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thoughts on life, parenting, news, and crazy shit

Month: May, 2021

While we are busy with Healthcare being in the toilet, some of Manitoba’s teachers just got dealt another cock shot

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

While the Conservative government in Manitoba is self destructing with a catastrophic situation in Healthcare, people dying in transport due to a lack of space in critical care and MLA’s sharing laughs in Question Period over it, public health compliance scandals, transphobic jokes and basically just a complete misfire on every fucking end of the governance spectrum that you could possibly imagine……there is still a fire simmering that we shouldn’t forget about.

The education system in this province is struggling. After years of chronic underfunding, the events of the last 15 months and the dark cloud looming that is Bill 64, the complete and utter burnout of staff, students and parents is a heavier burden that we are capable of carrying for long.

We all have our opinions on whether or not schools should be in remote learning. I personally believe that this was the right call and should have happened way earlier, despite the challenges and near impossibility of being a working parent trying to facilitate my children’s education at home even with the monumental efforts of our teachers. These past few weeks have been burdensome. Teachers feeling like they need to live up to the same standards they normally would, feeling the criticism of the chaos of last spring freshly enough to drive them to go above and beyond what seems reasonable or achievable today. Parents needing structure for their kids but struggling to keep up with all of their duties and responsibilities. Wanting desperately to throw in the fucking towel and just NOT.

These are trying times, and I will tell you from my personal experience that I am pretty much over it. The only thing keeping me from refusing to do a single thing more in terms of printing assignments and threatening the kids’ relationship with electronics FOREVER so that they do their work, and taking pictures and submitting and fighting is literally the utmost respect that I have for my fellow educators and the amount that they care about our kids and trying to give them some stability in all of this.

And that respect and knowledge about how hard teachers work has me shaking my fucking head about how underappreciated teachers are in this world.

“THOSE WHO CAN”T DO, TEACH.”

It seems to me that those who teach literally DO EVERYTHING.

And so now comes the extra what the fuckey ……

Teachers in Winnipeg School Division today finally got a contract. They have been negotiating for FOUR YEARS. They are finally getting a nominal raise that will back payed for 4 years. But there’s catch:

In order to pay teachers (almost) what they’re worth, the school division will have to cut 120 permanent full time teaching positions. Seniority will not be a factor, it will be cutthroat decisions based on how valuable you are. So teachers with highly specialized skill sets may be safe, but anyone else is fair game for a lay off.

From a teacher in WSD: “ Everyone loves us when it comes to babysitting their kids so they can go to work, but no one actually wants to pay us” (what we’re worth)

In all of this we keep referring to these people as heroes, yet we give them the choice of accepting less than they deserve for literally ever, since the beginning of time, or watch a bunch of their hardworking hero colleagues lose their jobs??

So, the next time Pallister or Cullen or any of the rest of those fucking assholes gets up and starts talking about all of the investments they are making in education, and when you all get your education tax rebate cheques, remember it is founded in bullshit and what it is at the expense of. People losing their jobs. Your children losing educational resources. Your children’s relationship with their teachers as class sizes continue to grow.

This province needs to stop congratulating itself on a job never done and top sucking their own dick in the media about how awesome they are.

If this is Team Manitoba, the stands are empty, revenue is in the red and the coach needs firing. Fuck already.

Audrey Gordon has dug her deepest hole yet-who else isn’t surprised?

I hate to say “I told you so”, but I fucking told you so.

When I had my run in with Audrey Gordon last fall, I stupidly thought briefly that maybe I had gone in too hard. Maybe I should have given her the benefit of the doubt and approached her more passively rather than being aggressive and insistent on answers that she had no ability or intention of providing.

After watching her online interactions with others and avoidance of issues that matter in the community with a fake smile and a free ice cream cone for kids, I definitely feel zero remorse for going in hard and demanding accountability.

This weekend, Springs Church held some sort of graduation ceremony for their “college” (whatever the fuck kind of college that would be). It is rumored that Audrey Gordon was there, although I can’t confirm that. She is, however, a member of this organization that has repeatedly tried to find ways around the pandemic restrictions and is currently in court fighting against the rules. Is it not a direct conflict of interest for an MLA to be a member of an organization that is fighting against the very rules that she is telling her constituents to follow? How can she continue to condone this behaviour and justify it to herself? I believe that by not publicly speaking out against them, she is silently giving her permission.

