November 16, 2014

  • It’s the middle of November which means you might be tired of your summer jams. Don’t worry, there is so much good stuff to listen to! Bitch’s new music roundup is a great place to start, Azelia Banks’s new album rules, I can’t stop listening to this Jessica Pratt song, we are all loving Lowell’s We Loved Her Dearly, Sleater-Kinney’s new release is promising, Flying Lotus and Kendrick Lamar’s video is incredible, and Pitchfork’s roundup of the  best all-female posse cuts of the last 25 years gives you plenty to dig into.

Now let’s get started

  • Over the past few weeks, it’s been repeatedly proven that some stories are like passwords. Former member of parliament and deputy prime minister of Canada Sheila Copps, who initially defended Ghomeshi when word got out of his firing, acknowledged the fact that she was duped but then also shared that she was both assaulted as an MPP and raped. Read her story here (TW for discussion of sexual assault).
  • As winter approaches, Toronto is facing a shelter crisis. Hundreds of people are turned away from shelters every night. And while the city promised to open a new 24 hour drop-in space for women over a year ago, this process has been bureaucratically stalled and effectively ignored. In a city where the number of street homeless people has gone up by at least 24 percent since 2009, the largest increase has been seen within violence against women centres. Please sign this open letter to mayor elect John Tory, urging him to address this devastating crisis.
  • At least thirteen women are dead due to contaminated medicines used for 83 sterilization procedures performed at a government-run camp in Chhattisgarh, India. The women were paid 600 rupees apiece or almost $10 as part recent sterilization drive. Nearly 4 million people (predominantly women) undergo sterilization in India every year, under similarly dangerous conditions, as part of what’s been identified as a deeply flawed population control campaign. Read more about India’s reproductive health policies and state-enforced discriminatory practices here.
  • In the maritimes, New Brunswickers are still fighting for safe and accessible reproductive and sexual health care. This week, in response to the accusation that the province’s health line has only been providing anti-choice resources to women needing abortions, the Department of Health will now include pro-choice organization Reproductive Justice New Brunswick as another referral point. Nothing’s been said about the health line providing pro-choice resources themselves, however. Read Minister Boudreau’s letter.
  • Watch Audra Smith talk about the disappearance of Indigenous women and the gender of settler sovereignty.
  • Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives’ new study that examines the median unsubsidized childcare fees in twenty-two Canadian cities. The results aren’t great: data shows that in some of Ontario’s biggest cities, “childcare fees are worth 36% of a woman’s income, the equivalent of four months’ work.”
  • In New Inquiry’s California issue, Shawn Wen takes a look at Amazon’s mechanical turk workforce, or the people who do all the tasks that computers can’t do like scanning pages or transcribing audio. The big reveal? This invisible workforce of casual, temporary, and underpaid labourers, or what Jeff Bezos calls “artificial artificial intelligence,” are predominantly women. The whole piece is great, but this part is particularly illuminating (infuriating):

How shocking: the low prestige, invisible, poorly paid jobs on the internet are filled by women. Women provide the behind the scenes labor that is mystified as the work of computers, unglamorous work transformed into apparent algorithmic perfection.

People say “we need to have this conversation.” A lot of the conversations go a particular direction, a narrow road posing as the most sensible road. You have the same conversation a lot. Sometimes the people you have that conversation with do the shitty things you had the conversation about. You start to believe the conversation is a trap, a closed loop…Sometimes you find the people who know how the conversation happens, the mechanisms of the conversation, who know your boredom, your rage, and want to get together. This togetherness has its own possible failures. Attending to these failures will mean trying to theorize and live and spark, from glazy places.


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