reporters and commentators in the mainstream media, regularly report on and condemn outrages against women wherever they occur, from rape, battery and murder in the US to the denial of women's human rights in the developing or Muslim world.

As feminists, we call on journalists and opinion writers to report the true position of our movement. We believe that women's rights are human rights, and stand in solidarity with our sisters who are fighting for equal political, economic, social and reproductive rights around the globe. Specifically, contrary to the accusations of pundits, we support their struggle against female genital mutilation, "honor" murder, forced marriage, child marriage, compulsory Islamic dress codes, the criminalization of sex outside marriage, brutal punishments like lashing and stoning, family laws that favor men and that place adult women under the legal power of fathers, brothers, and husbands, and laws that discount legal testimony made by women. We strongly oppose the denial of education, health care and equal political and economic rights to women.

We reject the use of women's rights language to justify invading foreign countries. Instead, we call on the United States government to live up to its expressed commitment to women's rights through peaceful means. Specifically, we call upon it to:

--offer asylum to women and girls fleeing gender-based persecution, including female genital mutilation, domestic violence, and forced marriage;

--promote women's rights and well-being in all their foreign policy and foreign aid decisions;

--use its diplomatic powers to pressure its allies--especially Saudi Arabia, one of the most oppressive countries in the world for women--to embrace women's rights;

--drop the Mexico City policy--aka the "gag rule"--which bars funds for AIDS- related and contraception-related health services abroad if they provide abortions, abortion information, or advocate for legalizing abortion;

--generously support the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), which supports women's reproductive health including safe maternity around the globe, and whose funding is vetoed every year by President Bush;

--become a signatory to The Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the basic UN women's human rights document, now signed by 185 nations. The US is one of a handful of holdouts, along with Iran, Sudan, and Somalia.

Finally, we call upon the United States, and all the industrialized nations of the West, to share their unprecedented wealth, often gained at the expense of the developing world, with those who need it in such a way that women benefit.

Signed,


Not clear if she means Americans only, though? Probably, because a number of the actions she's calling for are US-specific.
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Tehanu
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 2:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm betting this story gets quite a lot of traction around the world ... given how so many people in the west like to jump over examples of sexist practices in Islam (often conveniently ignoring sexism in the west). That said, it's quite surprising that in aggressively-secular France, a judge would have ruled that a marriage could be annulled because the woman wasn't a virgin.

Breach of contract, apparently.

Quote:
... The ruling ending the Muslim couple's union has stunned France and raised concerns the country's much-cherished secular values are losing ground to cultural traditions from its fast-growing immigrant communities.

The decision also exposed the silent shame borne by some Muslim women who transgress long-held customs demanding proof of virginity on the wedding night.

In its ruling, the court concluded the woman had misrepresented herself as a virgin and that, in this particular marriage, virginity was a prerequisite.

But in treating the case as a breach of contract, the ruling was decried by critics who said it undermined decades of progress in women's rights. Marriage, they said, was reduced to the status of a commercial transaction in which women could be discarded by husbands claiming to have discovered hidden defects in them.

... Now, critics contend another law on the books is being used to effectively condone the custom requiring a woman to enter marriage as a virgin, and prove it with bloodstained sheets on her wedding night.

Article 180 of the Civil Code states that when a couple enters into a marriage, if the "essential qualities" of a spouse are misrepresented, then "the other spouse can seek the nullity of the marriage." Past examples of marriages that were annulled include a husband found to be impotent and a wife who was a prostitute, according to lawyer Xavier Labbee.


CBC.
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Hephaestion
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tehanu wrote:
... it's quite surprising that in aggressively-secular France, a judge would have ruled that a marriage could be annulled because the woman wasn't a virgin.


He should'a married Jason Kenny. Razz
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Corey
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, a law that gives "annulment" to marriages where one of the partners has misrepresented themselves as to something important to the other partner is not that much of a stretch, is it? Otherwise "divorce" would just be granted on the same or equivalent grounds.

In the other examples given, the state is not presumably saying itself that impotent people or prostitutes shouldn't be marriageable, but that if they misled the other party and the other party then wants to leave the marriage, "annulment" should be available. This isn't unreasonable. Though in the first of those two examples, the person might genuinely not have known before going into the marriage, so misleading might be a separate question.

I'm least glad the names of the couple in the main case at issue haven't been disclosed.

(Edited for a typo, though with my luck there are others.)


