Complaint nearly ruins Ontario man’s Halloween display
Some people treasure Halloween and the festive aesthetic more than others. While some simply carve a pumpkin, others go all out, creating elaborate, moving displays decked out with ghouls and skeletons in intricately-designed graveyards.
Mitch Garber of Milton, Ontario is one such individual. However, his Halloween season was nearly ruined after a bylaw officer issued a warning to take some of his display down.
Six months ago I reported a story about an Ontario couple, Pamela and Jason Buffone, whose daughter, “N,” suffered so much distress in her Grade One classes on gender fluidity that her parents eventually enrolled her in another school. A bright and impressionable child, N informed her parents that her teacher had told the class that “Girls are not real and boys are not real.” The teacher meant, of course, that biology is not an indicator of a child’s gender identity, a concept N was too cognitively immature to grasp at age six, and so found very frightening.
The Buffones were perturbed by the uniform commitment to the teaching of controversial gender theories to young children that they found when they took their objections, first to the school principal and then up the chain to the Superintendent of schools for their district. While sympathy was expressed for N’s confusion and anxiety, which persisted until her parents removed her from the school, approval for the program of instruction in gender fluidity remained firm in every rank.
Most parents would have let the matter drop once their own child’s troubles were over. But the Buffones looked at their daughter’s experiences through the larger lens of a changing culture and took their concern to the next level. Following Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservative Party victory in June 2018, they filed a complaint with the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT). That was dismissed, although an OCT representative conceded that the curriculum is based on ideology.
Then they filed an application before the Human rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO) against the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board on behalf of their daughter, citing “discrimination on the basis of gender and gender identity in contravention of the Human Rights Code.”
That complaint is now in progress. From the materials I have seen, the School Board is taking the line that the gender-identity law only offers protection to those who are historically disadvantaged. Basically, they’re saying it’s too bad if N was distressed by the lesson plans, but the school’s greater obligation to ensure that dysphoric kids feel included.
From the Buffones’ point of view, inclusion for gender-dysphoric children seemed to require the deliberate erosion of N’s comfort and security in her normative gender identity as a girl—and nothing but a girl. This complaint will uncover whether the HRTO believes that all children’s gender identity rights are protect under Bill 33 (“Toby’s Act”), as its wording would imply, or whether some identities are to be considered more equal than others.
Sometimes a life experience galvanizes people into unexpected activism. It’s a bonus if that person is intelligent, highly organized and familiar with effective methods of communication. This has been the case for Pamela Buffone. Out of frustration at the stonewalling she and her husband received, she decided to take the only kind of action a concerned citizen with no official power can.
Buffone first educated herself on the subject of gender identity: the theories behind it, the proliferating affirmation movement, and the effects of puberty blockers on children. She reached out to other concerned parents and dissidents in the professions most directly involved in the treatment of gender dysphoria. She started to write blog posts based on her experience. With allies, Buffone founded an excellent site, for which she is the publisher, the Canadian Gender Report (CGR).
In the CGR’s “About Us” section, it says, “We are a group of parents and professionals concerned about the medicalization of identity and the lack of open discussion on issues that are affecting Canadian families and children.”
The CGR takes on some of the more pressing issues surrounding the explosion of gender-identity “contagion” all over the western world. It offers reliable science-based information on sex and gender and asks important questions, such as why gay and autistic kids are so radically over-represented in the rush to transition. It offers news on what is happening in this arena, here and abroad, such as a national inquiry into the safety and ethics of transgender medicine presently under way in Australia, conducted by the Royal Australasian College of Physicians. It also provides a window into the under-studied area of detransitioning, a phenomenon that activists work hard to suppress knowledge of (usually successfully).
Just to give you an idea of why the CGR is so valuable: In a Dec 3 post, the Report assesses the recently announced Trans Youth Can! observational study of youth referred for blockers or hormones at ten clinics in Canada, funded with a grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health research. It will collect data over a two-year period on about 300 Canadian youth under 16 years of age.
