Archive for July, 2009

Woman wearing trousers = 40 lashes in Sudan?

July 31, 2009 Leave a comment

A Sudanese woman, who works for the United Nations, is facing 40 lashes for wearing trousers in public. She is planning on going to court over this and has invited public media to help fight her fight.

This is what went down:

Ms. Hussein said she was at a restaurant on July 3 when police came in and ordered 13 women wearing trousers to follow them to the police station.

Ten of the women were summoned to a police station two days later and were lashed 10 times each, according to Ms. Hussein. Her case was sent for trial when she called in a lawyer.

She says that women are always being lashed for different things, but that no one is standing up to this. She is planning on exposing this for what it is – a harassment towards women. She is even going as far as to resign from the UN to make sure her case is continued. Others are coming out and supporting her, and her lawyer mentions that it will most likely be followed by human rights groups.

My wish is that lashing wasn’t even a punishment anymore. It is so inhumane. Secondly, I wish that women’s clothing choices weren’t such an issue in many places in the world. I know it can be seen in different ways, but I see it as taking away from the individual when they are so confined to wear certain things and then get a physical punishment when they step out and wear something different. It is totally unacceptable on a human rights level, despite the conservative and religious culture.

Horrible news of the day

July 30, 2009 Leave a comment


A 23-year old woman, who was 8 months pregnant was found dead in her apartment today. Her fetus was cut out of her body and has not been found.

There isn’t much more to this story yet, but how awful is this? It’s disgusting. Absolutely disgusting.

PETA has done it again

July 29, 2009 Leave a comment

Ugh. Since I’m a vegetarian, I’m cool with animal rights. I do think they should be treated in humane ways and I wish people wouldn’t eat them sooo much (however, I respect everyone’s choices and as long as you’re cool with me being a veggie, I’m cool with you eating meat – it doesn’t really matter to me), but PETA sucks. PETA is of course supposed to encourage all to treat animals right and become vegetarians. However, they do it by compromising the female sex.

They have a new campaign, called “Breasts, Not Animal Tests“. I get it. Getting your breasts tested for cancer, and doing self-examinations are very important, but it’s the way that PETA goes about it that sucks. They have set up a game where cards flips to either animals or two oranges/whatever looks similar to two breasts, or a torso with Barbie-like proportions in a bikini top. They are very large breasts, by the way. And the point of this game is that you have to click on as many breasts as you can, and avoid all the animals and other breast look-a-likes. Of course you gain points and then you can enter your score in their high score keeper. How fun! Right?

This kind of thing just reminds us all about how sexist PETA is. They’re probably thinking that they are trying to spread the good word about getting breast exams and whatnot, but they just have to always demean and diminish women in all their efforts.

So, if you aren’t anti-PETA yet, please consider it now! It’s never to late!

Categories: breasts, sexism Tags: , ,

BMI lies

July 27, 2009 Leave a comment

Sorry for the lack of posts! I was away with friends for the weekend in Toronto. Quite lovely!

Anyway, I found this (old) post from the Shapely Prose and I love how it demonstrates that the BMI calculator is pretty much bullshit. LOVE IT. They have put together a lovely little slideshow for us to see who is categorized as “underweight”, “normal”, “overweight”, “obese” and “morbidly obese”. Honestly, I can’t believe some of the results…it’s totally ridiculous! Check out this post now!

Categories: general Tags: , ,

Teen pregnancy an “epidemic” in foster care

July 23, 2009 Leave a comment

I read an interesting article from Time yesterday about teen pregnancy in foster care. It’s never anything that I’ve really thought about (despite me volunteering with foster kids every week), and the article is quite enlightening about this topic. It’s definitely a recommended reading!

To start off with a stat: Nearly 50% of girls in foster care have been pregnant at least once before they are 19. My reaction was a big, fat wow. There is clearly something wrong here! Luckily, the article goes into why this is obviously neglected.

Yet very few advocates and policymakers have focused on the issue of pregnancy among foster youth. “Most people in the teen-pregnancy field don’t really pay much attention to teens in foster care,” explains the National Campaign’s senior policy director, Andrea Kane. “And most people working in the child-welfare system are so busy trying to place kids in homes that they don’t focus much on pregnancy prevention.”

The article also says that girls in foster care are more likely to have sex at a younger age, be forced to have sex and less likely to use contraception. Well, these issues just open another can of worms which can be connected with education, the instability of foster care (and sometimes the bad conditions of foster care), peer groups, etc.

Of course within the realm of education, comes sex education. The article brings up this issue as a big one. Social workers aren’t talking to the kids about sex education, and the foster parents are definitely not bringing it up. I mean, it’s true. Parents of even their even biological children don’t want to talk about sex. It’s just one of those things that gets “passed off” to someone else, which usually ends up being peer groups, and we all know that peer groups aren’t the best place to learn what you need to learn about sex.

Fortunately, something is being done about this.