Last edited by Corey on Tue Jun 10, 2008 11:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Corey
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The CBC story Tehanu quotes wrote:
... Now, critics contend another law on the books is being used to effectively condone the custom requiring a woman to enter marriage as a virgin, and prove it with bloodstained sheets on her wedding night.

But that would not be a reliable test.
Wikipedia wrote:
The hymen may be damaged by playing sports, using tampons, pelvic examinations or even straddle injuries.... Sexual intercourse is one of the most common ways to damage the hymen, although in one survey only 43% of women reported bleeding the first time they had sex... It is common to damage the hymen through physical activities such as horseback riding and biking.
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Hephaestion
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Corey wrote:
But that would not be a reliable test.
Wikipedia wrote:
The hymen may be damaged by playing sports, using tampons, pelvic examinations or even straddle injuries.... Sexual intercourse is one of the most common ways to damage the hymen, although in one survey only 43% of women reported bleeding the first time they had sex... It is common to damage the hymen through physical activities such as horseback riding and biking.


That counts for diddly-squat in the face of Tradition...
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Senor Magoo
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It would be nice, sometime, to read about a similar annulment brought about by the woman saying "He misrepresented himself; he told me he respects women", or "He lied; he said he'd do half the housework".
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Tehanu
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 11:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The French case has brought the issue of cosmetic surgery to "restore" the hymen into new prominence.

Quote:
The operation in the private clinic off the Champs-lyses involved one semicircular cut, 10 dissolving stitches and a discounted fee of $2,900.

But for the patient, a 23-year-old French student of Moroccan descent from Montpellier, the 30-minute procedure represented the key to a new life: the illusion of virginity.

Like an increasing number of Muslim women in Europe, she had a hymenoplasty, a restoration of her hymen, the thin vaginal membrane that normally breaks during the first act of intercourse.

... Gynecologists report that in the past few years, more Muslim women are asking for certificates of virginity to provide proof to others. That in turn has created a demand among cosmetic surgeons for hymen replacements, which, if done properly, they say, will not be detected and will produce tell-tale vaginal bleeding on the wedding night. The service is widely advertised on the Internet; medical tourism packages are available to countries like Tunisia where it is less expensive.

... Some feminists, lawyers and doctors warned that the courts acceptance of the centrality of virginity in marriage will encourage more French women from Arab and African Muslim backgrounds to have their hymens restored. But there is much debate about whether the procedure is an act of liberation or repression

... The surgeons who perform the procedure say they are empowering their patients by giving them a viable future and preventing them from being abused or even killed by their fathers or brothers.

... The French College of Gynecologists and Obstetricians opposes the procedure on moral, cultural and health grounds.

We had a revolution in France to win equality; we had a sexual revolution in 1968 when women fought for contraception and abortion, said Dr. Jacques Lansac, the associations president. Attaching so much importance to the hymen is regression, submission to the intolerance of the past.

But the stories of the women who have had the surgery convey the complexity and raw emotion behind their decisions.


New York Times.
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sparqui
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 1:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That procedure (hymenoplasty) was quite popular among young Japanese women when I lived in Tokyo in the late 80s.

I can't find any articles to explain why it was popular (although there was lots of money to burn and plastic surgery was big in general). However, there were some women who were dating colleague teachers of mine (US, Australia and Canada) who also had Japanese fiances. These flings were pretty common among expat men living in Tokyo and their "girl friends" ended up marrying their Japanese suitors. So maybe it had something to do with the illusion of creating a perfect marriage.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 1:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, sounds like restoring "virginity" is a big thing in Canada, too.

I find this disgusting. The one thing that perhaps will happen is that the obvious prevalence of this might possibly make having a hymen, real or fake, less important to the benighted people who are still thinking this is remotely important.

And why the hell are we not regulating cosmetic procedures?

Making it clear here: I'm not as angry at the women who are getting this done, per se, although I have to question what kind of marriage they'll have starting off on a lie. I'm more pissed that the concept of needing to tear a hymen, cause pain, and make a woman bleed on your wedding night is still seen as valuable. And that medical practitioners are enabling this.

Quote:
... Since that day [first one 25 years ago], Dr. Robert Stubbs, a Toronto-based plastic surgeon, has performed the operation on hundreds of other women across Canada. He has won international acclaim for refining the hymenoplasty procedure, which involves cutting away the scarred edge of the membrane broken during intercourse and narrowing the entrance of the vagina, then putting the pieces back together. One hour, $2,500, a few dissolving stitches later and voil: a surgical virgin is made.

