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Married men are biggest earners. What’s new?

January 21, 2010 4 comments

A new study by Pew Research Center has come out, saying that the “biggest gainers were married college-educated men” in terms of income. Was that supposed to surprise me? Married college-educated men have generally always been the highest earners.

However, the study is saying that the reason these men are the biggest earners is because more women are receiving higher earnings. The study did a comparison with earnings in 1970, and said this:

“In the past, when relatively few wives worked, marriage enhanced the economic status of women more than that of men. In recent decades, however, the economic gains associated with marriage have been greater for men.”

Call me crazy, but I think marriage has always been good for economic status for men. For some reason, employers really love it when men settle down, buy a house, start a family, etc. These men work up the company ladder. They get the promotions. They receive more income.

However, it’s opposite for women. Once women are married, employers will automatically go into this “Oh crap, she’s going to have all these responsibilities now and maybe have kids! Ack!” mode. Married women somehow become unreliable and the expectation is that they’ll be spending more time in the home, and maybe care less about work. It’s ridiculous.

Just another double standard in our oh-so-wonderful society.

Sexism in South Africa

January 12, 2010 3 comments

A recent study in South Africa shows that sexism is alive and well, and very pervasive. And this is among men and women. Remember, we usually see things through the dominant groups lens. This is one reason why women and girls do get sucked into agreeing with some sexist things and whatnot. Here’s the breakdown:

It is acceptable for a man to beat his wife – 6% of men think yes/5% of women think yes
A boy has more right to an education than a girl – 11% of men think yes/8% of women think yes
A woman’s place is in the house – 20% of men think yes/14% of women think yes
When jobs are scarce, men should have more right to jobs than women – 38% of men think yes/22% of women think yes
Men make better political leaders than women do – 41% of men think yes/25% of women think yes

The article also mentions that 1 out of 4 men in South Africa have admitted to committing rape; some admitted to doing it multiple times. Wow. And that’s just the amount that has admitted to it. Of course, we do know that South Africa has the highest amount of rapes per capita, but even knowing that doesn’t lend itself to the rape stats being less shocking.

What do you think about these stats? Do you think that there would be some similarities if we did the same questions in North America?

Mother sterilized against will

January 5, 2010 1 comment

Not cool. Tessa Savicki, a mother of nine, is saying that she was sterilized against her will, when all she wanted was a IUD to be inserted, obviously making a birth control choice. But of course, doctors, with all their enlightened knowledge, power and authority (because you know, doctors are the be all and end all, right?), decided that it would be better to permanently sterilize her. Why? Well, as the Boston Herald puts it:

Savicki has nine children from several men, is unemployed and relies on public assistance for two of the four children who live with her. She receives supplemental security income, or SSI, for a disability, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, she said. Her mother has custody of three of her children. Two of her children are no longer minors.

Um, so? Since when does that give anyone else the right to decide for another person whether or not they should be permanently sterilized? An article over at Jezebel about this brings up the age old support for eugenics in the United States, and Savicki would definitely be deemed one of those “unfit” parents who would be sterilized.

Despite all of this, Savicki knows that she was “not ready to make that kind of decision”, and in fact, was hoping to have one more with her fiance. She’s suing the hospital, and rightfully so. We’ll have to see how this case goes. Either way, no woman should have to participate in forced, or unwilling sterilization. These doctors should seriously be ashamed of themselves.

The Broadsheet gives their top 5 sexist iPhone apps!

December 21, 2009 1 comment

The Broadsheet has graciously taken a gander at all the sexist iPhone apps and have got it down to the top 5! Here’s the list:

PMSTracker:

It “allows you to quickly track the approximate time each woman in your life has PMS” using a color-coded method that functions much like the U.S. government’s terror alert system.

Shake That Booty:

This app allows you to manipulate an image of a woman’s butt — or, as the official app description calls it, “BOOTY!” — by physically shaking your phone.

Pole Dancing

“Get these hot girls to spin around a stripper pole by shaking your iPhone/iPod touch from side to side! Even better, clap, yell, make some noise and they will spin around at your command.”

Michelle:

She’s your brand “new virtual girlfriend” and “can be who you want her to be.” You can take Michelle “to the beach or pool and choose which bikini or bathing suit she should wear.”

iControl Her:

iControl Her is an actual remote that appears on the iPhone screen, with such clever buttons as “Stop Whining,” “Clean” and “Give Me Beer.”

