Sunday, July 19, 2009

Does Helena Guergis Blame Women For Violence Against Women?

Toronto Star Columnist, Susan Delacourt, published a story recently It's the girls' fault?, in response to an announcement by Status of Women Keep 'em in the Kitchen minister, Helena Guergis, that implies that she and her government believe that women may be responsible for any violence against them.

"The Government of Canada is pleased to provide support to Regroupement des femmes de la région de Matane for its project, Et toi ton couple, ça clic? (So, Are You Clicking as a Couple?). This project aims to promote equitable, non-violent behaviour in the romantic relationships of adolescents by targeting the hypersexualization of girls as a root cause of dating violence."

However, defenders of the program have suggested that either Guergis lost something in the translation or whoever wrote the press release saw it as an opportunity to salve the wounds of the Religious Right organizations, especially Real Women of Canada, who have not been thrilled with all this extra money going to what they call radical feminists groups.

From their most recent newsletter:

"One would think that elected conservatives would be able to resist the feminist ideology, which is a very leftist, Marxist, anti-family movement (see “Feminism in Canada” on our web site.) With the emotional appeal of portraying women as perpetual victims, the sisterhood seems able to convert even Conservative MP's who were elected to combat the nanny state as embodied by Liberal and Socialist NDP enthusiasts...

"Political Science courses and Women's Studies abound. All this is not good enough for feminist activists in Canada. Instead, they have managed to obtain a $1.2 million grant for 38 months, from Status of Women Canada, to develop their own special mentoring programs ...

"Thus, to meet leftist global demands, our taxes are diverted to the advancement of feminism via Status of Women ... the Prime Minister’s Office seems totally oblivious to the global thrust behind such projects to use feminism to advance leftist control of free democracies.

"... This is not why a Conservative government was elected!"

So Real Women should get some satisfaction in knowing that their elected Conservative government is still anti feminist, blaming women for domestic and dating violence. Sadly, I believe that was only a very small part of the Matane project, but it has now been tarnished by Guergis' comments.

But what is this really about? Harper has always openly opposed the Status of Women, and among his first acts when elected, was to remove the word 'equal' from their mandate and drastically reduce their funding.

However, he knows that to win back support, especially in Quebec, he has to at least give the appearance of becoming enlightened. Will it work? Who knows? I looked at many of the ridings where they have provided funding through the Status of Women and most seem to be in areas they are hoping to claim next election, or vulnerable Conservative ridings that could go either way.

Stephen Harper does nothing without an agenda.

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