Saturday, March 3, 2012
Friday, March 2, 2012
The weather hasn't been overly cooperative on the island but I'm ready to get home and have a great time...and sleep! Lots of sleep!
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms states: "Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms...freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication..." Speech is generally considered a form of expression, so if everyone has the right to speak freely, does that mean my speech should be allowed to hurt other people?
The Silent no More campaign, a pro-life campaign group had women who regretted having an abortion spoke out about their experience, was recently held outside Tim Horton’s on the UNBSJ campus. I had to take a step back from this topic because admittedly, I am pro-life but am not a fan of pro-life or pro-choice’s use of theatrical stunts to get attention. While I commend these women’s bravery for speaking out on such a personal topic, admittedly I petitioned university administration and student council to rethink the LifeLink group and their actions that day. Now I’m left wondering if I don’t support freedom of speech, a core belief I always thought I held strongly to.
Freedom of speech in Canada is limited – hate speech, for example, is illegal. In questioning LifeLink’s right to speak in such a public venue on such an emotional topic, I asked if this was legal – and it is. In my opinion, LifeLink and Silent No More had no intention of inciting hatred towards anyone. It obviously had public interest and was an attempt to benefit the public on a topic they believe to be true. I support LifeLink’s right to freedom of speech in such a public venue.
When trying to understand why I was so upset, if I agree with their rights, I looked to information about post abortive side-effects – something the Silent No More presenters had mentioned.
In 1990, Catherine Barnard wrote ‘The Long-Term Psychological Effects of Abortion’ for The Institute for Pregnancy Loss. It stated: “19% of post-abortion women suffer from diagnosable post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)…20 to 40 percent showed moderate to high levels of stress and avoidance behaviour relative to their abortion experience.”
Other symptoms of post abortive disorders cited by another pro-life site include a study from the Internet Journal of Mental Health were 42% having major depression, 39% coping with an anxiety disorder and 27% having suicidal ideation due to the stress after the abortion.
Admittedly, statistics can be skewed but these are from websites that are pro-life so I see this as a basis for concern. Is outside a Tim Horton’s really the spot to attempt to get a woman (or man) to consider counseling as they experience symptoms of PTSD? Is that the message they took away, or was there a feeling of judgment and shame because of the topic itself? I wonder how many women walked up – in an extremely public venue – and asked for counseling. How many women walked away without even asking for information because it was an upsetting experience?
My concern is not for LifeLink – they have the right to say what they did. It is not for the people who are pro-choice – they have the right to hold a pro-choice rally. My concern lies in the hypothetical woman, who walked in their university that they are paying to go to and experienced the symptoms of PTSD, anxiety, depression because of an emotionally charged topic.
LifeLink has the right to hold a rally wherever they want – it is their right as Canadian citizens and I will defend that right even if I don’t agree that this is the best venue.
Thursday, March 1, 2012
While I don't think their avenue was the best...I really (really) don't...I do believe trying to do something is better than not doing anything at all. They believe they were doing something good...arguable but they weren't out to intentionally hurt anyone. There were people that gave their testimony...do I think it was the proper area? Not a chance - but I commend them on their bravery.
Secondly, to the people that are offended - keep writing your SRC and administration. If you're upset, your voice should be heard. Pro-choice is not the same thing as pro-abortion - it is also not a pro-abortion club. I believe in the right to information and free speech...But that doesn't mean every spot is the right to speak.
Please remember, this blog is NOT the opinions of me in any student government, media, or other capacity. It is only me - Sam - the person, the human. Do NOT assume that everything on here is true, don't assume that I'm automatically right (or wrong)...this is a blog - take it as is.
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
(first paragraph is out as it just says "this is me as a student not in my professional capacity).
On Feb 28th, outside Tim Hortons, Lifelink sponsored the 'Silent no More Campaign' an anti-abortion (pro-life) group to students. Money was spent by the SRC for this event. I am opposed, appalled and discouraged by the group's location and use of microphones to subject their views on other people. I am also angry with the SRC's financial contribution as they state that they do not associate themselves with any one religious group. Lifelink and Silentnomore.com are both religious in nature. I do not believe my SRC fee's should go to something like that and it was a callous decision.