Do you agree with these? Are there even more sexist iPhone apps?


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An abortion compromise made for health care reform

December 21, 2009 Leave a comment

I have neglected to post anything about the abortion debates/Stupak-Pitts/health care reform before this, because I just felt that others could explain things much better than myself, as I’m Canadian and don’t completely understand all the ins and outs of the American political system. However, I can’t neglect this anymore. As most of you may know by now, there is now an abortion compromise being proposed for the hopeful passing of the health care reform, just for that one damn vote from Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb.. Pretty much, most women are still getting screwed out of abortion coverage. Shit. Here’s how it goes:

No health plan would be required to offer coverage for the procedure. In plans that do cover abortion, beneficiaries would have to pay for it separately, and those funds would have to be kept in a separate account from taxpayer money.

Moreover, individual states would be able to prohibit abortion coverage in plans offered through the exchange, after but passing specific legislation to that effect. The only exceptions would be those allowed under current federal law.

So, what I’m hearing from this is that women are still getting screwed. Women should not have to pay a separate check for abortion coverage. That’s the most ridiculous thing ever. Seriously. Abortions should be considered a medically necessary procedure for those who need or want them (similar to how they are labeled in Canada), and there should be equal access across the board, for all women. The access thing is absolutely more difficult, but the first step is to allow abortions into the health care reform without any separation. This seriously just boils my blood. It’s ridiculous.

So how are other people responding to this? NARAL gives their take and states,

“At every turn, our standard has been consistent and clear: Women should not lose ground in the new health-care system…the language regarding abortion coverage comes at too high a price for reproductive health. Thus, we must oppose this new Nelson language.”

Rep. Lois Capps, D-Calif., says that she’s “disappointed that women’s access to full reproductive health care is again paying the price.

Planned Parenthood gives their thoughts:

There is no sound policy reason to require women to pay separately for their abortion coverage other than to try to shame them and draw attention to the abortion coverage. Moreover, it is highly unlikely that insurance companies will be willing to follow such an administratively cumbersome system, leaving tens of millions of women without abortion coverage.

No doubt, there will be more news about this and more to say about it in the coming days and weeks. Right now, I have to say that this is not good enough, and some fighting still needs to be done, especially since people who support Stupak-Pitts aren’t going to go down without a fight.

Update: After I wrote this post, we now have found out that the Senate has voted yes (60-40) on the first health care reform vote.


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Being male in the writing realm equates to more success

December 16, 2009 Leave a comment

James Chartrand, of Copyblogger and Mens with Pens, is coming out. As the true woman that she is. James Chartrand, which is a pen name, explains the struggle she was having before she got into the online writing biz. She tells of how she is a single mother, who was on the brink of having to go on welfare and not being able to feed her two daughters. She decided to look online for writing jobs, as she knew she could write well and do it from home. She did this for a good while, under her real name, but it just wasn’t cutting it. She explains that before she took up a male’s pen name, that she would be struggling to get jobs, as well as not receiving the pay she knew some other people were getting. She then decided that she was going to make a pen name for herself, something that would “command respect”. She chose James Chartrand.

Once she did this, she got more jobs. She got more pay. She got compliments. She didn’t have to do many revisions. She states,

Understand, I hadn’t advertised more effectively or used social media — I hadn’t figured that part out yet. I was applying in the same places. I was using the same methods. Even the work was the same.

The exact same work. It was equal by all means, yet, because she now had James as a pen name, everything was better and easier. She explains the positives here:

Taking a man’s name opened up a new world. It helped me earn double and triple the income of my true name, with the same work and service.

No hassles. Higher acceptance. And gratifying respect for my talents and round-the-clock work ethic.

Business opportunities fell into my lap. People asked for my advice, and they thanked me for it, too.

Astounding. If that’s not a slap in the face for women writers, and women in general, I don’t know what is. Most professional women just want to work. They want respect for what they do, because they love what they do and they work hard at it. But still, just because we have vagina’s, we apparently aren’t as good as men. We aren’t as respected. We’re ignored. We’re sexually harassed. We’re discriminated against. Just because we have vagina’s. Really? Does a difference in genitals really make a difference? The clear answer is no, but still today, it is an issue. James talks about this, as she mentions that women writers have been doing this for ages, however, she states that,

Since then, we’ve had feminism. We have the right to vote, to own property, to be members of Parliament and Congress, to get a job, and to be the main breadwinner of the family. And yet apparently we haven’t gotten past those 19th century stigmas.

