Saturday, October 18, 2008

Hate speech

I know this is from wikipedia, but it is a start,
Saskatchewan had the first legislation in North America (1947) to prohibit victimisation on account of race, religion, colour, sex, nationality, ancestry, and place of origin. Saskatchewan's legislation is more restrictive than the prevailing model of legislation in Canada. Saskatchewan's Human Rights Code says "No person shall publish or display ... any representation ... that ... affronts the dignity of any person or class of persons ...."[15]The prevailing model of legislation prohibits communication which victimises anyone, or which is likely to expose any individual or class of individuals to hatred or contempt. (15 The Saskatchewan Human Rights Code, s. 14)
In my view, ranking a woman under her husband because she is a woman is an affront to her dignity. It exposes her to contempt. So there!

I don't believe that not ordaining women is likely to be considered "hate speech." Clearly there are many religions and denominations which exclude women from leadership. This is traditional and will not change. Consider the Catholic church.

However, I do believe that teaching that women are to be under the authority of men is hate speech. So, excluding women from the sacerdotal representation will always exist. But restricting women from having full decision-making power in their domestic and personal life is criminal. Since the arena of hate speech is a never ending tit-for-tat, I will try one more approach tonight.

It is perhaps more useful to look at the teaching of the subordination of women as an abrogation of the principle of mutual consent. If sexual relations are by mutual consent, surely other decisions ought to be by mutual consent as well. It should be taught as an unalienable right of the individual, that they not engage in relations lacking an understanding of mutual consent.

If mutual consent cannot be attained on an ongoing basis then the marriage must be dissolved. If mutual consent is lacking then one of two things happen. Either companionship is withdrawn, and one partner is abandoned or neglected by the other; or, the will of one partner is forced and the one partner compels the other, through belittlement, the use of violence or citing the supposed "word of God."

Either abandonment, or control through requests for "obedience" or "submission" should be explained as an abrogation of mutual consent and therefore, grounds for divorce. If we can't talk about an egalitarian marriage without stirring up strife between Christian groups, can we suggest a mutual consent marriage? What are the pitfalls of this language.

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