"The women came from all backgrounds," says Stubbs, 59, who closed his Yorkville practice last summer to build his dream home in the Haliburton Highlands.

"They were Coptic Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim. The majority were educated, from upper-status families. In spite of their exposure to Western ways, they still had this need to follow their family's culture. They said they would not force their daughters to do this but they were caught with one foot in the old world and one foot in the new."

... In Canada, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons does not keep tabs on who performs hymenoplasty or how many of these surgeries are logged each year. "From the college perspective, it's not owned by one particular specialty," says spokesperson Cecily Wallace.

In Toronto, an increasing number of cosmetic surgery clinics, where some doctors may have limited training, seem to be cashing in on hymenoplasty, promoting the service online and in print.

... While hymenoplasty is not a commonly requested procedure in Dr. Sammy Sliwin's office he says he has performed just a few a year for the past two decades the plastic surgeon has only ever heard one reason for the request.

"It's basically to deceive a husband that a woman is virginal." Sliwin acknowledges he's part of a lie.

... When the marriage is consummated, Sliwin tells his patients there will be bleeding that is the point, after all and minimal pain.

"The girl will have a tear in her eye if she's a good actress and that's it.

"End of story."


Toronto Star.
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Raos
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally, I find the practice and motivation behind it kind of abhorrent and preferably unnecessary as well, but I would never stand in the way of anybody getting it done. I think it's a shame that anybody should have to, or think that they have to have it done, but if that's there choice, then that's their choice.
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Hephaestion
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am reminded of Neil Simon's famous quip, "I knew Doris Day before she was a virgin!"
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Corey
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hephaestion wrote:
I am reminded of Neil Simon's famous quip, "I knew Doris Day before she was a virgin!"

Oscar Levant's!

Another: "The only difference between the Democrats and the Republicans is that the Democrats allow the poor to be corrupt, too."
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voice of the damned
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Raos wrote:

Quote:
Personally, I find the practice and motivation behind it kind of abhorrent and preferably unnecessary as well, but I would never stand in the way of anybody getting it done. I think it's a shame that anybody should have to, or think that they have to have it done, but if that's there choice, then that's their choice.


Yeah, I mean, if we accpet the principle that people have the unconditional right to do what they want with their bodies so long as they don't hurt anyone else, we can't very well draw an arbitrary line at hymenoplasty.

Tehanu wrote:

Quote:
Making it clear here: I'm not as angry at the women who are getting this done, per se, although I have to question what kind of marriage they'll have starting off on a lie. I'm more pissed that the concept of needing to tear a hymen, cause pain, and make a woman bleed on your wedding night is still seen as valuable.


I dunno. Do you think it's really possible to distinguish between being angry at a particular thing being seen as valuable, and being angry at the people who think it is valuable? It seems to me that without those people, the thing would not be seen as valuable.
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Corey
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

voice of the damned wrote:
Tehanu wrote:
Making it clear here: I'm not as angry at the women who are getting this done, per se, although I have to question what kind of marriage they'll have starting off on a lie. I'm more pissed that the concept of needing to tear a hymen, cause pain, and make a woman bleed on your wedding night is still seen as valuable.

I dunno. Do you think it's really possible to distinguish between being angry at a particular thing being seen as valuable, and being angry at the people who think it is valuable? It seems to me that without those people, the thing would not be seen as valuable.

Well, the idea is that the expectation that this particular thing will be there is socially constructed or conditioned. So there's the distinction between those who enforce this expectation - the new husbands, families and communities - on others, and those others, the new wives, who have to deal with it somehow.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
So there's the distinction between those who enforce this expectation - the new husbands, families and communities - on others, and those others, the new wives, who have to deal with it somehow.


I see your point. But I guess the question then becomes, and I admit I don't know the answer myself, how much leeway do these women have in deciding whether or not to marry a man from within that particular tradition?
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

voice of the damned wrote:
Yeah, I mean, if we accpet the principle that people have the unconditional right to do what they want with their bodies so long as they don't hurt anyone else, we can't very well draw an arbitrary line at hymenoplasty.

Do people have an unconditional right to do what they want with their bodies? And should society be enabling that? I can think of dozens of ways in which we constrain people's right to do whatever they want with their bodies.