The speakers mentioned triggers that induce emotional and/or physical pain from people who have had an abortion - there was at least one woman who was not ready to deal with this topic and left in tears from her class. There were more people who just wanted to get their coffee without hearing about these traumatic experiences.
I don't agree with pro-life being slammed in my face like this - even as someone who is pro-life. There is freedom of speech but there is also a place for it. This affects women who do not want to recall their personal experience, or feel as though they should regret their abortion and don't. A university is not the venue to make people feel guilty.
Since the use of the PA system made it possible to hear the presentation in class, I would also consider this a violation under the Student Disciplinary Code Appendix A, Section B:
"In accordance with the commitment set out in the University's Mission Statement to provide an environment conducive to the development of the whole person, all members of the University community - staff, faculty, students and administrators - have the right to work and/or study in an environment which affords them respect and dignity, and is free from danger, discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and behavior which is destructive, disruptive, or unlawful."
Students being able to hear the presentation in their classrooms is disruptive. The lack of available study space in the Tim Horton's area and Alumni lounge is also disruptive.
Abortion is a controversial topic and draws at emotions on both sides. I find this disgraceful that LifeLink was so unbelievably insensitive to the topic and held it in such a public venue. I also find that this sort of behavior is what gives people who are personally pro-life a bad name. I should not have to explain that although I am pro-life I refuse to affiliate myself with the groups because of this sort of behavior. It is not acceptable to make people feel guilty in their school. It is unacceptable to have such a controversial and moral issue in such a public venue.
Monday, February 27, 2012
Seriously folks, apparently kids aren't terrified of the prospect of their junk falling off anymore so there is now a website where you can explain where you used said condom (outside? bedroom? kitchen? etc) and why you use them...
Here's a thought: Herpes, HIV, Syphilis, Chlamydia...your penis turning green and falling off.
Okay, the last one was a joke.
I'm all for safe-sex but really? Is this actually going to help encourage people to use condoms? Why not just rate your experience on Twitter? Hmmmm...I give tonight a 4/10. He was lacking.
The funny thing is my friend decided to show it to me and you have to admit, it looks painful (I also learned how to make it with some blue dye and your hands...that was interesting).
My laugh was at such an absurd name...special fried rice is another one...
For future notice: If your vagina turns Smurf and begins to explode, after snapping a pic and sending it to my blog, then go to the doctor...you probably have a yeast infection caused by a blue slushie...
I broke up with my boyfriend,
Because he was moving away,
I promise it wasn't because I thought
He was actually gay (he's not).
We both said that long distance
Would never work, we'd pass
I agreed then recanted...
Then I dumped his ass.
I cried a lot the following day,
Tears, snot bubbles and more,
I pretty much just said "I'm sad"
Right down to my Sammy-core.
So I wrote an editorial
And sent it to him as it'd be read,
By all the people who read the paper...
A thought that still instills dread.
He asked to talk and I agreed,
What else could I do?
I felt like something Luther liked...
under someone's shoe.
He showed up drunk to residence,
I didn't see it going well
But he said the right words...and remembered them,
So now things are back to swell!
So with this crappy poem,
He and I are doing great,
'Cause we may try long distance,
And just keep on having dates!
If you want to win by all means necessary, follow these instructions:
1) Sacrifice your immortal soul to Hades- You understand that being a politician means you're better off without a soul anyways, right? Sell it off and make a deal. It's not like it's worth much anyways - I mean, you ARE running for politics, right?
2) Offer sexual favours- I do suggest you actually use protection and don't shy away from even the dirtiest of dirty - you're mouth is sure to spew more than lies after this year is over.
3) Step away from your social circle - Here's the thing - if you get your boyfriend to put up additional posters, it's dirty...however, if you get a friend of only your boyfriends, it's fair game. Yes, the posters will be torn down (or buttons confiscated) but always go a step or two outside your social circle.
