Update One: Oops, forgot the link to Ashley Judd’s post, here
Think Ashley Judd has nothing to do with Bev Oda? Think again.
The Conversation about women’s bodies exists largely outside of us, while it is also directed at (and marketed to) us, and used to define and control us. The Conversation about women happens everywhere, publicly and privately. We are described and detailed, our faces and bodies analyzed and picked apart, our worth ascertained and ascribed based on the reduction of personhood to simple physical objectification.
This also applies to CON MP Bev Oda who is a woman. Yup, she’s a CON MP and I don’t like what she says and does. I didn’t like it when she did this:
Aid groups and opponents charged that the Conservatives have decided to cut off aid to groups whose political views differ from theirs – but the Tories said bureaucrats at the Canadian International Development Agency concluded Kairos no longer matched their priorities.
But new documents that emerged last December show that CIDA’s top officials signed a memorandum recommending new funding for Kairos before someone – the government won’t say who – inserted the word “not,” overruling the recommendation.
“The full body of material gives rise to very troubling questions. Any reasonable person confronted with what appears to have transpired would necessarily be extremely concerned, if not shocked, and might well begin to doubt the integrity of certain decision-making processes,” Mr. Milliken said in his decision on a Liberal MP’s complaint.
The document that cut off Kairos’s funding includes a recommendation for Ms. Oda “that you sign below to indicate that you not approve a contribution of $7,098,758 over four years for the above program.” But the word “not” was inserted in handwriting, and CIDA president Margaret Biggs testified that it wasn’t there when she signed it, just three days before Kairos was told its application had been rejected.
Ms. Oda’s parliamentary secretary, Jim Abbott, apologized for telling the Commons that CIDA analyzed Kairos funding request and found it didn’t meet their priorities. He said he did not know that was untrue when he said it.
But Ms. Oda has yet to explain what happened, and her office declined to comment on Thursday. (here)
And I’m, uh, “unhappy” with this (though it’s hardly what upsets me most about the HarperCON regime):
OTTAWA – It seems only the best will do for International Development Minister Bev Oda, who refused to stay at one five-star hotel in London, England, last year and rebooked at a swanky establishment for more than double the cost.
Oda was originally supposed to stay at the Grange St. Paul’s Hotel, site of the conference on international immunizations she was attending.
Instead, she had staff rebook her into the posh Savoy overlooking the Thames, an old favourite of royalty and currently owned by Prince Alwaleed of Saudi Arabia.
The switcheroo is reminiscent of a controversial trip six years ago, when Oda rejected a minivan for transportation and opted for a limousine instead.
Oda had a luxury car and driver in London shuttling her between conference site, her new hotel and beyond at an average cost of nearly $1,000 a day.
The bill for three nights at the Savoy last June set back taxpayers $1,995, or $665 a night. The government still had to pay for a night at the hotel she rejected, costing an additional $287.
An orange juice Oda expensed from the Savoy cost $16. (here)
But neither Ms Oda’s expense account nor her integrity have anything, at all, to do with this:
Ms Oda can best be described as one of those women colluding with patriarchy. But so are the women deriding her physical appearance, her mouth with a cigarette in it and her choice of “wardrobe”. And the men, of course. Thus:
That women are joining in the ongoing disassembling of my appearance is salient. Patriarchy is not men. Patriarchy is a system in which both women and men participate. It privileges, inter alia, the interests of boys and men over the bodily integrity, autonomy, and dignity of girls and women. It is subtle, insidious, and never more dangerous than when women passionately deny that they themselves are engaging in it. This abnormal obsession with women’s faces and bodies has become so normal that we (I include myself at times—I absolutely fall for it still) have internalized patriarchy almost seamlessly. We are unable at times to identify ourselves as our own denigrating abusers, or as abusing other girls and women.
Fat jokes about Rob Ford are cheap, easy, beside the point and denigrating to people other than Rob Ford. Comments, photographic and otherwise, that suggest that Ms Oda’s looks or choice of clothing are in some way ugly or lacking in femininity or what, “class”? are not only cheap, easy, beside the point and denigrating to people other than Ms Oda, they are also SEXIST? Get it? That’s even if you think Ms Oda and the party and government she represents are pigdogs from hell. Which I do.
Let’s just take one more reminder from Ms Judd:
What is the gloating about? What is the condemnation about? What is the self-righteous alleged “all knowing” stance of the media about? How does this symbolize constraints on girls and women, and encroach on our right to be simply as we are, at any given moment? How can we as individuals in our private lives make adjustments that support us in shedding unconscious actions, internalized beliefs, and fears about our worthiness, that perpetuate such meanness?