At the moment, the two Facebook groups that she uses as platforms are discussing the issue. Most people are absolutely enraged by her refusal to respond to their questions either privately or publicly. Some are bellyaching about kindness and all sorts of toxic positivity bullshit that falls right in line with Springs Church and their self serving philosophies and in my opinion- they can fuck right off. If you are a public figure using a community forum for your professional purposes, then you should be required to respond to public issues on that page, rather then asking the admins to delete the threads or turn off the commenting.

And this brings us to the apparent hilarity of anti-trans jokes on those same forums. How can someone who is the Minister of Mental Health and Wellness not be aware that any joke that starts with “I IDENTIFY AS” is a direct but subtle dig mocking the very existence of trans folk? How can she not use her position to educate and address a comment like that, rather than laugh at it?

The answer as I see it is really that she IS aware, but that she doesn’t give a shit. It is quite literally her job to be aware of these types of things. So either she is incompetent or holds bigoted views against the LGBTQ2 community- either which would call for the resignation of her Health portfolio at the very least. Also, considering she came crying to her community for support when racist graffiti was painted on her photos ( appalling and not appropriate regardless of one’s personal feelings towards her) I can’t begin to understand how she doesn’t have empathy for one of the most marginalized groups with some of the highest risk factors for suicide and depression among any community.

Among all of this is an unwillingness to address the very real concerns being brought to her attention. In my experience with Audrey Gordon she works very hard to puff out her feathers while trying to diminish you, all the while screaming about respect and how wonderful she is and that swearing makes you a terrible person.

I’d argue that her silence is the most disrespectful language of all, and that laughing at harmful language directed at trans folk is probably a lot ore damaging than, for example….. telling someone who is a acting like a cunt that they are being a cunt….but that’s just me.

In the end, this latest fiasco is probably going to come back to haunt Audrey in the next election. People won’t forget, and most importantly, in the age of social media and screenshots- folks won’t let us forget how she behaved.

These times do try us, Dear Audrey. You will have a very hard time climbing out of this latest hole you have dug for yourself. Proverbial straw just met the camel’s back, I think.

Is body positivity just another branch of toxic beauty culture?

Photo by Anete Lusina on Pexels.com

The past 15 months have been epic. As in, epically difficult in so many ways.

So many pressures coming from every single angle, and the inability to really control or plan for anything because every single moment seems to be hanging on the edge of a knife, ready to fall or change or be sliced open.

It is exhausting to live in a perpetual state of wondering what tomorrow will bring when your choices are limited and you have no power over the decisions that affect your life.

For a woman, particularly a working mother, we are used to living in a world that calls on us to meet the expectations of everyone around us. Having to give a 100% in all of our roles lest we be judged by our bosses, our families, our fellow mothers and ourselves.

And now, with those expectations amplified with limited or no options for ways to recharge or take breaks or say no, I am feeling especially tired of any expectation of beauty standards or body image attacks or fashion or any of it really.

I have always been a huge advocate for body positivity, self-acceptance, fitness at any size, and ignoring stupidly unattainable goals that some dickhead decided was hot. And now I am questioning if even that is something we should give a shit about.

Why do I have to be beautiful to be worthy?

Why do I have to be skinny or fit or groomed, or feel like I should celebrate my stretch marks or surgical scars or any of it? Is body positivity just some other bullshit vanity marketing tool?

Why is beauty a PHYSICAL attribute? I mean, to begin with, what is beautiful to me visually is not beautiful to another person. Beauty rather might be better defined by personality traits like kindness, consideration, self sacrifice, love and generosity.

And in terms of the past 15 months of our lives, when there is so much pressure on us to be all of things without much time to consider for ourselves, why are women most specifically still worried about whether they are beautiful or not? I honestly don’t know who has time to fucking care right now.

