Linkspam: Menstrual hygiene day

Menstrual hygiene day was technically May 28th, but as usual I was too busy faffing about in my bubble to notice until recently. Have a belated linkspam about the politics and practicalities of menstruation:

In summary: Most patriarchies have highly dysfunctional relationships with menstruation, which is itself a confluence of multiple factors. Thus, those raised in these attitudes and those who do not stop to interrogate said attitudes often continue the practice of singling out menstruation as a unique “moral failing,” despite the fact that there is nothing empirically to separate it from other bodily functions.



Dear Donna Trimble: “Catholic educator” is an oxymoron

Is it time for Catholic propagandists to be ejected from our allegedly public school system? I think so, but Donna Trimble thinks Catholic doctrine is “under attack” because the Alberta Teachers’ Association voted to back employees who teach actual facts in their curriculum.

Yes, we needed a union vote to guarantee that, apparently.

The Alberta Teachers’ Association (ATA) has voted that Catholic educators should have the autonomy to choose lessons that are in contradiction to the Catholic doctrine upon which their schools exist.

Translation: Teachers, even if employed by the Catholic school board, can teach facts without penalty.

The primary curriculum supplement for which this vote was likely conceived, was mentioned in a recent Edmonton Sun article: “In particular, there have been concerns about teachers being discouraged from using the Professionals Respecting and supporting Individual Sexual Minorities (PRISM) toolkit that has been developed for teachers to talk about sexual and gender diversity in the classroom.”

The PRISM toolkit describes the binary understanding of male and female, as “overly simplistic and often wrong,” “misleading” and “exclusionary and harmful” (page 21), while imposing only one perspective of gender as fluid and subjective. This premise is profoundly discriminatory towards Catholicism and many other faith traditions who deem the binary understanding as sacred.

I’m not sure I see the problem here. There are plenty of “perspectives” from the Bible that we discriminate against. We don’t sell our daughters into slavery (I hope). We do not keep slaves at all, nor do we generally consider it acceptable to beat someone within an inch of their life. Why is it that your scientifically illiterate binary is suddenly untouchable?

It is up to Catholic educators, parents and the separate school boards to discern how they will confront this latest attack on their schools. The rights of parents to choose an authentic Catholic education for their children, grounded in Catholic values and permeated by their faith, must be protected.

I’ve got an idea. Maybe you can… teach it in your church?

Just a thought.

But there is a deep lack of logic in the vote itself that cannot be permitted to stand.


This vote claims to offer up “rights” to educators that are supposedly losing autonomy, when in fact the ATA used the tyranny of the majority of their membership in an attempt to strip separate schools of their Catholic identity.

The ATA itself states in their Going to School in Alberta document, that “69 per cent (of their teacher membership) are in the public system, 22 per cent in the separate system and one per cent in the francophone system.” The vote that took place did not account for the fact that 70 per cent of the ATA membership do not teach in Catholic schools and have no vested interest in Catholic education. That is tyranny of the majority.

We ask, if the ATA decided to disrespect francophone schools and call a vote that allowed teachers in the one per cent of francophone schools to “have the autonomy” to teach in English instead of French, and 99 per cent of ATA members, with no vested interest in francophone education, voted in favour, would that stand?

Are the francophone schools trying to alter the curriculum or merely teach it in French?

With the ongoing attack on Catholic schools by the ATA, we ask, is it time for Catholic schools to find a legal framework for deregistering with the Alberta Teachers’ Association?

Yes. De-unionize. Squeeze talent out of your administration. Fuck off and wither in the dustbin of history. You can’t go fast enough.

When there is an apparent attempt to undermine the very foundation of the faith tradition that Catholic education is built upon, how can parents be assured that their children will be provided with an authentic Catholic education in each and every classroom?

You have this building, see, tax-exempt and everything, for this exact purpose. It’s not a school. Maybe you should use that.

I know you struggle with this whole “wahhhhh I have to share public space with people different from me waaahhhhh” thing but come on.


Damn right, she’s angry

The inestimable Ijeoma Oluo has a few thoughts about the “angry black woman” trope:

I used to work very hard to avoid that descriptor. I used to busily reassure people that no, I am not angry. I used to force smiles and swallow pain and reassure everyone that I was fine.

But I am not fine. I am angry.

And I have a lot to be angry about. I am angry that I have to see so many black men and women murdered by police without any justice. I am angry that my 15-year-old son is already terrified of cops. I am angry that black households have, on average, 12 times less net worth than white households.

I am angry at the unchecked rise of racism, Islamophobia, and anti-Semitism in America.

I am angry that this country elected an ignorant and unqualified bigot into our highest office.

I am angry that my 9-year-old son feels utterly failed by the adult society that was supposed to protect him from racist hate.

I am angry that the color of my skin is one of the biggest indicators of not only the quality of my life, but also of my life expectancy. I am angry that my son’s transgender classmates are being told by our federal government that they cannot use the restroom in safety. I am angry that this administration is gleefully deporting brain cancer patients and domestic violence victims. I am angry that my fears look so similar to the fears that black people had in the 1950s.

I know why I am angry, and I know who I am angry at.

am angry at school systems that refuse to treat implicit bias and the criminalization of black and brown youth as the emergency that it is. I am angry at politicians who knowingly activate and exploit voter bigotry with phrases like “black-on-black crime” and I am angry at the voters who fall for it, despite all of the scholarship out there that shows such dogwhistling to be a racist trap.

I am angry at media that constantly portrays my people as violent and unpredictable. I am angry at business and community leaders who will stoke xenophobia to distract from their exploitation of the poor. I am angry at those who value their comfort so much that they’d rather call me a liar than face the truth of how this country treats so many of us.

It would be appalling to not be angry at these things. To ask me not to be would be to ask me to divorce myself from reality.

Read more of Oluo’s powerful declaration here.