September 27, 2015

by Natalie

  • Up for Debate took place this week, with four party leaders taking part in pre-recorded interviews on “women’s issues” followed by a panel discussion with a group of advocates. If you missed it, you can read the transcripts of the interviews here, and watch the videos here. Stephen Harper abstained, and has made clear that ‘women’s issues’ are not a priority for him.
  • Kimberlé Crenshaw, who coined the term, on why intersectionality can’t wait: “We simply do not have the luxury of building social movements that are not intersectional, nor can we believe we are doing intersectional work just by saying words.”
  • Canada needs a national child care strategy, and Susan Prentice argues that an ABC approach is best on this issue, showing that the NDP, the Liberal and the Green Party have all proposed viable comprehensive child care strategies, “while the Conservatives have made it clear they will never directly address the shortage of child-care spaces”.
  • Anne Theriault puts this desperate need in personal terms: “we never imagined that the cost for infant child care in Toronto was over $19,000 a year. We asked ourselves how child care could cost three times the amount of tuition fees for a year of study at a Canadian university. And we wondered how families could possibly afford it.”
  • Mikey Way says Fuck your Feminist Porn – purportedly feminist alternatives to mainstream porn are not paying workers a fair wage: “For porn to have a feminist counterpart, that would imply something about it was inherently anti-feminist in the first place. Instead, what happens here is that this company gets everyone so worked up about them supposedly being an ethical alternative to mainstream porn that nobody notices that they’re an international corporation paying next to nothing for people to style, shoot, produce, edit, and perform in their own work. It’s okay, though—it’s just a hobby!”
  • “Maybe because I spent my twenties feeling so excluded, I find the word “feminist” difficult to apply to myself. And perhaps after working through so much trans terminology, I’m fatigued with labels in general.” Juliet Jacques and Sheila Heti in conversation
  • Will your next orgasm be better than your last? An experiment in pelvic floor training: “our bodies are not and will never be machines, but if we are going to turn to machines for pleasure, they might as well be machines that serve a purpose and not pale imitations of human sexuality.”
  • Last night I saw After the Last River, a documentary about the effect of the De Beers diamond mine on Attawapiskat. The film powerfully tied together the effects of colonialism, resource extraction, and decades of purposeful neglect from our government on Indigenous communities. You should see it if it’s screening in your community, and it offered yet another reminder that Harper has got to go: he and his government are responsible for scaling back support for housing, schools and health on reserves, and making sure companies are able to extract resources without worrying about environmental consequences.
  • The film also highlighted the connections between environmental destruction and education for First Nations children, also analyzed in the TRC report. As Erica Violet Lee reports, we can do something about this reality, if we want to: “Of 35 million Canadians, how many know there are more indigenous children currently in foster care than at the height of residential schools? How many falsely believe they are powerless to change the history currently being written by their government?”

Image: Angel Haze live at Øyafestivalen 2013 by Jørund Føreland Pedersen


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