Thursday, December 06, 2007


Suffice to say, the Senators routing fans' charitable donations toward an anti-abortion group has stirred up the the feminist blogetariat: Birth Pangs, Feministing, and Shameless Mag are all over it, and that was just what turned up in about 15 minutes of aimlessly wandering through a few sites.*

The group in question has also done some backtracking: It's excised some of the more contentious links on its website which had Sens executive Dave Ready's heart in his throat when he asked about it over the phone by Heather Mallick of

We'll see what happens, but it might be harder for the Sens and the media outlets they enjoy a symbiotic relationship with to pretend this away than first believed.

The fundraising initiative is ongoing through the Sens' Dec. 22 home game vs. Chicago, so there is time for this to become more of a story. The irony, of course, is that's asking an awful a lot of a certain portion of the Ottawa media, which has often been accused of engaging in a traditionally female activity: Cheerleading.

As for the big gap in Mallick's column pointed out in the comments on Tuesday, Unrepentant Old Hippie parries it very well:

"It turns out that while FPPC (First Place Pregnancy Centre) isn't registered under that name, it is a registered charity under its real (but for some reason, disguised) name, 'Crisis Pregnancy Centre of Ottawa.' Would it be rude to wonder why they feel compelled to disguise their real name? Well, that's another post for another day.

"So the Sens Foundation can relax: they're not doing anything that contravenes tax law. They're just supporting a group whose sole purpose is to coerce women into becoming unwilling Fetal Support Systems. No problem, no problem at all... well, unless you're stuck on that old 'women's right to self-determination' thing."

* Isn't that just like a man, to not ask for directions? In the interest of equal time in the battle of the sexes, check out The Onion's "Man Finally Put In Charge Of Struggling Feminist Movement."


Pete Toms said...

I see nothing about this in The Citizen today - at least not in the sports or city pages.

Odd isn't it? Everything this organization and their players do, on and off the ice, is scrutinized and reported on to ridiculous lengths. In both papers.

I assume The Team isn't mentioning it either. In fairness, their audience wouldn't care and more importantly they are in the business of selling / broadcasting Senators hockey and can't slag it.

Will one of the Citizen's women writers take them on? Riley? Page? Payne? What about Sherring in The Sun?

Gimme odds on each.

sager said...

I would be getting myself in a whole mess of trouble, P., if I answered that question...

sager said...

My non-answer answer is that it's not so much about the women writers on staff as it is about editors in charge. As well, neither paper in Ottawa has a woman covering sports full-time.

In T.O., the Star would have veteran writers such as Mary Ormsby or Rosie DiManno who have taken stuff like this on in the past, plus a number of writers city- and business-side (such as Jennifer Wells) who have sunk their teeth into similar stories in the past.

Another problem is that the 45-year-old white men who run newspapers don't want avowed feminists on their staff; among their younger female staff they'd rather have someone who is brassy and one of the boys, but acts like political issues are secondary to whatever's going on with Paris Hilton or whatever... it's a subtle subjugation.

Pete Toms said...

Fair enough, you understand the newspaper business much better than me. It is likely more about editors. I know there aren't any female sports reporters at our daily papers but I see this as more a news story than a sports story. When Ray Emery is accused of road rage it makes the city section in the Citizen i.e. ( Hell, was it front page one day? )

I don't think this is sexist, but I can be as wrong as the next guy, but I think abortion / choice is a bigger issue with women than men and for that reason I think the female columnists at our local dailys might be more apt to write about it - which isn't to say that a male columnist wouldn't or won't.

sager said...

I remember this came up as a subject in school once... the teacher shut up one of the guys pretty quick by saying, "If you're against abortion, don't have one."

Dennis Prouse said...

Here's some grist for the mill from your resident grumpy right winger:

For many years now, the United Way has supported Planned Parenthood. They don't exactly go around trumpeting the fact either -- you have to do some digging to discover this fact, for obvious reasons.

At worst, the agency funded by the Senators' wives is on par with Planned Parenthood - they are just tackling the same problem from very different angles and ideologies. I still give to the United Way, even though I am not 100% on board with every last agency they fund. There are Christian groups in the States who call for a boycott of the United Way, a stance I do not support. In fact, I put them in the same category as Heather Mallick -- extremists advancing a very narrow agenda.

Here's my question -- why is it that the United Way gets a free pass for funding an aggressively pro-choice organization, yet the Senators' wives get eviscerated for funding a pro-life one? Answer -- because Heather Mallick, a comrade in arms of Maude Barlow, Mel Hurtig, and other charter members of the Canadian far left, decided to use her pulpit to take a run at them. She admits it right up front -- the Sens' wives just aren't part of the sisterhood, so she had a built in hate on for them already. Indeed, she made sure she dug her talons in regarding the pink jerseys, their name, and even their choice of husbands before she really got busy. (Personal attacks are a Mallick stock in trade -- she went after John Baird for his weight in an earlier column that was allegedly about the environment.)

There was a time when the left stood strongly for free speech. Now, in an ironic twist, they are generally the most aggressive advocates you can find against it. Only those who advocate what they deem to be acceptable viewpoints are allowed to speak out -- others are shouted and bullied into silence. Trust me, as a conservative minded student who attended a Canadian university, I know all about it.

I am going to the game on Dec. 15. Thanks to Heather Mallick's mean-spirited attack I will now go out of my way now to support the Sens' wives' charity.

sager said...

Fair enough, Dennis, that is a good compromise. The other beneficiaries of this effort are Kids Help Phone and Harmony House, a women's shelter, and they will surely appreciate your help.

First Place is only getting one-third.

Two things, though:

1. Crisis pregnancy centres, as best can be reliably established, are a far cry from Planned Parenthood.

From what I've read (and I try to read up, even if I don't like to every last thing since it could distract readers), these CPCs don't provide medical care. Planned Parenthood does, and that includes vasectomies and screenings for testicular cancer for men.

Many women also report being burned and emotionally blackmailed by these CPCs when they are in a vulnerable state. I really can't understand that 100 per cent as a man, so I choose to treat that as a very bad thing, and not very humanitarian.

2. Everyone in university talks about free speech but only wants to hear acceptable viewpoints. Those disposed to be of the Right or the Left are each surpassed by the Middle in that regard. C'est la vie.

Also, if the Sens' spouses are getting eviscerated, it sure isn't coming from any major media outlet in Hockey Country.

That was the original point. It wasn't to get into a debate over reproductive rights (although that was probably unavoidable) and certainly not to have a referendum on Ms. Mallick.

Hell, I should be the last one sticking up for anyone who's had a regular gig for the Globe and CBC. Those are places that look at me like I'm shit on their designer shoes!

Bottom line: You make a great point about doing your homework before you donate to something, and being able to make compromises when they don't fully jibe with your beliefs.