No, we haven’t gotten past the 19th century stigmas. That’s why feminism still exists today. We need it, and James Chartrand has once again proved that.

Click here to read her post called Why James Chartrand Wears Women’s Underpants, which tells her whole story.


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Sexism in America: Too normal?

December 14, 2009 Leave a comment

So, yes, of course…sexism in America/North America is definitely normal, and feminists see this and that’s why feminism remains as a movement. However, according to Barbara Berg, a historian and new author of Sexism in America: Alive, Well, and Ruining our Future, says that it’s becoming too normal and that the condition that America is in right now in terms of women’s rights could very well be worse than ever before. Berg surveyed over 200 women, and interviewed 200 more for her recent findings.

The Toronto Star was able to have an interview with her, and I just wanted to point out a few excerpts:

Many of the ways that women go about their lives and men go about their lives are based on premises such as we had seen in the 1950s. A sense of difference over who had power.

Numerous women told me that would not challenge the authority of a male boss, that they were happy to have their jobs, that they felt that they had to accept – and this is very disturbing – a certain amount of sexual harassment, that they did not expect the same kind of promotions, that they were accepting the 70 cents to the dollar gender wage gap. (emphasis mine)

This information is quite disturbing, but not necessarily surprising to someone who really knows what’s happening within the realm of gender relations and gender inequality. Berg goes onto state that this has happened because “there has been a tremendous sense of acceptance of a hierarchical and patriarchal society again” (emphasis mine). And of course, this is utterly disappointing. Because we live in an apparent “post-feminist” society, people are so damn blinded to what is really going on.

Berg ends off the interview with some positivity, by saying that there are so many things that women can do to change this kind of attitude. She states,

Women also have tremendous power as consumers. Don’t buy Bratz Dolls. Don’t buy hypersexualized Halloween costumes. Don’t go to movies that brutalize or demean women. Choose women authors. Make sure that women’s history in the curriculum of your daughter’s school. Lobby your government. Run for office.

It’s a great, great interview. I didn’t even really cover even just a bit of it, so please head on over to the Toronto Star and read this amazing interview! She talks about everything from pop culture, to reproductive rights. Berg really has some great insights on what’s going on in our culture today and why it’s going on.


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Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill

December 9, 2009 Leave a comment

I cannot even express in words how much shock and anger came upon me when I heard about this extremely disgusting, homophobic bill proposal. RH Reality Check explains,

The bill proposes a seven-year jail term for anyone who “attempts to commit the offence” or who “aids, abets, counsels or procures another to engage in acts of homosexuality.” Under the proposed law, “promotion of homosexuality,” including publishing information or providing funds, premises for activities, or other resources, is also punishable by a seven-year sentence or a fine of US$50,000. The bill seeks to apply the death penalty handed down for the crime of “aggravated homosexuality,” defined as a sexual assault committed against a member of the same sex who is under 18 or disabled. An HIV test would be forced upon anyone found guilt of the offense of “homosexuality.”

No one in their right mind would think this would pass, correct? Well, many gay rights activists in Uganda are saying that this is something that most likely will pass. David Cato, a gay rights activist in Uganda, says that there has been more of a gay rights movement in Uganda lately, which means that these laws are being put into place.

“It’s a question of visibility,” said David Cato, who became an activist after he was beaten up four times, arrested twice, fired from his teaching job and outed in the press because he is gay. “When we come out and ask for our rights, they pass laws against us.”

I for one sincerely hope that this bill does not get passed. There is a lot of international pressure on Uganda right now because of this bill, but only time will tell if this pressure will influence Uganda in any way.

Oh, New York…why not legalize same-sex marriage?

December 2, 2009 Leave a comment

This came to be rather shocking for me. I guess I always figured that New York would be one of those states that would legalize same-sex marriage. I was, however, wrong.

Today, the Senate voted down a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage, with the vote of 38-24. Eek. We can’t forget that there are 30 Republicans and 32 Democrats in the New York State Senate, so that could have something to with it as well. But clearly, some of those Dems voted against this bill to be passed.