4) Show off your 'ass'ets- We've seen it work before. It works better for women though - penis just isn't that sexy (sorry guys).
5) Get the international vote- Make friends, embrace culture, date a foreign exchange student...do what it takes to suck up to the foreign students.
6) Badmouth- Oh, spread a rumour about how they love their dog just a wee bit more than one should. Cheating on their boyfriend with another electoral? Scandalous. Did they sell their soul to Hades? Badmouth them and make them look terrible!
7) Rig the computers - Oh wait, this was done before but don't do it yourself.
8) Poison- If your competitors are incapacitated, they can't run. (Note: Doing illegal things are still illegal so don't blame me for going to jail)
9) Offer alcohol- Vote for me, get a shot!
10) Blame the newspaper - Because student media is always out to get the SRC...
Welcome to the world of student politics...no holds barred with rules in place. Good luck to the candidates at every school at this time.
Also, if you blame me for your herpes because you tried to screw the entire school for votes...well, it's probably a good thing that you didn't get in because that was just dumb!
(Yes, he is holding a knife)
Sunday, February 26, 2012
This year, albeit it slowly, I am doing more and more for myself. It's not about him, it's not about anyone else but I like being able to do things for others, to help other people and to feel good. I'm able to take pride in myself but more than that, I'm able to say I'm passionate about things again.
I'm still terrified of failing at times but I'm starting to realize that people fail. If I want law school badly enough, I'll get it - even if it means going into the states or someplace else in the world to do it. I'll get there. I'm scared to fail but I'm even more scared that I'll constantly be afraid of failure.
Now, if only I can get past my fear of relationships. Yes, I'm dating a great guy at the moment and my heart is on the other side of the world...I do like him - I love his company...I was miserable when I broke up with him but I really don't know what's up lately...I feel as though my guard is constantly up because I'm going to end up hurt - even though he's admitted I'm a little different...I'm pretty sure that's a good 'different' though.
Problem: I really need to pee a lot.
Solution: Write from the potty...okay, so that doesn't work because the bathroom does not have enough outlets to plug in my computer (Like I own a laptop - I'm rather anti-technology).
So back to work and fingers crossed that my bladder becomes stronger!
I learned that living with regret is no way to live. And that if you say what's on your mind (like considering long-distance) sometimes things work out.
I also learned that my friends have changed my life more than a good grade, more than losing weight and even more than leaving Justin. Now, I can cry because I'm sad - but I can also cry because I'm so happy for them and their opportunities.
the message about my editorial:
I’m so Proud of you Samantha; I know it must have been a little different writing this piece because it was a somewhat more personal to you than the average school article, but what it showed in light of that is your ability to connect with readers. I grantee you that anyone who reads this will be able to relate to it in a myriad of different ways. From beginning to end it was succinct, clear not too much fluff and very much to the point, with humour in all the right places. (I know it seems like I’m critiquing your work, but its building up to a point, promise!)
The article was very much to the point and yet broad enough to be relatable to your target audience. The soul of delivery is in the assertion of the writer’s personality within the topic subject, which you have done seamlessly. All this gives me a glimpse into your future and whether it’s writing closing arguments within a court room, or editing the jacket to your latest book. This is evidence that you have IT, the factor that is required to become a great Knight of the pen, a Composer of Words, the ability to convey both a perceived point and empathy to your chosen audience.
A rare gift given to few utilized by even fewer and no matter what obstacles life presents you with, let this always be a reminder to you, that you have IT all. The necessary skill and the ability to inform influence and entertain all at the same time (which leads me to believe that you you’d make a great Orator as well [a Politian maybe??! ;] )
When the time comes and you are faced with the need to convey to your audience your position or stand your ground just speak from the same place this article came from and I guarantee you will be an UNSTOPPABLE Force. Much like fish don’t try to swim they just do and birds don’t try to fly, your natural ability refined over the years will come to light.
I just hope that whenever that maybe, in whatever setting, I will get the opportunity to witness the spectacle that is S.Tinker ( or if I may Tinkertude!!! :D )