Things to Do:

Deflate the Patriarchy Checklist

  • Ensure that the design of all new electric cars includes a place to put a purse.
    — Val Ashford, Kingston, ON
  • Replace all the men holding power positions in governments, public service, banks, corporations, and the sports and entertainment worlds with equally or more qualified women and watch to see what happens.
    — Toni Pickard, Kingston, ON
  • Defund the military-industrial complex, which sucks up vast sums of money (that could otherwise be used to support life) and creates mass suffering, death, and destruction - in the name of power, "glory" and being on top in our messed-up, hierarchical world.
    — Elaine Power, Kingston, ON
  • Fully implement equal pay for work of equal value
    — Mary Margaret Dauphinee, Moncton, NB
  • Make creating a safe and healthy world for children the top priority
    — Janet Troughton, Kingston, ON
  • Stop electing privileged rich white men
    — Richard Peterson, Kingston, ON
Checklist Archive Add to the Checklist


Half Baked

Love amongst the ruins

There are always unintended consequences of war. But who knew the war in Ukraine would lead to an upturn in men looking for ‘a love match’. At least two countries are seeing men flock to dating sites looking for a match with Ukrainian women fleeing their war-torn countries. In Canada, Quebec-based dating sites have seen interest double or triple. China is also seeing a war-related deluge of online attention for Ukrainian women. Some speculate that these are men with saviour complex or men who simply want to help. But there is a dark side to this phenomenon. There have been reports of offensive on-line content, including videos such as “capturing Ukrainian beauties.” Amnesty International Canada expressed concern to CTV about vulnerable women putting their trust in the hands of men whom they really don’t know. Another bizarre turn is that some Russian soldiers are also promoting themselves to Ukrainian women on dating apps. Let’s hope that traumatized women escaping war find enough economic and emotional support from aid volunteers and others that they aren’t tempted to go this dubious route.   


(Not Even) Half Baked

Free dumb fixation   

Today’s so-called ‘freedom’ rallies are the go-to manoeuvre of the angry white man’s manual.

Whether being shouted from truck convoys or at another version of today’s recurrent rage fests, it’s a dog whistle for convening bigots, hypocrites, misogynists and white supremacists.

The strategy of vainglorious freedom fighters is all too   transparent. Celebrate denial. Trot out the conspiracies du jour. and conveniently overlook that restrictions on behaviour in the interest of public health and human rights are nothing new (ban on tobacco advertising, seat belt requirements, environmental protection standards, child trafficking, rape, slavery).

In their world, freedom equates to the right to opt out of the social contract: Freedom from vaccinations that save lives. Freedom from books whose narratives diverge from the white man’s truth. Freedom from acknowledging alternative gender or sexual orientation realities. Freedom to end reproductive choice for women. Freedom to brand affirmative action as discrimination. Freedom to disbelieve climate change science

Today’s warped and confused definition of freedom – the right to do whatever, whenever – leaves scant hope that we will ever be able to make the compromises and sacrifices needed to avoid climate disaster. Without a basic shared belief in the role of government to protect our common interests, we are doomed. Every regulation or new policy aimed at curbing greenhouse gases, becomes an assault on ‘freedom.’

We can not save the planet without changing the way we live. We will need to give up some behaviours to gain the ultimate freedom to exists. And we need to do it fast.


Half Baked

Time to try woke wiping 

Just like Princess Diana used to take her sons on visits to the homeless and people with AIDS, Elon Musk is trying to teach his children the ways of the world. He recently took them to Walmart to witness the toilet-paper shortage cause by the pandemic.

“I wasn’t sure, is this like a real thing or not? Musk said. “I actually took my kids to the H-E-B and Walmart in Texas to just confirm if it was real. Indeed, it was. And there’s plenty of food and everything else but just nothing, no paper products.”

Musk mused about what an “odd choice” of item for people to panic about. “If [the] end of the world is coming, I think toilet paper is the least of your problems,” he noted.

The man of many bidets may not be in the best position to weigh in on the preoccupations of the little people.

Musk’s remarks have highlighted an important issue, though, and illustrated how the pandemic is, in some cases, shaking up the capitalist landscape. According to the Natural Resources Defence Council (NRDC), toilet paper is one of the biggest contributors to global warming by destroying forests that pull carbon from the atmosphere.

The TP shortages caused by supply chain issues during the pandemic have stymied major corporate brands like Charmin and Cottonelle while creating an opening for alternative, more sustainable arse-wiping products. It’s perhaps time to switch rolls and take a crack at some of the products of start-ups using recycled paper and bamboo like Cloud Paper, Cheeky Monday, and Who Gives a Crap, just to name just a few.


(Not Even) Half Baked

Been there, done that

Joe Biden’s vow this week to make good on his promise to appoint a Black woman to the Supreme Count as soon as he got the chance has provoked the usual response amongst the ignorant and racist.

One of the most offensive and yet predictable reactions was that of Fox pundit Tomi Lahren. “I’m sure it would be a Black woman. We saw how well that worked out with Kamala Harris, but here’s hoping he has a better choice in mind for this position.” Senator Mitch McConnell dog-whistled his response when he cautioned Democrats to avoid a “radical’ supreme court pick.

Lahren’s brand of discriminatory thinking is prevalent amongst the historically advantaged. Women and minorities are treated as representatives of their entire cohort. If one stumbles or fails, it reflects on all of them i.e., Hey, we tried a woman. That didn’t work out.’  But the same unwritten rules don’t apply to members of majority groups who are judged as individuals and more often given second and third chances.

As for Kamala Harris, who knows what is going on behind the scenes between her and the rest of President Biden’s administration and the motivation behind the criticism currently being heaped on her.


Ideas Archive

Notable & Quotable

‘Enforced childbirth is slavery’

— Margaret Atwood
Canadian author of The Handmaid's Tale