The Catholic Church is of course rejoicing, and I am continuing to find more reasons to dislike this institution so much. However, it is so refreshing to hear what Senator Eric Adams, a Brooklyn Democrat, who considers himself to be a man of faith, said: “When I walk through these doors, my Bible stays out,”. That is music to my ears. Absolute music to my ears. He gets it. So many religious people think that they need to bring their personal religious beliefs into government and law, but in fact, it’s the other way around. As a pastor’s kid and person who is still practicing my faith, this is something that I have discovered slowly, but surely. Now, if only more people of faith (or here, I could probably use the more staunch “religious” term) could see this, understand this and demonstrate it in their own lives.

AIDS and Gender

December 1, 2009 Leave a comment

With the recent finding that HIV/AIDS is the biggest killer among women in their reproductive age, we know that there are some serious issues that need to be looked at in terms of this disease and gender.

We know that for most women (an estimated 98% of all women affected by HIV/AIDS live in developing countries), treatment, prevention and ultimately, equality, are things that they do not have access too. Let’s talk about gender inequality for a moment, shall we? Gender norms are a part of this inequality and accounts for much of the spreading of this disease. UNAIDS states,

Gender norms, for example, often dictate that women and girls should be ignorant and passive about sex, leaving them unable to negotiate safer sex or access appropriate services. Gender norms in many societies also reinforce a belief that men should seek multiple sexual partners, take risks and be self-reliant.

And let’s not forget, they also mention how in in many cultures, violence against women is condoned. So looking at the gender norms of men, it’s apparent that women automatically become more vulnerable to HIV/AIDS. These uber masculine gender norms continue to hurt women in many ways, but especially in this area. And of course, when women and girls are supposed to be “passive” towards men about sex, it doesn’t prevent the spreading of HIV/AIDS. A way to hurdle this is to of course promote gender equality, empower women to know more about their bodies and sex, and teach men that these norms aren’t good for women, or themselves. And of course we can’t forget, if there is going to be consensual sex, use a condom!

The WHO talks about another issue that comes up with gender norms. They call it “gender-related barriers” for services, or treatment.

Women may face barriers due to their lack of access to and control over resources, child-care responsibilities, restricted mobility and limited decision-making power.

Socialization of men may mean that they will not seek HIV services due to a fear of stigma and discrimination, losing their jobs and of being perceived as “weak” or “unmanly”.

How true. For women of course, it appears that they are not in control of the decision to go seek out services or treatments. How horrible, but true. Women once against face the brunt of this disease, because of their lack of options. Men on the other hand probably do have much more access to services or treatment, but because of their societal gender norms, they refuse to get treatment. This hurts men. This hurts men a lot. Any cultural idea of what hegemonic masculinity should look like, usually hurts men and it can be seen here that men also pay the price.

I’m not going to sit back here and think I know the solution to all of this. I don’t think anyone actually does; and even if they do, solutions are a very hard thing to put in place and people will still continue to live with HIV/AIDS and die from it. However, I do say that promoting gender equality is a must (it’s a must anyway, but I digress). Through promoting gender equality, women and girls will have more rights, as well as have an understanding about their bodies and understand that consensual sex is where it’s at. Now, I’m not saying that women and girls always have the choice of consensual sex. A lot of times they don’t. But for them to know that that is what kind of sex should be happening, is a must.

Women and girls do unfortunately bare the greater responsibility and consequences of sex many, many times. After all, we are the ones that get pregnant and we are the ones that are more vulnerable to STIs. It shouldn’t be our complete responsibility, however, it sometimes ends up like that. Women and girls must be educated about safe sex and the possibility of HIV/AIDS. Many women and girls are in the dark about this because they have not had access to this kind of education. Of course, this still will not prevent HIV/AIDS, because some men will insist that no condom be used.

And this brings me right back around to promoting gender equality. When women are able to make decisions and choices about their bodies and sex, we will see a decrease in HIV/AIDS, in both women and men.

If you want to read more about AIDS and gender, visit AVERT.

CBS blurs out Adam Lambert’s same-sex kiss

November 25, 2009 Leave a comment

Really, CBS? I can’t believe that I was glad you decided to put Lambert on The Early Show when GMA canceled his spot!

