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Aviva Rubin

Writer

Aviva Rubin is a Toronto-based blogger, writer of fiction, memoir, and essays, and long-time government policy wonk with self-diagnosed A.D.D.
HBO

Being a Public Figure Doesn't Make Your Body Public Property

Two things really pissed me off this week. The first is the response to Lisa Boncheck Adams' battle with Stage IV metastatic breast cancer. The second is Lena Dunham's apparent unacceptable and random naked body. They are public figures, and that seems to entitle whoever feels they have value to add, to have a go at them.
01/16/2014 12:14 EST
Getty

Why Would a Parent Sign Up for a One-Way Trip to Mars?

Eight Canadians have applied for a one-way trip to Mars being organized by Dutch-based venture Mars One -- a company looking to beat NASA to the red planet. Three of the volunteers, one woman and two men, have kids -- youngish kids. What risks feel acceptable?
07/21/2013 11:19 EDT
Getty Images

Click "Like" if You Think Disease Is A Bad Thing!

I felt guilty every time I didn't click, the way I used to feel bad about breaking a chain letter that offered treasure in the form of hundreds of people mailing you books or money, or the threat of dire consequences for non-compliance. "The four people who broke this chain died within three days."
04/30/2013 05:38 EDT

An Open Letter to Kathleen Wynne

So here you are at the helm of this brilliantly diverse province, a woman, and a lesbian, who, it is worth noting, could never be at the helm of anything in the Catholic church, with the power to do something about this. Don't let us down Kathleen.
02/06/2013 05:23 EST
AP

Who Will Stand Up and End Catholic School Funding?

I'm tired of hearing that access to a Catholic Education is guaranteed in the British North America Act. Lots of sexist, homophobic, racist, inequitable and exclusionary practices are grounded in ancient laws from religious texts to constitutions. That's no reason to keep them. But sadly our Ontario politicians are too chicken to even wade into this debate.
02/05/2013 05:45 EST

The Top Three Democracy Bloopers of 2012

Bloopers have always been fun. A good collective laugh is a healthy thing for a society. This would be a perfect year to start the "Democracy Blooper Awards." Here are my favourite anti-democratic moments of 2012. Even at its best democracy has proven to be an out-of-control PR performance where points are given for best spin, rather than outcome.
01/02/2013 12:00 EST
Alamy

Does Marissa Mayer's Micro Maternity Leave Make Her a Bad Mom?

Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo Inc. will be back at work a week or two after the birth of her son. Is she a bad mother? I'm guessing the only people not spewing forth on this topic are those who are working two or three jobs and don't have the privilege of leisure or maternity leave. All of these mothering debates we've been having are not equity-focused. They are who's-the-better-mommy-focused. If Marissa Mayer wants to go back to work this week (I'm guessing she's given it a little thought); If I want to stay home and breastfeed for six years -- who are you to judge me? Neither of us is wrong.
10/05/2012 08:08 EDT
4moms.com

The Buggy So Cool it's Giving Dads Stroller-Envy

Just when I thought the stroller landscape could get no brighter-coloured, bigger-wheeled, better-equipped, along comes the Origami. While women control the bulk of household spending, decisions about vehicles remain dominated by men. He may have a mini-van in the garage but he has the sports car of strollers -- little storage, lots of chrome and gadgets.
09/27/2012 12:10 EDT
Melinda Wentzel

What Does "Having it All" Mean for Men?

Jim Power, school principal of the elite all-male Upper Canada College (UCC), recently wrote that boys need to know they can't have it all either. The fathers Power meets talk about the pressure they're under -- how they badly want to find time to watch their child "master a new acrobatic trick," that they often experience a "tug at their hearts that they keep to themselves." What about the other 99.99 per cent of parenting responsibilities?
07/16/2012 05:18 EDT
AP

He, She, It -- Does It Really Matter What our Gender is on Passports?

Passport Canada is looking into policy changes to the gender requirement on passport, and introducing a "genderless" passport for transgendered peoples. But the question isn't whether we should introduce a third "gender" to passport policies, but rather, should there be gender at all on passports?
05/16/2012 12:43 EDT
AP

Real Soldiers Don't Get PTSD

Turns out the Department of National Defence is eliminating the jobs of medical professionals involved in suicide prevention and monitoring post-traumatic stress disorders. Aren't these cuts a little short-sighted?
05/07/2012 12:12 EDT
CP

Canadian Politicians: Lie First, Apologize Later

Lies and miscalculations rule the day in Canadian politics and we don't seem too bothered. Who needs data, facts, or expertise to make hundreds of billions worth of decisions? Since lies seem to work, politicians scatter them liberally. Candidates spew promises they have no intention or clue how to keep. We are repeatedly shocked to see them broken.
05/02/2012 03:03 EDT

If I Were Ford, I Wouldn't Go to Gay Pride Either

Toronto's mayor has announced he won't be attending this year's Gay Pride parade, but imagine what a few hours at the event might look like from his point of view. It would be hard to fabricate a more fertile ground for humiliation than a crowd of dancing, naked and half-naked critics with the mayor mounted on an open vehicle leading the way. I think it's fear disguised as "Screw you!" that underlies his tenaciousness.
04/19/2012 02:00 EDT
YouTube

What's Wrong With My Vagina?

Bleach it, tighten it, wax it, freshen it, nip and tuck it. Worry about it -- a lot. That's what the cosmetic industry wants us to do. Forget RRSPs. Invest in your labia. The returns will be worth it.
04/16/2012 11:52 EDT

Do We Suffer from Botox of the Brain?

Last week I wrote an article an essay about being naked in front of my kids for the New York Times titled "Naked, With Children" that went viral. I was shocked, but not surprised, by the thoughtless, knee-jerk, off-the-rack judgment thrown my way.
04/13/2012 10:45 EDT

Can the Average Joe Produce a Better Budget?

To coincide with budget day in Canada yesterday CBC's "The Current" featured a segment on something called participatory budgeting, which engages local citizens and communities in allocating funds to projects and priorities. Average citizens are no less equipped to make these tough decisions than average politicians.
03/30/2012 01:05 EDT
AP

I Helped Spread Kony2012 and Mike Daisey's Lies. So What?

Find me a movement for change that's pure in intention, unpolluted by self-interest. Mike Daisey's career may be in the toilet. Jason Russell was hospitalized, likely from being run over by the character-shredding bandwagon. We live in a world driven by self-interest and apathy. Is some action, however flawed, better than no action at all?
03/20/2012 11:31 EDT
CP

Go to Prison, Get a Great Job

According to former Ontario corrections minister Robert Sampson, mandatory minimum sentencing is a great tool for getting people the education and training they need to successfully reintegrate and contribute to society.
03/10/2012 12:00 EST