And now the funding cuts.

Women’s groups decry Tory funding cuts – The Globe and Mail.

Eleven women’s groups have had their funding cut in the last two weeks , plus three more who are  silent  for fear of further repercussions, according to this article in the Globe and Mail today. All these cuts were then followed by Senator Ruth’s advice to “shut the fuck up”. The Globe in its editorial supported the notion that there are other ways to support women’s health besides focussing on the reproductive issues.

They just don’t seem to get it. All the other measures don’t matter if a woman is burdened by a pregnancy every year. The body just wears out. Reproductive choice is the starting point, the foundation for women’s health. Not much worry about heart disease if you die in childbirth.

The Globe makes the valid point that there are other conversations worth having. Are we only allowed one at a time? And does the Tory caucus decide which conversations we can have when, and only the ones that don’t offend them?

Now they’re telling us to shut up.

CBC News – Politics – Tory senator to women’s groups: shut up.

Nancy Ruth, appointed Conservative senator, philanthropist, failed politician(several election tries) and high-profile supporter of women’s equality rights tell the international groups assembled for a conference on those rights to”shut the fuck up” about the inclusion of reproductive rights in the Canadian proposal to the G8.

Senator Ruth sits in the Conservative caucus and she is quoted as saying that if more pushing goes on there would be a backlash from the government. Unspecified threats but it sounds that at the least she meant that the inclusion of contraceptive rights would be removed, or the government funding these groups may receive. (Government, from me and you, not just Conservative supporters.)

Those rights were only included because of pressure from women’s groups. She thinks the Canadian people have no time for such altruistic matters as the provision of reproductive health care to women in other countries. Apparently the Canadian people only have time for mortgages and other personal concerns. She also declared that  ” we still have the right to abortions in this country.” What does she mean “still”?  Another threat?’

Senator Ruth has a background that includes education at a prestigious Christian college in Washington State, and a degree in political science from York, as well as theological diplomas, unspecified. She has been a member and supporter of many groups active in the area of women’s rights. It would seem that the atmosphere in the Tory caucus is so schoolyard that the chief bully can convince even a woman with the Senator’s activist credentials that she has to toe the line.

I am surprised that someone with her background would suggest that the way forward for women is to sit quietly and wait for the government ie Mr. Harper to do the right thing. That hasn’t worked out well so far in this and many other issues. Silence never works for women, ever.