The ironic thing is, CBS aired the Britney/Madonna kiss with no censorship at all (and in fact, I never saw any censorship from that kiss ever). But Lambert’s same-sex kiss needs to be censored? Is it the fact that you know he’s actually gay? Is that the problem? Or do more people have an issue with two men kissing, as opposed to two women? Probably both things rings true – although no one will admit it.

After Elton has the whole story here.

16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign

November 25, 2009 Leave a comment

Today marks the first day of the Commit ▪ Act ▪ Demand: We CAN End Violence Against Women! activist movement. So, why the 16 days?

November 25, 2009 marks the launch of the 19th international 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign – an annual campaign that runs from International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women through International Human Rights Day. (emphasis mine)

Over the next 16 days, I’m going to try and highlight the violence that women face around the world. If you’re interested in this endeavor, please visit the website and find out what some actions are that you can take to contribute to this movement and to the end of violence against women.

All this Adam Lambert controversy (and a little #ShameOnYouABC)

November 24, 2009 2 comments

Well, about everyone in the whole universe knows by now that Adam Lambert shared a kiss with one of his male bandmates, as well as simulated fellatio with a male dancer. I wanted to put up the video, but it seems as though the video has been taken down everywhere…so I will share a picture instead!

Needless to say, this shocked most of the population and over 1,500 people formally complained about this. Clearly, homophobia is rampant (not that you needed to remind me, but maybe some other people needed reminding?) Is what Lambert decided to do in his performance really threatening? Does it really do any harm? No. Actually, it doesn’t at all. And I can say without any doubt, that if a woman had been in Lambert’s place, no one would really care. Even if it were only women taking part in this performance, therefore it still being all same-sex, people wouldn’t have cared as much. But men aren’t supposed to act the way that Lambert did. He doesn’t fit the mold of hegemonic masculinity, so people are freaking out.

However, because of all this shock and all the complaints, ABC canceled Lambert’s spot on Good Morning America. People are pretty up in roar about it and this issue is taking over Twitter (hence the #ShameOnYouABC). Instead, he’s going to be appearing on The Early Show on CBS. The good thing about all of this is that Lambert is standing by his performance.

“You know honestly, if I offended some people… it’s apples and oranges. I’m not an artist that does things for every single person,” he told Access Hollywood after the show Sunday night. “I believe in artistic freedom and expression, I believe in honoring the lyrics of a song, and those lyrics aren’t really for everybody either.”

I’m glad he’s sticking to his guns, because we alllll know this is actually about his sexual orientation, as opposed to his actual performance.

Men Against Violence Against Women, Part 2

November 18, 2009 Leave a comment

So, going on from my previous post about the “Men Against Violence Against Women” panel discussion, I just wanted to mention some other things that stuck out for me.

1. What is a woman’s role?
So, although it is clear that men must take responsibility for this issue, there is still an important role that women play, and have been playing for many, many years. Resistance. Women have been resisting violence against them for a long time and women must continue to play this part. Our resistance is extremely important. But now, since we’ve been resisting for years, it is time for men to respond to this resistance!

2. Safe spaces for men
New safe spaces need to be created for men to discuss these things. These safe spaces need to be places that men can come and grow and learn how to have an emotional life, outside of just having anger. This will bring together a collective of men who believe the same things and will be able to fight against violence against women.

3. Live the way you believe
Finally, what I want to end with is something that one panelist said. “Live the way you believe”. This is the first step in action. This means that everyone can act. It doesn’t matter who you are. If you believe certain things, live it out. Do not be silent. Your silence will condone this violence (or whatever other issue it may be). You CAN help this situation, no matter how helpless you may feel. It doesn’t have to be some huge act. Small acts everyday will build into a great movement, and actually be a part of a movement that is already happening. I hope that you feel a little inspired to at least try something!

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Men Against Violence Against Women Panel

November 17, 2009 2 comments

Last night, I had the great experience of attending an all men’s panel discussion, provided by my university’s Anti-Violence Network. The panel was entitled “Men Against Violence Against Women”. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first showed up, but it turned out to be a great discussion and some awesome points were brought up, that I want to highlight here.

1. Men need to acknowledge hegemonic masculinity
One speaker went over the basic hegemonic masculinity in our North American culture. This means strong, invulnerable, emotionless, silent, and angry (with anger really being the only emotion allowed). Homophobia is also a part of this. Men aren’t allowed to be feminine in any way, because the traditional man is supposed to be everything opposite of femininity. All of these things open up the pathway to violence, because women and homosexuals are “othered” or dehumanized; therefore, men feel that they CAN be violent.

