Commentary | Letters: Medication, Masi, and the UN

Don’t belittle medication

Re: “McGill Mental Heath cleans up” | News | Nov. 10

I take issue with Dr. Robert Franck’s comments regarding scaling back medication for McGill Mental Health Services patients. Saying that medication is not an answer, while a wonderful soundbite, is a somewhat dismissive statement that implies medication is never the right way to approach your problems. Further, it suggests that those who turn to medication are taking the easy way out, and are simply not trying hard enough to solve their problems in other ways.

This is a gross oversimplification and oversight of the benefits that medication can deliver to some people. Let me point out that in real life, no one considers the medicating step lightly or flippantly. Medication can offer a very important starting push to those who are trying to stand on their own feet but just can’t get up, no matter how hard they try and no matter how much they talk about their problems with a psychologist. For some people medication is a necessity, usually a last hope, and I really don’t think it’s constructive to implement agendas that make those reaching out for help feel uncomfortable or ashamed to ask about the possibility of using medication.

I would have hoped to hear a more understanding and less black-and-white approach to this sensitive and personal issue from our new clinical director.

Nina Frampton

U1 Chemistry

You can write, but you can’t think

Re: “Not all men are meatogynists” | Commentary | Nov. 6

Allow me to take this moment to congratulate Santiago Perez for writing his first letter to The Daily. One can only regret the fact that it did not contain anything more than logical fallacies and typical reactionary sentiments.

Perez sets out to refute Sean Iacurti’s thesis that “the prevalence of women among vegetarians in western societies is due to a commonality that women feel toward the subjugation of cattle and swine,” and that “men practice their primeval rite of gender affirmation through ‘dominating animals’ by eating meat in greater numbers.” But he does this by citing some statistics from rural India that he just knew would come in handy one of these days! By now, I trust Perez sees the ridiculousness of debunking a hypothesis on Western society with an example from the East, so there’s no need for me to make him feel any worse about it.

Bloviations aside, facts remain: there are more male hunters than female. There are more male murderers than female. While I don’t have the statistics in front of me, I would wager Mr. Perez a tender 20-ounce steak that there are also more male animal torturers. I’m male, and there is nothing I love more than a good steak. But I recognize that there is something sadistic inherent in my nature, that I certainly believe manifests itself in “racism, environmental decay, war, and class struture,” an obvious truth that Perez finds detrimental to his beloved feminist cause. I’m sure the feminist movement would rather he not pretend to speak for them, but thank you very much.

Rarely is one supplied with stronger proof that the ability to form a coherent sentence is wholly distinct from the ability to form a coherent thought.

Ricky Kreitner

U0 Humanistic studies

Daily columnist

Canada doesn’t care about

native people

Re: “First Nations self-governance is tricky” | Commentary | Nov. 10

Mookie, you are wrong in so many ways about the Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

First off, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and the U.S. are not the only countries that have colonized indigenous populations! Brazil, China, India, Sweden, Peru, Mexico, all did (and do) as well, and the list goes on. And they signed the Declaration, so it’s not all foreign diplomats who have nothing more than a “theoretical” idea of what’s happening.

Secondly, although they may be a minority now, indigenous peoples were a majority of population at the time of contact. Thirdly, the Declaration does not force Canada to stop abusing the human rights of Native people, all it does is recognize that they have fundamental human rights, like you and I.

Maybe you should read the Declaration, because it’s obvious that you haven’t. Further, the UN is not responsible for the plight of indigenous peoples; governments and citizens (you and me) are those responsible for the ongoing colonization of indigenous peoples worldwide. Lastly, self-government and self-determination are different, and self-determination has not truly been achieved anywhere in North America. The Canadian government won’t even sign a document recognizing their human rights – even when that document is non-binding.

You’re right about one thing, though, a solution to the issues facing Canada’s native peoples must be homegrown. But the “homegrown” solution until now has been abuse, assimilation, and colonization. When the UN comes up with a document that does nothing more than recognize the fundamental human rights of indigenous peoples, Canada – along with its white colonialist friends – decided to vote against it. Why not abstain? Why bring scrutiny down on itself? Because the Canadian government wants to make it clear to everyone (even when it could lie and just sign the damn thing) that it doesn’t give a fuck about native people, so get off the land, its time for some new oil exploration.

Charles Mostoller

U3 Arts

Masi shouldn’t help select the new ombudsperson

It’s good to see that all three McGill papers are taking the issue of the ombudsperson seriously, but now that they’re advertising the selection committee, it’s time to get to the heart of the matter.

I’m sure I’m not alone when I say this, but I think that having Provost Anthony Masi as the head of the selection committee represents a major conflict of interest. When Dr. Norman Cornett was removed from his teaching post over a year ago, it was Masi who encouraged the ombudsman at the time, Norman Miller, that it “was for the good of all students.”

When Miller discovered that Dr. Cornett’s students were almost unanimously opposed to his being let go and that it wasn’t, in fact for the benefit of the students, he was prepared to speak to a Quebec labour tribunal on behalf of Dr. Cornett. Yet it was Masi who prevented Miller from speaking at the tribunal.

My issue with this is that the ombudsperson needs to be independent from both McGill administration/faculty and from the students. They need to be free to act as they see fit.

The ombudsperson is akin to the independent judiciary in a state, but if the judiciary is in the pocket of the rulers, how can justice come about? I’m all for having the selection committee for the ombudsperson, but I believe that having

Anthony Masi heading it up is most certainly not “for the good of the students.”

Aly Jivraj

BA’07

More letters were received for this issue than could be printed. They will appear in the next possible issue. Send your non-offensive letters to letters@mcgilldaily.com.


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