Monday, June 17, 2013

Journalist & Heroine

It is not often one sees those two words written together. But all glasses were raised today as Barbara Kay came into the Tavern and shared a few minutes with us. We get all sorts in here including heroes and notables. Barbara is both.

We welcomed her from the northern climes for especial celebrations of a new book in the Canadian Room. Many of her articles are framed on the walls.

She was introduced by Rex Murphy: a Canadian author and commentator on political and social matters is right on money when he writes in his Foreword:

“Ms Kay is the least Oprahfied person one could hope to find, and sees no virtues in the self-indulgent, obsessively self-regarding modes of talk and thought that dominate this therapeutic age. Pushing the self from center, refusing to turn a column into a diary of the ego, is what distinguishes her writing from the me-saturated scribbles of other pundits. For this sentence alone, we should celebrate her: ‘I have no inclination to share.’”

Babs herself said:

“In every subject that has aroused my writerly passion, there is at its core a Theory, an ideology or a racial imperative that in turn promotes a Big Lie sufficiently baleful to: whithold the constitutional rights of an entire class of citizens; ruin hundred of thousands of fathers’ and children’s lives; blight neighbourhoods; quash freedom of intellectual inquiry and freedom of speech; deny tax-funded services to victims of violence on the basis of sex; and privilege the stat over parents in the guardianship of children.”

With no apology, she continued:

Perhaps it is because my life has been so privileged that not a single one of the harms or injustices I write about has ever befallen me that I feel especially bound to pay my luck forward as aggressively as I can.”

A glimpse of some of her essays: “Feminism’s Impact on Society”, “The Pro-life Movement’s Communication Problem”, “Anti-Male Bias in the Media”, “Pseudo-Learning in Our Universities”, “But if  I am only for myself, what am I?”, “Family Court’s War Against Fathers”, “Anti-Israel Bias on Global Campuses”.

Her message to the pro-life movement is to look for what unites instead of pressing hard on what might separate it further from the pro choice camp. She doesn’t unequivocally share the pro-life position on abortion but she acknowledges the importance of fighting the good fight and therefore would like to see a better communication strategy.

Canada will probably never see legislation outlawing abortion, but, as many Canadians hope, Ms Kay wishes to see juridical restrictions. Canada has no law on abortion. She seeks ways of building bridges between all those people who want to preserve as many lives as possible and to limit harms.

Her recommendation is to

“redirect your efforts toward a goal that is possible: going positive. You remember the fable of the Sun and the Wind and their bet about who could make the man take off his coat. My advice would be to aim at being the Sun rather than, as you are perceived now, as the Wind."

Go get her book - Acknowledgements – a Cultural Memoir and Other Essays -
Buy the Book and the Tavern will add a glass of fine wine of distinction.

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