Maybe I am just burnt out. Maybe I am lazy. Maybe I am lucky to be in a relationship with someone who sees ME, not just my appearance. Maybe I am throwing in the towel and going full Apocalypse Dom where no one cuts their hair and having a shower is a major accomplishment and fatness is a sign of stability and wealth rather than a shamed thing we try to hide.

Maybe Covid has worn me down and shown me that beauty standards are fucking bullshit and has taught me to re-establish my priorities. Maybe beauty never even really existed and women should finally feel like they don’t have to hurt themselves with dieting or over exercising or guilt about eating something delicious or spending their hard earned money on fake eyelashes and nails or hair dye.

Maybe I’ll change my mind. Who knows.

But honestly, right now….I am going to let my hair grow wild and my eyebrows go unplucked and I’ll wear nothing but leggings and comfortable shoes and promote things that celebrate the beauty that exists in humanity on the inside.

It’s nice to be “pretty”, but let’s promote beautiful humanity rather than a pretty picture.

Cliff Cullen should stop writing cheques with his mouth that he can’t cash

Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

The problem with making bold statements is that at some point you’re going to have to cash the cheque that your mouth writes. In Manitoba, it feels a lot like the cheques being written by our leaders are bouncing.

If you are anything like me, you might be feeling rather frustrated by the inability of political representatives to answer direct questions posed by media, constituents in formal emails or informal online forums. There is a lot of redirecting and deflecting going on, and ridiculously, blocking.

As elected representatives there is a responsibility to the public for transparency and honesty and neither of these things seem to be in the playbook written by Coach Pally and his team.

My specific experience has been one of hostility and buck passing, and of late, lack of ANY response- not even the stock, party written answers that are a waste of my good time and efforts.

I have to say that it sort feels as though the plan is to just pass off each inquiry rather than answer it, and force someone to repeatedly contact their representatives with honest questions about many concerning actions of this government in a time of unprecedented uncertainty- until we are gaslighted into believing that we are just being bothersome.

Personally, I don’t care if they are annoyed by me. I am as relentless as a dog with a bone. As a citizen who cares about her community and the well being of everyone, I will continue to be relentless in my inquiries until someone-ANYONE- in this government is able to be accountable to me for the words coming out of their mouths and the claims they are making.

At the moment, in light of Bill 64 and all of the abominable commentary by the Minister of Education in his recent guest column in the Winnipeg Sun, I am trying to figure out how this government can insist that they have reduced poverty rates in this province in the last four years by 25%. I want to understand how this was measured, what factors were considered and how they studied the varaibles. And IF (big if) this statement is true, how was it achieved? Wouldn’t the government be so proud of this amazing work that they would want to share their programs and policies with other provinces so that they would be able to achieve the same results?

I have many doubts about truth of this matter. I figure that if this statistic is not made up, the information to prove it and back it up would be readily available.

I have reached out several times to the Minister of Education by email. I wrote him directly, and also to my local MLA, who promised to forward my concerns and request information be sent to me. No response.

I phoned Minister Cullen’s office and provided my contact information. No response.

I was informed by a friend that she had been redirected to the Minister of Families to request this same information. I will not hold my breath for a response, but here is my letter to Minister Squires. If you are so inspired, feel free to copy and paste the text of the inquiry and initiate your own contact. They can’t ignore all of us, can they?

Good Morning,
Thank you for taking my call this morning.  
To follow up, I am requesting information regarding the claims of a 25% reduction in the poverty rate in the Province of Manitoba. Specifically, I would like to receive the studies/peer reviewed research indicating this change in poverty statistics. Ideally, I’d like to understand what outcomes were measured, in what populations, who performed the research and what the study designs were.
One would assume that a 25% reduction in poverty would translate to a significant and observed impact in local communities in terms of income level, employment rates (specific to the impoverished communities), access to resources, reduced use of food banks or shelters, improvement of health, and drastically improved educational outcomes. 
In addition, I would like to be sent information about how these outcomes were achieved, specifically what programs were developed and implemented/introduced.  A 25% reduction in child poverty is substantial achievement, and I would think the strategies used to get there should be shared with all who have a vested interest in helping those in need. 
I look forward to hearing back, and would be open to scheduling a meeting to further discuss the subject.”

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