Planned Parenthood is recruiting and training thousands of peer educators — many of them in foster care themselves — who can reach out to teens with medically accurate advice. The organization is also testing out an online chat service that enables teens to get answers from a health professional at any time, day or night. “Sometimes,” says Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, “we find teens are more comfortable asking a total stranger.”

This is a great solution, and I hope that it will work at least to some extent! Obviously nothing is going to happen overnight, but the more advocacy for these foster kids, the better.

Surgeon General nominee too FAT?

July 22, 2009 2 comments

Holy crap. Thank you Feministing for bringing up this story. Michael Karolchyk went on Fox News (of course) and said that Dr. Regina Benjamin, the nominee for Surgeon General is too fat to have that job. He actually says that she is obese. Disgusting and ridiculous. This is obviously fat discrimination, which we see all the time, but don’t really have a lot of discussion about. It’s even worse, of course, when it has to do with females, which is what we’re seeing here.

Here’s the video:

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New Delhi: Rape victim told to have baby

July 22, 2009 Leave a comment

The Feminist Majority brings us this story of a mentally-handicapped rape victim being ordered to have her baby, although the New Delhi Supreme Court says that she will not rear the child.

The lower court ordered that she terminate the pregnancy, by stating: “We have no hesitation in observing that she is extremely vulnerable to all types of deceptive, dishonest and immoral offers even at the hands of those whom the law bestowed with the duty of looking after her.”

For me, any Indian news regarding women’s issues/gender issues/feminist stuff is near and dear to my heart, because I was there last year for about a month, doing some volunteer work. I know that doesn’t qualify me for much, but even being in India for that short period of time makes you understand how things work in that country. There is too much culture shock to not understand.

So, all I’m thinking about is how I’m actually not overly surprised that she is being ordered to have the baby. India is progressing, but it is moving slow towards that progression and is still a conservative country with much gender inequality.

I agree with the lower court’s decision, not just because of what they said about the victim (which is VERY true), but for the wellbeing of the newborn child. This child may be able to be taken care of by someone else, but I truly doubt that the child will have a chance at a good standard of living. Until you go to India and see things for yourself, you don’t understand the vast amount of street children, the vast amount of babies, children and adult beggars that are being exploited by the mafia (yes, Slumdog Millionaire was correct) and the vast amount of children in orphanages. India is obviously an overpopulated country that is bursting at the seams, and the Supreme Court’s ruling to me just doesn’t make sense. I can’t help but believe that they know this child will either end up in an orphanage (and honestly, not ALL are bad) or on the street, begging.

I just wish that the lower court’s decision was kept, because I truly believe that that was the right decision. I know many may disagree with me, but I just can’t see the pros to the Supreme Court’s decision.


Categories: abortion, india, international, rape

Misogynistic (and banned) ad of the day!

July 21, 2009 Leave a comment

I don’t even have words.

This an OBVIOUSLY a banned Sprite ad that gives everyone the idea that women just LOVE guys to cum in their mouth! Yeah…um, NOT. It’s quite a patriarchal and dominating male idea. Sick. Honestly, just sick.

UPDATE: This ad was never supposed to air, but honestly, it doesn’t really matter to me, because it’s still sick.

Categories: ads, media, misogyny

Chris Brown publicly apologizes

July 20, 2009 Leave a comment

Although I don’t like giving him anymore publicity, Chris Brown apologized publicly for what he did to his then girlfriend, Rhianna.

I know he might be genuine, but I can’t help but think that it’s too late for an apology and the fact that he obviously wants to get his career back. I sincerely hope that people don’t just accept this apology easily, and really think about supporting Chris Brown in the future.

P.S. I love how he brings up his “minister” and his “mom”, like he thinks that that will make everything A-OK!

Sexism and racism found in customer service study

July 20, 2009 Leave a comment

A recent study found that customers in North America are found to be more satisfied when they receive service from white males, as opposed to women and minorities. How am I not surprised…?

The research by University of British Columbia professor Karl Aquino found that female and minority employees who exhibited the same behaviours as their white male counterparts were rated lower in anonymous customer feedback surveys.

The group that was conducting the study were actually very surprised.

“We had thought there would be some bias going on in the sense of people who were males or whites would be rated more positively,” Aquino said

“But we didn’t anticipate that for performing the same behaviours, the women and minorities would actually be rated lower,” he said of the study to be published in the Academy of Management Journal.

On statistic shows that a “white male clerk’s service, for the same pre-scripted actions, was rated 19 per cent higher than the service from a female or black male.”

Nineteen percent?! That’s a little ridiculous. Honestly though, I’m not overly shocked. I believe that we have this notion ingrained in us that the “white male” is the most trusted person on the planet, that there is none other more qualified, therefore they obviously provide the best service. Also, this of course has to do with the power that the white male has as well. It definitely affects how we respond to people, even if it is completely subconscious. But how do we get away from this thinking? I don’t know if I have a good answer to that. There are so many things that need to be changed in our society before we can change our thinking completely. We definitely need to vocalize how this sexism and racism is wrong, and that the white male is not the be all and end all of the human population, and we need to start teaching this to the younger folk who are being fed this patriarchal, white-power society.

