This must not continue!!!
From the Ottawa Citizen:
‘A doctor in Britain faces up to 14 years in prison under that country’s Female Mutilation Act for allegedly performing an operation that is condoned in Canada by the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists as part of a “culturally competent” approach to medical care.’
Dr. Margaret Burnett, an ob/gyn in Winnipeg, says that when women who have been the victim of infibulation have babies, their labia often have to be cut open for the baby to come out. After, she says, requests for reinfibulation are relatively common. That’s because it is considered normal for women who come from countries where FGM is widely done, mostly Africa and the Middle East.
“It’s my impression that we do get many requests for this and almost all of them come from the husbands,” Burnett says. “They want their wives closed again.”
In Canada, the ob/gyn society’s new guidelines, issued last November, suggest doctors explain the dangers of reinfibulation to patients, and that requests for the procedure “should be declined.”
That’s a softening from a policy statement issued 20 months earlier, which stipulated that requests for the operation “must be declined.”
Burnett, chair of the society’s social sexual committee that helped draw up the guidelines, says the approach was softened to be more culturally accepting. The change was made after speaking to immigrant women who have been through FGM.
Burnett says she herself has performed reinfibulations…
Dr. Beverley Chalmers, adjunct professor in the department of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Ottawa, believes that caregivers in Canada should not be permitted to perform any form of genital mutilation that is not clinically necessary.
“To hide behind ‘cultural accommodation’ to permit the practice of FGM, or any other practice that is unquestionably harmful, is a craven distortion of political correctness … (and) is simply moral cowardice,” she says.
Kowser Omer-Hashi, a Somali-Canadian who wrote a book with Chalmers about Somali women’s birthing experiences in Canada, is shocked that Canadian society appears to tacitly allow reinfibulations. She remembers being mutilated — her clitoris cut and infibulated — as a child.
“I will never forget when I first had to pee,” she says. “The pain is indescribable.” ‘
This is outrageous!
We must not permit this horrible torture to be accepted – and performed by doctors – in Canada and other countries which would like to consider themselves ‘civilized’!!!
I am so angry, my hands are shaking…
Please, let your federal and provincial legislators know that you want genital mutilation to become illegal, with hefty jail sentences for both those who perform it and the parents who commission it.
Also, please let the Canadian Society of Gynecologists and Obstetricians – the organization which has now made female genital mutilation legal for doctors to perform in Canada – please, let them know exactly what you think about this change in their policy:
The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada
780 Echo Drive, Ottawa, ON K1S 5R7
Mon-Fri: 8:30am-4:30pm (EST)
While you are at it, why not let Dr. Burnett, the MD who pushed for this change and has admitted to having performed reinfibulations (that is sewing the vagina shut, to be ripped open during intercourse), why not let the doctor herself know your opinions about the practice in general and her culpability in perpetuating sexual torture in particular:
Burnett Margaret Dr Obstetrician & Gynecologist
Who is Dr. Burnett?
A simple google search (which is how I got the above information) also reveals this:
Margaret Ann Burnett, MD, BA (HONS), MA, CCFP, FRCSCProfessor, Faculty of Medicine, University of Manitoba
Associate Head, Academic, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, University of Manitoba
Director of Post Graduate Medical Education, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, University of Manitoba
Section Head, Gynecology, Women’s Hospital, Winnipeg
As most of you know, Mark Steyn is a defendant in a lawsuit by the possibly Canuckaphobic (judging by the disproportional number of Canadians among the victims of his lawfare) and reflexively litigious Dr. Michael Mann.
If you’ve been following this (among all the other ‘defamation’ cases), you might be interested in this filing opposing the dismissal of counterclaims.
And, to get you into the mood, here is ‘Hide the Decline – Part 2′ for your listening (and viewing) pleasure:
EDIT: Dr. Baglow has been kind enough to inform me that I made a mistake in my reporting of when he joined the NDP. Indeed, he was inspired by Bob Rae’s victory in Ontario and joined then – but later, he was so disgusted by the political policies that he tore his membership card up. That is an important distinction, as it completely negates any accusation that Bob Rae’s wife’s religion/nationality had been any kind of a factor in his decision to leave the NDP under Bob Rae’s leadership.
First and foremost, please, see the write up of ‘John Baglow vs Connie Fournier, Mark Fournier and Roger Smith: the ‘FULL TRIAL’, day 1, part 1′ for the details and the warnings. Short form: using a borrowed tablet to blog till my laptop is fixed, can’t even highlight, so cant’ put in links and such, but, will come back and do so once I’m ‘back in business’. So, this will be brief and, temporarily, not linked to supporting materials. My apologies. Also, these are my observations and opinions and as I am not legally trained and not a human behaviour professional, all of this content ought to be treated as very highly imperfect opinions and nothing more.
Also, if anyone can add to this account and/or correct any of the many errors I am bound to make, please do so!
Day two of this ‘FULL TRIAL’ was held at the Elgin St. Court House in Ottawa on Tuesday, 25th of March.
It started punctually, but, going on the experience from Monday, I thought I had a bit of leeway and did not enter the courtroom until a few minutes past. By this point, Dr. Baglow was testifying about having received his doctorate, chuckling about how he spent more years in school than he expected – but I did not catch what that doctorate was about.
He went on about his CV, his jobs, his political affiliations over the years, and so and so. It was very interesting – and quite a lot of content, as he was asked to quote something from page 6 of it.
For example, Dr. Baglow testified that he considered himself ‘more or less’ a ‘man of the left’ and was a member of the New Democratic Party (NDP) while a student at McGill. Then, he was fascinated by the Communist party (though he never actually joined), but the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia cooled him somewhat (my words, not his) and he returned to the NDP. He had stayed with the NDP for much of the time since: except, of course, for when Bob Rae had run it: he had torn up his membership card then), but returned thereafter.