And yes, the right to do what you want with your body is why I said I'm not as angry with the women who are getting this done, as the asshole patriarchal bullshit that says that physically having a hymen when you get married is important.

Because from where I sit, this is on the same continuum as female genital mutilation. And appears to be being undertaken for much the same underlying reasons.

FGM is also a complex cultural issue, but is enraging.

Note that FGM is against the law in Canada. Surgery to "tighten" the vagina and slice up vaginal skin to create a false hymen is less extreme than a cliterodectomy and infibulation, but it's still the same idea.

Quote:
I dunno. Do you think it's really possible to distinguish between being angry at a particular thing being seen as valuable, and being angry at the people who think it is valuable? It seems to me that without those people, the thing would not be seen as valuable.

I'm angry at both.
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voice of the damned
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Do people have an unconditional right to do what they want with their bodies? And should society be enabling that? I can think of dozens of ways in which we constrain people's right to do whatever they want with their bodies.


Well, the only examples that spring to mind, apart from situations where the person is hurting other people, are the laws against drug use and the laws against assisted suicide. And the latter would seem to be predicated on something other than the idea that it is wrong to kill yourself, since non-assisted suicide is not illegal.

And most progressives that I know(myself included) think that people should not face legal penalties for doing drugs, even if the drugs are harmful to their health.

Quote:
And yes, the right to do what you want with your body is why I said I'm not as angry with the women who are getting this done, as the asshole patriarchal bullshit that says that physically having a hymen when you get married is important.


Yes, but very few women are having this surgery done, as far as I know. So clearly, many women ARE able to say "no" to the bullshit. My question is whether the women who say "yes" do so because they have no choice in the matter, or because they have genuinely decided that the tradition is a valuable one that they would like to be accepted into.
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Corey
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tehanu wrote:
Do people have an unconditional right to do what they want with their bodies? And should society be enabling that? I can think of dozens of ways in which we constrain people's right to do whatever they want with their bodies.


Dr. Robert Stubbs, the Toronto plastic surgeon cited in the article quoted upthread, did a lengthy interview with BME, Body Modification Ezine. Here is the interview via Google cache, without the images that accompanied the original; some of these images are extraordinarily graphic. Seriously, take this as the strongest content warning ever, if you're tempted to look up the original. If you're in any doubt, you'd probably rather not.

A "subincision," here, is a specific way of cutting or having cut the penis.

BME wrote:
BME: Well, the motivation behind a subincision is that it opens up the urethra to more stimulation; it feels better. That's why -- people who are doing them are seeing them as enhancing procedures.

STUBBS: No one has come and asked me for that. In this society, if someone did ask me for it, I wouldn't do it, because I would be judged by my colleagues. The College of Physicians and Surgeons are fairly -- radically -- conservative.

BME: If a surgeon did go ahead and do subincisions, what sort of professional risk would they be at?

STUBBS: They'd lose their license probably. [...]

BME: But I can show an equally long history of subincisions, albeit not a medical one.

STUBBS: And you know what would happen? The person that did that, if there was an infection, because there are bacteria out there that we don't have antibiotics for, or some complication such that the individual that was having it performed died or developed severe complications, the practitioner would be charged with manslaughter or assault. The laws of the land are here; they're in place.

BME: Most of the people doing it are doing it on themselves. I can walk into any drugstore and buy anaesthetic, scalpels, and anything I need to do surgery on myself.

STUBBS: Well, you can also buy a gun and shoot yourself! You can also go to Canadian Tire and buy a nail gun. You can basically do to yourself whatever you have the intestinal fortitude or the imagination for. When there's another person, if it's a medical professional, you're asking someone who is following the rules of the land to do something which is, if it's brand-new, has to be authorised by committee after committee after committee after committee and whatnot so he doesn't get charged with manslaughter or assault and doesn't lose his license.

***
BME: Let me ask you your opinion on something. This is Steve Hayworth, and artist in the states. He's made implants coming out of this guy's head, he's put implants in his wrists, he's using a cautery laser for scarification; what position is he in, doing this, not being a doctor?