On the surface, it seems very bona fide. But the Report finds issues of concern. You can read their critique here. What leaped out at me was the fact that the research team is closely affiliated with Trans Pulse Canada, an organization that requires its board of directors to be majority trans. The CGR notes that Dr. Greta Bauer “is the research director of both the Trans Pulse survey of the trans community in Canada which has been credited with changing legislation and policy in Canada and this Trans Youth Can! study of youth referred for puberty blockers and hormone treatment.” Knowing this, I am skeptical that the study will produce an objective portrayal of the situation.
Indeed, objectivity on the skyrocketing demand for professional services for presumed gender dysphoria is hard to come by at all. The average parent who wants to serve their child’s gender interests, but also wants the most conservative possible process before arriving at affirmation, find themselves stymied when it seems that at every turn—whether it is teachers, social workers, psychologists or medical practitioners—everyone they consult is encouraging pro-active affirmation as a best practice, and any hesitancy to affirm a potential risk factor for the child’s mental health.
That is precisely why the CGR is so valuable as a resource for them. Readers often tell me they want to push back against the ideological excesses of the trans movement, but feel helpless to make a difference. Educating themselves through CGR posts and links and promoting CGR through their networks is an excellent beginning. For parents of young children being exposed to what parents consider age-inappropriate material, I particularly recommend CGR’s “Resources” section.
Here you will find links to other organizations working to bring responsibility and scientific integrity to the trans discussion; a Youtube channel offering interviews and insights on detransitioning; a support group and blog for parents of children with Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria (ROGD); a U.K. group fighting for the protection of women’s rights in sports; and a link to gender-critical activist Meghan Murphy’s website, Feminist Current.
Also in this section, one finds access to the perspectives of seasoned, non-ideological medical professionals and therapists in this field. Their prudence, rationality and wisdom will act as a welcome balm to the anguished souls of parents caught up in this tangled web, who feel surrounded by trans activist bullies in their search for knowledge and disinterested advice.
I recommend this site to them, and to all Canadians seeking objective information and enlightenment on a culturally transformative, hypothesis-based experiment, in which our children and grandchildren are an unwitting and involuntary test group.
Hamilton police received reports around 3:30 a.m. that of an injured child below the age of two years old at a home close to Bishop Ryan Secondary School in the area of Rymal Road East and Dakota Boulevard.
Police say a 16-year-old boy at the property had barricaded himself inside the home with the baby. The boy suffered “traumatic injuries,” police later mentioning in a tweet that they had him “safely secured.”
The Hamilton paramedics brought the child to the hospital with “non-life threatening injuries.” The police said the child was being examined at the hospital.
The police, hoping for a peaceful outcome, reportedly negotiated with the boy inside. The negotiation went on for hours and police confirmed in a tweet, just after 11:30 a.m., that the 16-year-old male was secured.
The police also confirmed that the teen and the infant are “known to each other” and did not disclose what injuries were sustained by the child.
Const. Jerome Stewart said, “We are very happy we reached a successful outcome,” he went on to tell reporters, “We need some time to continue onwards with this investigation.”
According to police, Bishop Ryan Secondary school is open and there is no threat to public safety.
Ontario public high schools across the province are closed today as teachers go on strike, despite on-going negotiations with Education Minister, Stephen Lecce, and Premier Doug Ford.
Tens of thousands of students and parents have had to find other arrangements due to the closing of before school and after school programs.
The Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation (OSSTF) decided to go on strike at midnight on Tuesday due to failed negotiations.
The OSSTF has faced criticism for taking unprecedented strike action, despite Ford and Lecce offering numerous concessions to the teacher’s union.
The union has often had a difficult relationship with previous governments, however, this is the first time since 1997 that its members have gone on strike.
The closures only affect public high schools, but Catholic high schools remain open.
Lecce publicly criticized the union, saying that the strikes were “unacceptable” for families across the province. Speaking to CBC radio, Lecce said that “Our students deserve to be in class today.”
