06:27:33 am on
Thursday 13 Jun 2024

Full Bore Regressives
Kate Harveston

The Canadian Senate, a largely ceremonial body, passed Bill C-16 on 18 October 2016. The Bill intends to protect transgender Canadians from discrimination and hateful treat. Specifically, the Bill directly amends the Canadian Human Rights Act to prohibit discrimination based on “gender identity and gender expression.” It also extends the definition of hate crime to cover these amendments.

Some reacted poorly to the passing of Bill C-12.

Some people and news media have reacted poorly to the news of this bill passing through the Senate. Although it is valid to criticize political moves, it is not only offensive, but also rampantly disingenuous, to the purpose and action implied by the bill. (See comments in The Daily Westerner.  It is not only ignorant of the positive influence this bill will have for the estimated 68,000 transgender people in Ontario alone, but also vindictively attacks the bill with plainly offensive and derogatory language.

The main point of the criticism of Bill C-16, in The Daily Westerner, are the potential conflicts between the protection of transgender rights and the freedom of expression for other citizens of Canada. This is a potentially valid point to bring up and, historically, is a way to combat hate crime legislation across the Western Hemisphere.

This covers an important legal matter that needs to be addressed whenever human rights are amended or adjusted by a sitting government. Where the rights of one person end and those of another begin is the most complicated side of human rights legislation, and affects various prominent issues. Most notably, one of the main conflicts surrounding the debate on abortion rights is comparing the rights of a mother for bodily autonomy against the rights of the baby for life.

The Daily Westerner highlights how Grant Mitchell argues against the bill because transgender is potentially too subjective an issue to “enshrine … in law.” The designation, transgender, relies on personal feelings and beliefs. “I am a man in the body of a woman” is an example of such beliefs.

Again, this is a potentially valid criticism of the bill. Gender theory is not universally accepted. Perhaps, though, the intimate nature of transgender should limit how much legislation addresses it.

Prejudicial language and imagery never works, in Canada.

Regardless of the points the article brings up, the language and tone used to convey those arguments is controversial to say the least. At best, the article is out of touch with the times. At worst, it is offensive to both transgender people living in Canada and anyone suffering from a disability.

Clearly offensive and derogatory language is one of the reasons this article fails at effectively arguing against the content and passage of Bill C-16. Referring to an entire country as going full retard is not only broadly offensive toward all Canadians, but also largely contributing to the widespread ableism that many disabled people still find in Canada to this day.

This only gets worse as the article goes on, calling Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, a globalist c*ck, rather than actually criticizing his decisions or actions. The article even has the audacity to criticize the reaction of people on Twitter toward Senator Don Plett for voting against Bill C-16 after failing to amend it to allow transphobic language and misgendering of transgender people.

By using this language to antagonize, purposefully, any reader, probably in a vain attempt to increase visibility on the internet, the article undermines any valid point it raises against the bill. Even the points raised are unsuccessful, as the writer ignores the true purpose of the bill. A good propagandist would know better.

As the article phrases the bill simply as an attack on the freedom of expression, it ignores the wholly altruistic aims of the bill to protect transgender people from discrimination in their lives. The Daily Westerner attacks Bill C-16 because its editorial policy does not care about transgender rights in Canada or any other country.

Overall, the article is a blatant and offensive attack on the rights of transgender people in Canada and around the world. It appears more concerned with insulting politicians involved with the passing of the bill than actually providing real criticism of the content, and wholly ignores the fact that the bill is a defense of transgender people.

In Canada, LGBTI Rights are Human Rights.

Although this does necessitate an attack on transphobia in Canada, it is not “a weapon with which to bludgeon … free-thinking Canadians.” Legislation like this exists around the world to provide sexual- and racial-based discrimination with sufficient punishment because it has no place in modern society. Why does the Daily Westerner so virulently oppose it, and in such a way as to maximize offense and disgust?  


Kate Harveston is a US political writer from Pennsylvania. She graduated from Mansfield University, a liberal arts school in Pennsylvania, and is interested in anything related to politics, law and culture, especially how these areas intersect. Harveston writes on a variety of topics, but she is especially interested in social change and human rights. When not writing, Kate Harveston curls up with a book or hikes the wilderness in a quest for inspiration. Visit her blog, Only Slightly Biased.

More by Kate Harveston:
Tell a Friend

Click above to tell a friend about this article.