Aside: this is very, very interesting….one of the things Connie Fournier said in her opening statement was that a B’nai B’rith member had (rightly or wrongly) accused Dr. Baglow of anti-Semitism…and Bob Rae has, throughout his career, claimed that he had been persecuted by ‘some segments of the population’ because he is married to a Jew. I’m sure it is a coincidence, as Dr. Baglow asserts contempt for anti-Semites – and Bob Rae’s politics are enough to turn anyone off, regardless of whom he may or may not be married to. And while I can see how this co-incidence could, potentially, be abused, as my son is fond of saying, co-incidence is not evidence of causality. And, in all my (admittedly limited) interactions with Dr. Baglow, I have never detected any anti-Semitism (as almost all Europeans, I am part Jewish myself, so I’m touchy on this).
Another, completely irrelevant, aside: seeing the tanks roll down our street in ’68 when, as a toddler, I climbed up a sofa and a dresser to look out the window, is one of my earliest childhood memories…
Dr. Baglow was as well groomed as ever, wearing a dark suit/shirt, testified he became a civil servant and then joined PSAC (a public service union) and, eventually, became an executive VP thereof. In this capacity, he had lobbied for all them policies that I consider to be evil – like, for example, the universal child care thingy.
Indulgently personal aside: I grew up in the Socialist Worker’s Paradise and, as such, was institutionalized (during the daytime) from toddlerhood till gradeschool, in a ‘universal daycare/kindergarten’ system. I am a survivor of this evil and I fully understand its workings and impact, from the inside. As such, I swore that I’d rather sell myself on the streets than permit such an evil to ever touch MY children!!!
So, when Dr. Baglow willingly testified that he had fought FOR such evil institutionalization of innocent children (and seemed proud of promoting what, in my never-humble-opinion, is ‘government enforced child abuse’), I kind of lost my composure for a bit and had a hard time hearing the next bit of testimony. My apologies.
This is about where the ‘interesting’ bits ended – at least, in my never-humble-opinion. All the next whole bunch of testimony was about what is the ‘blogosphere’, how to spell the word (neither the judge, nor the person transcribing the trial seemed to know the spelling), and so on and so on and so on. The only ‘colourful’ bits I gleaned fro this are that Dr. Baglow’s lawyer is a frequent commenter on ‘Dawg’s Blag’, even though he and Dr. Baglow have wildly (and chucklingly so) divergent political opinions.
Perhaos one thing I ought to note is that after Dr. Dawg’s lawyer explained one of the finer points of the blogosphere culture, he mentioned Omar Khadr. And, since he ‘got into the mode’ of explaining ‘everything’ to the judge, he tried to explain to her who Omar Khadr was….Amused, the judge replied that though she might not be up on the latest internet jargon, she’s not an idiot….my wording, not hers, intended to capture her body language, not words. (Note: later, the judge demonstrated she knew exactly what a ‘hyperlink’ is, and thus may be tiny bit less of a luddite than she postures as…. To me, this is a very positive thing, indicating she ‘gets’ what she knows and does not know, both, and is not afraid to ask questions!
Actually, I had been quite impressed by Madam Justice Polowin, J.: she takes copious notes (Dr. Baglow even slowed his lawyer down a bit by gestures to ensure she gets all the note-taking in). My own experience is that if I hear something, I may forget it on perhaps even not ‘process’ it correctly…but if I write it down as part of ‘taking notes’ – I can usually recall it very accurately, without needing to refer to the notes themselves. Having observed Madam Justice Polowin, J., I am wondering if her note-taking serves a similar function because if she writes it down, she seems able to quote it without difficulty…
As best as I can determine, the rest of the morning’s testimony had been taken up by defining terms like ‘thread’ and technical details about who has editorial control over posts and comments and site meters and such…
Of interest to other bloggers may be some little tidbits, otherwise unimportant….
‘The term ‘trolling’ got discussed a lot and had been, in my never-humble-opinion, woefully poorly defined and misrepresented to the court – though, it seemed to me, this was not done as a deception but as a deep and true misunderstanding of the very philosophical basis of the concept of ‘trolling’ and the positive, beneficial and, frankly, necessary (for freedom of thought), function of an ‘internet troll’.
At a point just shy of 11:25 am, Madam Justice said she had received a request from her court staff that they would like a little recess - and we were adjourned for 15 mniutes.
Oh, how things can change!!!
As we all filed back into courtroom 21, Dr. Baglow’s lawyer became concerned over the redness in the face of Dr. Baglow, who suffers from high blood pressure. While Dr. Baglow protested and insisted some of this redness was due to a sunburn he had just suffered on his holidays to Cuba*, his lawyer was not taking any chances. All the lawyers and self-reps met in the judges’ chambers while the court clerk took Dr. Baglow’s pulse, declared it way too high, and called the judge with her finding.
On this note, the hearing was adjourned on medical grounds for a bunch of hours….and, no knowing for how long it would go on for following such a long break, and considering the start of a migraine in me…well, to make a short story even shorter, I went home to try to recover. My understanding is that tomorrow morning will be taken up with more background testimony and we’ll not get to any of the juicy/substantial stuff until tomorrow pm…
It’s been dragging on for a while, with no resolution in sight.
A few people who do not usually follow this debate have recently become aware of it and have asked me what it is all about. So, for them – and any others of you who are interested – here is a very brief recap of the story so far,
Here is the post that started it all: Football and Hockey
Fukushima is generating the same kind of hysteria as a few bits of plant food in the air – just among different crowds: