April 13, 2014

  • On Thursday, the Morgentaler abortion clinic in Fredericton, N.B., announced that it will no longer be in operation come the end of July, due to a lack of financial support from the provincial government. Regulation 84-20, N.B. legislation, forbids the Morgentaler clinic from receiving public funding for its abortion services. Currently, a woman in the maritime province is only able to receive medicare for her abortion if two doctors certify in writing that it is medically necessary. Following this, the procedure must take place at one of two approved N.B. hospitals. Given that “access to abortion is the worst in the Maritime provinces” (PEI notoriously refuses to provide any abortion services whatsoever), resisting the planned closure of the Morgentaler clinic is imminently critical. To voice your concerns, email MP Ambrose (Min. of Health) at rona.ambrose.c1a@parl.gc.ca; MP Leitch (Min. for the Status of Woman) at Kellie.Leitch@parl.gc.ca.
  • If you go to the Ontario Ministry of Labour website and search “Live-in Caregiver Program,” among the results will be a web page describing the the Employee Protection for Foreign Nationals Act (EPFNA). Launched in 2010 by the Ontario government, the EPFNA was created to monitor the transactions between recruiters in Canada and foreign nationals looking for employment. Yet as the Toronto Star recently reported, three years after the legislation came into force, recruiters are still charging “illegal fees to job-seekers and employers continue to deduct unlawful costs from their nannies’ paycheques.” Live-in caregivers from the Philippines continue to be charged upwards of 3,000 dollars to simply have the opportunity to work in potentially exploitative environments in Ontario.
  • Jezebel reports on data from the Pew Research Center which shows that the percentage of stay-at-home mothers in the US has risen from 23 percent in 1999 to 29 percent in 2012. Researchers at Pew conclude that “with incomes stagnant in recent years for all but the college-educated, less educated workers in particular may weigh the cost of child care against wages and decide it makes more economic sense to stay home.”
  • Illustrations of feminist writers reacting to classic viral videos, including “Charlie Bit my Finger” and “Double Rainbow.”
  • Grantland gives the people what they want: a top-ten list of the best movies and TV shows about “female fuck-ups.” The “dynasty of child-men without a female counterpoint” is no more — “it seems like in recent times, the culture has expanded slightly to accommodate the idea that ladies can be dumb-asses, too.”
  • Osahon Okundaye refuses to watch Game of Thrones because of its representation of sexual violence. At the end of the season-four premiere, which aired last Sunday, Daenerys Targaryen (Khaleesi) looks upon the crucified body of a young girl. When her lieutenant offers to shield her from the corpse, she bravely responds, “I will see each and every one of their faces.” About the scene, Okundaye observes: “Khaleesi will not hide from the real violence in a world she hopes to rule. That’s admirable, but her world is fiction. As viewers, we would gain little by seeing 160 miles of propped-up prop corpses. In the same way, we viewers get little out of witnessing the show’s assaults. The “Game” universe forces us into a position which should be unthinkable in our society: Idly watching someone enjoy a sexual assault.”
  • Reproductive Medical Associates, a New York fertility clinic, offers women a flat rate of $8,000 to donate their eggs. In “Over Easy,” Moira Donegan explores the ways in which women (most of whom are college bound or recently graduated) market themselves on donor websites to prospective egg buyers.“Like shop girls, made to dress like their customers, potential egg donors who solicit clients online embody an aspirational ideal that some older couples—older women—are able to purchase… The profiles [of donors], with their abundance of finely curated personal information and prominent emphasis of standardized test scores, look almost like college applications. In the lengthy questionnaires provided by the donor agencies, young women blend half-hidden boasts of overachievement with a cheerfully ingratiating, please-pick-me eagerness.”
  • Roxane Gay comments on the discipline required to win The Biggest Loser, a reality TV show that rewards contestants for losing weight. “My body is wildly undisciplined and I deny myself nearly everything I desire. I deny myself the right to space when I am public, trying to fold in on myself, to make my body invisible even though it is, in fact, grandly visible. I deny myself the right to a shared armrest because how dare I impose? I deny myself entry into certain spaces I have deemed inappropriate for a body like mine—most spaces inhabited by other people.”



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