The OSSTF has also been criticized for asking for too much. According to the Toronto Sun, average salary for a teacher is $92,000, which is a significantly higher salary than the average Ontarian who makes $55,000.
Consent culture is touted as the antidote for rape culture. Only it’s not really the opposite or a salve, but a perpetuation of the infantilization of women. Articles abound on how rape culture is perpetuated, by parents to children, in entertainment, and by women’s fear of men. Consent culture posits that the asking of women for their permission prior to the commencement of sexual or romantic contact could remedy this. The preponderance of rhetoric around consent does not liberate women, or even give them the autonomy it seeks to, but turns romance into bureaucracy.
Consent culture seeks to redefine how we think about relationships, sex, and our own impulses. There’ve been hot takes about how it’s wrong to make little kids hug their grandparents and missives about how a yes can be retracted in medias res. On some college campuses, there’ve been directives on asking for consent during every step of a sexual encounter, while still having the conceit that if the sex is later regretted, it can be reclassed as rape, despite consent. Now we’re treated to a new kind of ask for consent, consent for sexting.
“Ask consent for all sexual encounters, yes, even sexting. I just came up with this script that you’re all welcome to borrow!”
The message is that this is how intimacy should be initiated, cordially, without nuance. Rather, a straight appeal to the logical mind is what’s required. If this is the kind of message you feel you must send to find out if a person wants to sext with you, perhaps that’s not the right person to sext with. Are we so closed with our feelings that we can’t express them except in the form of yes or no answers to direct questions? This seems like the type of question one should only ask if they’re sure of an affirmative response.
The reaction to the consent for sext script was swift and fierce. But as we try more and more to control what we say, how we say it, and the thoughts from which our expression derives, this is the direction in which we’re headed. Mediated communication, even in our most intimate moments, a script for how to talk to those we feel passionately about simply to ensure that no one is offended, are the ways we are being directed to initiate and stay in romantic relationships.
Does asking for consent in this way work? Does it achieve the goal of getting someone to read your illicit thoughts? The response to this request to sext could go one of two ways: yes, or no. If yes, the initiating sexter may imagine that this is a green light to off-screen romance, but what if the mere act of asking has an impact on the answer? Perhaps the respondent, in saying okay, is actually feeling coerced by the existence of the question into accepting the terms of this new form of contact. This script is intended for both the asker and the asked, after all.
If that’s the case, then gaining consent isn’t even a good enough measure of her willingness to sext with you. As this poster points out:
In this context, consent culture is an extension of rape culture. It’s not something that can stop women from getting into uncomfortable situations, but the first bit of pressure that leads them down the road to coercion, where every yes is more easily followed up by an additional yes. How do you tell a guy whose sexts you’ve accepted that you don’t want sex, is the question this post asks.
Both the initial script of how to ask someone to sext with you and the note about how the expression of consent is not evidence of consent assume that a woman does not know her own mind. Either she needs to be asked directly if she is interested, presumably because she has not given any indication of being intrigued by her potential suitor, or even when she affirms her intention, she is not telling the truth.
There’s this idea that we know what healthy relationships look like, and that we can engineer them, from the outset, to follow a prescribed course to attain that result. This new relationship model is in direct reaction to the old patriarchal one, where men led the family and women submitted to their husbands. That model still works for many families– are those couples doing their relationship wrong, even if those within the family are thriving?
Romance isn’t really an appeal to logic and reason. What works for one couple may not work for another. Individuals don’t come to relationships from a position of knowing what they want, how to get it, or even fully how they want to be treated. We’re all basically damaged, and the implementation of checklists into relationships makes things worse, not better. There is no script for how to communicate, despite the tweets or BuzzFeed quizzes. There is only, as always, open communication, respect, kindness, love, and honesty. Nothing else is even remotely relevant. Speak with an open and loving heart. Don’t let romance be carried off by paperwork and rules of wokeness.