STUBBS: I think he's probably at high risk, because in our society, certainly here [in Canada], only nurses, dentists, and doctors can violate the skin into the deeper layer (into the subcutaneous). That's a boundary past which the law starts acting. You can be tattooed because it's going into the dermis. You can have hair removed by electrolysis because that again is in the skin, but you go under the skin, which is what some of these things are, and you're into that grey area.
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Tehanu
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 7:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, good catch Corey. So again the sacred penis should not be touched, but it's okay for Stubbs to be messing around with women's vaginas? (Although I notice later in the article that he's okay with lengthening penises, although he referred a guy wanting a penis reduction for psychological counselling. Rolling Eyes).

I was thinking of the analogy that in order to get gender reassignment surgery, transfolks have to jump through mega-hoops with the psychiatry/psychology industry. Particularly, it seems, male-to-female transsexuals and genital surgery (genital surgery for FTM isn't particularly well-developed). Again, though, wouldn't want to mess with the penis.

Supposing I'm a straight woman and I think it's important that the male in my life is subincised. What am I supposed to do?

VOTD I think the "restriction on choice" about what people do to their bodies is a bit of a red herring in this thread, but here are a few more for you:

Seatbelt laws
Restrictions on food additives
Prison
Drug prohibition laws
Prescriptions
Drinking in public
Transpeople not being able to access surgery without consent from the psychiatric profession (and that IS an interesting comparison, no? Its okay to promote fake virginity but not okay to decide to have gender reassignment surgery in order to live in your real body)
No female genital mutilation

I'm sure between the two of us we can come up with a bunch more, but that might be better in a different thread.
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Corey
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tehanu wrote:
So again the sacred penis should not be touched, but it's okay for Stubbs to be messing around with women's vaginas?

Well, these limitations are a function of the medical regulation he works under more than of Dr. Stubbs' own personal decisions. And there's a difference independent of gender between making something look and act roughly like it did previously, and making something both look and act dramatically differently somehow. But there is totally ample reason to look at these questions through a gender lens, of course.
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voice of the damned
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Transpeople not being able to access surgery without consent from the psychiatric profession (and that IS an interesting comparison, no? Its okay to promote fake virginity but not okay to decide to have gender reassignment surgery in order to live in your real body)


Well, I suppose you could include any sort of psychiatric treatment in there. If I'm feeling depressed, I can't just walk into the doctor's office and be given electroshock upon request. I first have to get the doctor to agree that I am suffering from depression, and that this depression is physical in nature, and furthermore that this condition is treatable via electroshock.

Quote:
interesting comparison, no? Its okay to promote fake virginity but not okay to decide to have gender reassignment surgery in order to live in your real body


But again, the gender reassingment suregery is given in response to a psychiatric condition, which, according to psychiatric protocol, must be diagnosed before the surgery is prescribed. But in regards to the hymenoplasty, the woman seeking it is not claiming to have a psychiatric condition, she's just saying that her potential husband is going to want her to be a virgin on her wedding night.

So, I don't really see the unfairness to trans people, as long as the woman seeking the hymenoplsty is paying for it out of her own pocket. I'm assuming that in France, gender reassignment is covered by the national health system.
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Senor Magoo
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's always been my understanding that the psychiatric assessment, and the need to live as your intended gender for a year prior to sex reassignment surgery, was to help ensure that nobody wakes up the day after having their body (and social self!) reconstructed and says "wait, I think I was confused, but I don't want this".

Who thinks we should do away with it? I don't plan on getting my penis removed any time soon, so I don't really need the waiting time for myself. Should we just abandon that, and go with sex reassignment surgery on demand?

Quote:
Its okay to promote fake virginity but not okay to decide to have gender reassignment surgery in order to live in your real body


When did sex reassignment surgery become not okay?
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Tehanu
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 3:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good to see that this is being roundly condemned in Pakistan, as five women were buried alive after they wanted the right to pick their own husbands.

Quote:
... "These are centuries-old traditions and I will continue to defend them," Israr Ullah Zehri, who represents Baluchistan province, said Saturday. "Only those who indulge in immoral acts should be afraid.''

The women, three of whom were teenagers, were first shot and then thrown into a ditch.

They were still breathing as their bodies were covered with rocks and mud, according media reports and human rights activists, who said their only "crime" was that they wished to marry men of their own choosing

Zehri told a packed and flabbergasted Parliament on Friday that Baluch tribal traditions helped stop obscenity and then asked fellow lawmakers not to make a big fuss about it.

Many stood up in protest, saying the executions were "barbaric" and demanding that discussions continue Monday. But a handful said it was an internal matter of the deeply conservative province.


Toronto Star.
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