This kind of thing just discourages me. It just reminds me (not that I need too many reminders!) that sexism and racism are unfortunately ingrained in our minds and that this kind of thinking is going to be so hard to beat.

Categories: inequality, men, racism, sexism, society, work

Lots of news!

July 17, 2009 Leave a comment

It’s Friday, so here is a bunch of news to get you updated!

Female ski jumpers are appealing the court’s decision to keep them out of the Winter Olympics!

Huffington Post is concerned about Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s suits…wow. Just…wow. I bet a male in the same position wouldn’t get something like this!

Is God really just a male and masculine figure?

I heart Jimmy Carter. Total feminist!

A look into what “young feminism” (for young feminists!) has become…or at least what it looks like sometimes.

A Q&A session with Gloria Steinem.

Categories: lots of news

Disappointment for 2010 Winter Olympics

July 15, 2009 Leave a comment

I blogged about this topic over a year ago, being hopeful that women ski jumpers would be able to participate in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. However, the B.C. court has rejected this bid from a group of female ski jumpers to participate. It’s not as straight forward as this, since the B.C. court actually has to abide by the IOC decisions, despite the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The judge, Madam Justice Lauri Ann Fenlon, actually agrees that there is discrimination and found this situation to be “somewhat distasteful.” I’m glad she sees it that way!

Of course, the IOC is saying that they are not being discriminatory, but because there are not enough countries that have women ski jumpers, there is not a spot for this in the Winter Olympics. However, it is also important to note that there are technically not enough countries that have male ski jumpers for this event to happen, yet it still does.

The Globe and Mail article (click above) showcases some female ski jumpers who are rightfully crushed that their dream to be in the Olympics is now gone. This is definitely a disappointment for them and for women athletes in general. Sports is most definitely considered a “male” and “masculine” thing, and when things like this happen, it just cements the idea that women cannot and should not be participating in some sports.

Completely disappointing.

Positive movement in Afghanistan

July 15, 2009 Leave a comment

News is coming from Washington that a bill may be passed in Afghanistan to punish those who perpetrate violence against women.

“We’ve learned in the last 24 hours or so that a bill that’s been pending in the parliament in Afghanistan and been reviewed by the ministry of justice to eliminate violence against women is going to be signed by President Karzai,” US lawmaker Carolyn Maloney said at the briefing on Capitol Hill.

If this bill is passed, “men who bar women from getting an education, working, or obtaining healthcare could face six months in prison.

Let’s hope this bill gets pass, but even more so, let’s hope that there is actual justice for so many women that experience violence in Afghanistan.

Pop Culture Hit: Lily Allen’s “22”

July 14, 2009 1 comment

Well, not to plug anything, but Lily Allen has a new single called “22“. When I first heard it, I quite enjoyed it (and I admit, I still do). It’s a catchy song and I found myself immediately connected to it because of the fact that I am…22!

However, upon listening to it more, something made me uneasy. The song is about a woman who is nearly 30. She’s still going out a lot, has a decent job, but not a “career”, and has one night stands, but really just wants a boyfriend. The chorus then chimes in with these words:

It’s sad but it’s true how society says
Her life is already over
There’s nothing to do and there’s nothing to say
Til the man of her dreams comes along picks her up and puts her over his shoulder
It seems so unlikely in this day and age

When I first realized what was being sang, I was hoping that Allen was singing this in an attempt to mock society because of this notion…but after listening many times, I don’t get that vibe. I get the vibe that this song is actually saying that a woman’s life is over after her early 20s, until a man comes in a sweeps her off her feet!

What the heck is with that? This is just another example of our society valuing a woman’s youthfulness and when that’s over, life is over. That is, if you don’t have a boyfriend/fiancee/husband/kids. It seems as though a woman’s life is always defined by others. It is never ourselves that are able to stand alone, and be the definition of ourselves.

The premise of this song just worries me because Allen has many female fans, who can be very influenced by her. This song is solidifying the idea that a woman needs a man to have a fulfilling life. And by the way, I don’t think a man needs a woman to have a fulfilling life either…it goes both ways.

I personally know many older women (and by older, I mean in their 60s+) who have had amazing lives and have not been married or had children. They had the opportunities to do what they wanted, go for their own dreams and pursue their passions. I admire these women because they didn’t give into society’s confining norms. They are amazing role models! It is just so sad how this message is getting out to young girls and teenagers.

And I for one, at 22, hope that my life will not be over by my late 20s. It’s easy to give into that thought. I have before, but I’m refusing to do so now. There is too much living to be done for the many decades to come to even consider this notion!

I hope that I’m not the only one who feels this way.

After a looooong hiatus…

July 12, 2009 Leave a comment

The blog is back. I know I’ve been a horrible blogger and abandoned this blog, because I easily get distracted with other things!

However, I realize that this blog is actually really important to me and I’m going to start up posting again! I hope that you will enjoy what you find here from now on!

I promise to not get all commitment-phobe about the blog!

Categories: general