2. There needs to be a new conception of masculinity
There needs to be a positive conception of being a man, which will make for better partnerships with everyone (women, other men, and children). Men need to reconceptualize strength. Strength can be something that is good, and not used for harm. Also, there needs to be insight within this new masculinity. Openness, self-reflection and self-awareness are necessary for this new masculinity.

3. Men must take responsibility
Many times, men are excused from their violence, or have some form of excuse for their violence. One of these excuses is that it’s a man or boys “nature” to be violent. But we were reminded again tonight that nothing is biological about violence! But another important point was that men who are not violent against women must also take responsibility. These non-violent men must not be silent. They must tell other men and boys that violence against women is not acceptable. Without these men leading other men and boys, this issue is NOT going to go away.

4. Action must be taken
One panelist discussed how there is too much damn research. We all KNOW that there is a problem, and we can continue paying for research to be done, but it’s not doing anything about the problem! We need to move on from identifying the problem. It is now time to seriously act. We must be examples to the younger generation. We must tell others that this issue is not acceptable. However you can act against this issue, you have to do it!

There were some other really awesome things discussed, which I’m going to save for a later post, since I don’t want this post to go on forever. I will just say that it was simply refreshing to hear men discuss this issue and not pat themselves on the back for having this panel in the first place. You know, that self-congratulatory thing? Not cool! So, it was awesome not seeing that. More discussions like this need to happen, because ultimately, this is an issue that only men can get rid of.

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Breaking News: The Catholic Church cares more about their homophobia than actual PEOPLE

November 12, 2009 Leave a comment

Oh wait, that’s not breaking new. Everyone already knew that! Sorry!

So, the Catholic Church has decided to partake in disgustingly hateful, ridiculous, discriminatory actions in D.C. My literal reaction was “Are you fucking kidding me?”

So, here’s the rundown.

1. The Catholic Church is threatening to shut down all of their social services in D.C., which serves about 68,000 if D.C. doesn’t change the proposed same-sex marriage bill.
2. The Catholic Church would not have to perform same-sex marriages, or even let couples have use of their buildings, but they would have to stop discriminating against gays and lesbians.
3. The Catholic Church says that they have issues with being “secular”, but really, they actually don’t have to be.
4. The issue is ultimately that the Catholic Church uses public money for their social services; therefore, they should not be able to discriminate with public money!

I mean, they are pretty much making sure that everyone knows the kind of power they have and how exactly they are willing to use it. They don’t want to use their power for good, they want to use it to make sure that homophobia remains pervasive, while forgetting about people in need. They don’t actually care about providing services for people. What the hell? As a born-and-bred pastor’s kid, growing up in a Baptist church, this sickens me. This also reminds me why I hate being in the same category as these “Christians”.

Have they not even thought about the consequences of these actions? Also, have they not even thought about what this is doing to how people view the Catholic Church? It’s no wonder that more and more young people are skipping out of any religious affiliation. It’s because of this hateful shit that’s going on!

Luckily, the D.C. City Council isn’t concerned too much about this threat. One even calls it “somewhat childish”. Another description I like is from Peter Rosenstein, from Campaign for All D.C. Families, is that the Catholic Church is trying to “blackmail the city.”

This issue doesn’t just bring up the issue of heterosexism, but it brings up power structures, economical issues, political issues and the very tangible employment of people who actually run these services. This is all of course for another post, but something to keep on your mind. Ultimately, we are reminded once again how hateful a powerful group (or at least a few high up individuals) can be. We can’t just sit back and let this stuff happen. If you’re from D.C., or just want to make your voice heard in this matter, contact the City Council and show your support for the same-sex marriage bill!

HIV is top killer for young women

November 10, 2009 Leave a comment

A new report done by the World Health Organization has stated that for the ages between 15 and 49, HIV is the biggest killer for women.

Women are “particular vulnerability” to infection by HIV, WHO says, due to both biology and gender inequality.

