May 18, 2014
  • It only took UN Special Rapporteur James Anaya 9 days in Canada to understand that there are serious problems within Canada’s relationship to First Nations people. “The well-being gap between aboriginal and non-aboriginal people in Canada has not narrowed over the last several years, treaty and aboriginals claims remain persistently unresolved, indigenous women and girls remain vulnerable to abuse, and overall there appear to be high levels of distrust among indigenous peoples toward government at both the federal and provincial levels.” There can be no more ignoring this issue. The report supported the call for an inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous woman in Canada, and for a revaluation of Indigenous peoples’ concerns at all levels of government. You can read the report here, and find out more here.
  • Education is one area where the failure of government to listen to First Nations communities has been particularly dire, though with the resignation of Shawn Atleo, the passage of Bill C-33 is in question. Pam Palmater speaks out on Harper’s assimilationist agenda here.
  • Looking for help in thinking about these issues? Here’s an excellent decolonization reading list, with lots of Canadian-specific content.
  • “I think of myself as part of the generation that came of age with an understanding of intersectionality. I don’t only think of myself as a woman. I don’t only think of myself as an immigrant. I don’t only think of myself as Indian or South Asian. I think of myself as all of those things.” An interview with Sujatha Jesudason on the thirty-year plan for the reproductive rights movement.
  • “I asked myself, On a daily basis, what do I have that I didn’t earn?” The New Yorker’s interview with Peggy McIntosh, theorizer of white privilege and equality advocate.
  • “No place is less safe for a woman than her own home.” A new World Bank report shares some horrifying statistics: approximately 30% of women worldwide have experienced violence at the hands of their partners. The report also shows a direct correlation between women’s education level and their ability to refuse sex with their partner, and a decreased incidence of violence that comes with higher education level. Read the report here, and the Atlantic summary here (while questioning the dubious causality of the statement that women are ‘protected’ from abuse by education).
  • “Society at once tells sex workers they must immediately find another line of work, and then bans them from all other means of making money”: Sex worker Eden Alexander was sick, and raising money for her treatment. The crowdfunding site, WePay, took down her page and froze her funding due to ‘pornographic images’.
  • “This is a basic woman’s health product that I think every woman should have in her purse. It’s not taboo to carry a birth control pill case, but it is with a condom, so I don’t understand why we act like condoms cause promiscuity. Condoms don’t cause promiscuity anymore than umbrellas cause it to rain.”  Thoughts from the female CEO of a condom company.
  • “Most of us understood early, and without being explicitly told, that sex with boys was a duty that we would do well to find pleasing.” Hannah Black on what gay men taught her about masculinity, femininity, and the pleasures of sexuality.
  • “Whatever role little-f or capital-F feminism plays in women’s magazines, there’s one way in which they will never be feminist, and that is their reliance on advertising”: On the lies that the beauty industry feeds us, and how they shape women’s magazines.
  • Why was Jill Abramson fired after her brief time as the first female editor of the New York Times? Some reports have stated that she was too ‘pushy’, and that her inquiries into discriminatory pay practices weren’t welcome by the ownership of the paper. Whatever the situation, she would hardly be alone in being paid less for the same work within a newsroom: this Pew report shows that women earn, on average, 83% of what their male colleagues make, and that female management is low and stagnant across all forms of media.
  • In the wake of Abramson’s firing, we look back on media’s long and storied history of shutting up ‘pushy’ women: “We were the polite, perfectionist “good girls,” who never showed our drive or our desires around men. Now we were becoming mad women, discovering and confronting our own ambitions, a quality praised in men but stigmatized— still—in women”: an excerpt from a history of women’s organizing against gender discrimination at Newsweek Magazine.



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