Friday, February 08, 2008

This may be your last chance

No, no, not to get laid. That's bound to happen, even for Jonah Goldberg.

You have, (literally), hours left to get your nominations in for the Canadian F-word awards. Today is the final day. After that, it's history and a long wait until next year.

I could sit here and tell you these awards are important because I think so, and it would mean nothing. And believe me, if that was the reason, you'd be dead right.

No, these awards are important because they identify those who are willing to put out there what so many others feel, but are unable to do. That is not to say they wouldn't, but that, in many circumstances, they can't.

The reasons they don't are legion, but if they could, I believe they would.

Feminism is a poorly labelled , "ism". Too many people view it as a "womens'" issue. It isn't and I have been a personal benefactor from the feminist movement. I shouldn't have to explain why, but suffice to say that I would be leading a much more spartan and miserable life if feminists hadn't fought for the right to equal treatment. They, and they alone, exposed how humans were being ill-treated in various walks of life. The demand by feminists to be allowed to pursue any calling pulled the shroud off some of the poorest treatment experienced by men.

That men aren't recognizing that, in droves, is reprehensible.

Perhaps the greatest womens' issue is her right to choose how to deal with her own body in the way she determines is best for her. The FSM knows, that if men at this point in our history were faced with the same thing, there would be blood running in the gutters. If men were told they had to accept, as a condition for having sex, that they would endure 18 to 20 years of unplanned poverty, anguish and heartache, they would not do it. Particularly so, if they had an option not to.

Believe me, if men can get out of something, they will. That's not a knock, but it is reality. Strange then, that men will not provide the same option for women. There seems to be this artificial constant that women are the tools men use to reproduce themselves, despite the will of the other equal contributor to that effort. And then the wholly unequal physical impact assumed by women.

So, those who can speak out, do. And they deserve recognition for having done so. If I could give every one an award, I would. They are unique and unfortunately, under-represented.

I have my favourties because I have had the opportunity, through this particular medium, to get to know them in a minimal but important sense. They stand for something and they don't waver.
When the anti-abortionists parade their pet victim, JJ takes a shot back, unafraid to make clear that she is no victim but somebody who exercised her rights. She could have kept her experience private, and should have been able to, but the fact that she had to do it highlights the point that those rights are still under attack from some of the worst people on earth. Notwithstanding, she has to put up with killer parrots.

Birth Pangs is one of the most unique, interesting and active blogs in their field... anywhere. In the one year history of their existence they have challenged everything that came into their sights, including the activity of an NHL hockey team... and won.

There are others who simply pull out the blade and hack at the bamboo forest, so thick that the end is not in sight. You can find many of them at Bread 'n' Roses. Others prefer to hoe their own row. Impolitical, 900 ft Jesus and Red Jenny and Antonia do it their way and they do it extraordinarily well. And the standard by which I make that judgment is not based on how well they perform against male dominated blogs but simply how well they get their message across. LuLu is indeed irresistible, and she's made it so clear to all of us that she is fully capable of speaking for herself in terms we can all appreciate.

Politics and Poetry is hard-nosed, into the dirt, dig out information. Skdadl at POGGE is like a stone wheel which will not stop spinning. Hope & Onions can eviscerate the powerful with one stroke.

They're all great writers. And they all deserve recognition in these awards. Our own Alison is (with my own bias tossed in) one of the most brilliant commentators on government and corporate malfeasance you will ever read. Cathie has the ability to give you a topic and then show you an angle you couldn't have thought of. Cheryl can find corners that most people would never look in.

They all deserve to be recognized for their work and their dedication to something too many dismiss: Their right to be heard.

I know I have missed many who should have been mentioned here. That makes it up to you. Nominate them. If you read them and believe in what they say, nominate them. Show them that they count to you.

I am going to add two more to that list. Two women who endured death threats and lived in fear because they took a position and a single political entity decided that, because they were women, could not allow them to continue in their work. I will be nominating them under the "international" category.

Amanda Marcotte of Pandagon and Melissa McEwan of Shakesville are two women who deserve to be recognized for the diligence, strength of mind and just plain guts it took to stick with their fight, despite overwhelming odds.

Now get busy. Nominations close tonight.

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