WHO Director General Dr Margaret Chan said:

“It’s time to pay girls and women back, to make sure that they get the care and support they need to enjoy a fundamental human right at every moment of their lives, that is their right to health,”

I couldn’t have said it any better myself. It’s true that women and girls need to have better health care, all over the world. This doesn’t just mean more care for those with HIV, but other things, such as reproductive health. As for HIV though, there does need to be more access to the treatment drugs which are available in Western countries for the many millions in Africa (and other underdeveloped countries) that suffer from this disease. Just because these people may not live in a developed country, does not mean that they don’t deserve the same treatment that people can get over here. It’s sad and shows true character when the rich don’t give to the poor.

And of course, more preventative measures need to be taken to stop this disease from getting a hold of people. Proper sex education must be done, for both women and men. None of this abstinence-only crap, where condoms are evil. Also, since so many women have this disease because of rape, we still need to fight institutionalized sexism all around the world. We need to make sure that we are taking measures to let men know that they have no right to rape anyone.

Ultimately, this is not a fair disease. This is not a fair disease because so many women and girls get it without even consenting to the sexual intercourse they get it from. This remains a feminist issue until many things change.

Quote of the day!

November 5, 2009 Leave a comment

“Coffee, tea … or me?”

This was found in an article in the Toronto Star, about feminism, as well as a little history lesson. Apparently, if women at all wanted to travel “back then”, they had to become “stewardesses”, and that’s what they would have to say.

Wow. Just, wow.

Yes, gender inequality usually pertains to women and girls

November 2, 2009 1 comment

Well, an article over at Men’s News Daily is claiming that something is wrong with the Global Gender Gap Report. The article talks about how this report is all about anti-female inequality and doesn’t take into consideration anti-male inequality. And with all due respect, we honestly wouldn’t even need a gender gap report if it weren’t for anti-female inequality…so what’s with the complaints about how it’s done?

I do understand where this article is coming from, albeit disagreeing. The author gives the example of this:

Turn to page 184 which is where the figures for the United States are to be found. Under “Educational Attainment,” we see the four subcategories I mentioned previously. Men and women are equal in the literacy subcategory, but in each of the other three – primary, secondary and tertiary education – there is a higher percentage of girls and women than boys and men. So clearly, according to the criteria laid down by the Report, girls and women do better than boys and men in education in the United States. Ergo, the country’s score in this category is 1 which signifies “equality.” Inequality equals equality. See how it works?

The problem I see with this example is that I doubt that boys are not going to school just because they are boys. You may have to look at different social or environmental factors for this, but it most likely doesn’t have to do with their gender. And remember, this report is about gender. However, you can see that in many countries where girls and women are blatantly less valued, many girls will not go to school just because they are girls.

This is one of the reasons why this report is more about anti-female inequality. Although there can be anti-male inequality, it is just not to the same massive scale that anti-female inequality is. Ultimately, males don’t have to deal with issues of gender inequality as much as women do, therefore, the report isn’t about anti-male inequality.

Just my two cents!

Categories: gender, inequality

Thank you, Joanne Lipman

October 26, 2009 3 comments

A refreshing Op-Ed piece has come out of the New York Times, by Joanne Lipman. It is entitled The Mismeasure of Woman. And here, she speaks the truth:

The truth is, women haven’t come nearly as far as we would have predicted 25 years ago. Somewhere along the line, especially in recent years, progress for women has stalled. And attitudes have taken a giant leap backward.

But apparently, since we measure things by numbers (an example being the Shriver Report), we see that women are making a progression. Lipman takes on this notion, and points out that women are not making nearly as much progression as they maybe should be. She talks about how attitudes towards women have pretty much become toxic, and that you have to be one stereotype or the other. How true is that of our society? Women are constantly polarized. You have to be the good girl, or the bad girl.

One telling thing I found was when she mentioned some of her own college experience:

When I was in college in the 1980s, many of us looked derisively at the women’s liberation movement. That was something that strident, humorless, shrill women had done before us.

Was this a part of the problem that caused attitudes to shift? It’s not just about men, but about so many women that look at that feminist movement as something that it wasn’t, and something that the women were not. It’s so unfortunate that these ideas of the feminist movement, along with those women have been made into what they are today. Although I’m not saying that Lipman still has those feelings, I just thought that was telling, as she talks about attitudes towards women being one of the things that sets women back.

I really encourage you to read the whole article. What I am saying definitely does not do it any justice. Lipman has some great ideas and it’s a very interesting piece…so head on over the article now!