From the time we enter high school we are told that this type of talk is harmless, good-natured joking and if we react negatively, we must lack a sense of humour. What we fail to mention is that locker room talk leads to groping and unwanted sexual advances because when you dehumanize people in conversation, their needs no longer count. Once you have obscenely torn a woman apart with bro-talk, an insidious web of disrespect is woven. It becomes difficult to promote her and even more difficult to work for her. In short, it limits her opportunities.
There are still no resources to speak of for girls with disabilities facing violence, even though they experience violence at higher rates and more frequently than any other group of young women and girls in Canada. The rates of sexual, physical, verbal and systemic violence are at least three times higher.
When I explained why I will not buy Grand Theft Auto 5 for my son and why he is not allowed to buy it even with his own money, he replied, "but it's just a game." I can't get angry at him for wanting a game that nearly all his friends have. But I cannot, and will not, give in. There is no place for this content in a video game.
After the U.S. election, I wanted to call myself a feminist. Especially as friends wept about the uncertain (and certain) future of a Trump America. Still, I can't. Because feminism is hiding too many racists and bigots. People who hear "Be your own kind of feminist" and place emphasis on "your own kind."
We hurt because this was personal. Women who have come such a long way in our evolution and fought so hard to be valued, valuable and powerful in every definition of the word. That pain knows no borders -- or walls. And that mourning is the loss of a dream. The dream that women can be much more. That's why it feels so personal.
Why do we laugh at a comedian's misogynist joke? Why do we vote for a man who brags about grabbing women by their genitalia? Why would we try to seduce a man who abused us? I don't know whether it's a fear of being disliked or an inferiority complex or a survival instinct or a tainted childhood or a history of women who speak up for themselves being trashed (Trump's relentless "she's a fat, ugly lesbian" attack on Rosie O'Donnell always comes to mind), trying to put an end to misogyny is not for the faint of heart.
Confidence is intimidating, but it shouldn't be. Why should I feel guilty about being happy with myself? I have flaws, sure, but I am not a mess. So why do I participate in mess culture? Why, at brunch, do I feel obligated to chime in with a self-disparaging comment? There is no reason to participate in something that downplays what I have to offer.
Teal Swan was only six years old when she found herself in the hands of her abuser and forced into a nightmarish world that a lot of people were unwilling (or unable) to believe. For the better part of 13 years, she was was raped, beaten and psychologically tortured by people who she was told to trust.
I was verbally bullied about my weight throughout school. The weight started increasing exponentially while I was in high school. That is when it started impacting my moods and the way I looked at life... I did not want to be around my friends and I started isolating myself. I became physically sick with stomach problems, mentally sick and looked down upon myself. I hit rock bottom.
Despite retaining my "anti social in style" persona, I've been interrupted more times than I can count by men telling me to take off my headphones so that they can talk to me. There have been times when they have literally jumped in front of me and blocked my path so that we could just "have a conversation" (and it's always the same one). The whole interaction is not just annoying; it often borders on invasive.
This week, my friend and fellow Olympic champ boatsman, Adam Kreek, made a mistake that I hope can prove to be a learning experience. While chatting with Ron McLean on CBC television, he expressed his opinion that Eugenie Bouchard may not be committed to winning, evidenced by her selfies, interest in fashion and social media presence. To add fuel to the fire, when three fellow Olympians whom I admire very much -- Marnie McBean, Chandra Crawford and Annamay Pierse -- expressed concern over Twitter, he emphatically defended his commentary.
Global humanitarian need is on the rise. The UN estimates that 125 million people need humanitarian relief and more than 60 million people are displaced from their homes. The Government of Canada's international assistance review could not have come at a more critical time. Disasters do not discriminate, but ultimately due to structural gender inequalities kill more women than men, and affect women's livelihoods hardest. Sixty per cent of all maternal deaths take place in humanitarian settings and all forms of gender based violence against women and girls spike during disasters and conflict.
Winnie Harlow may be one of the most influential models in the world right now, but don’t call her a role model. The 22-year-old Mississauga, Ont. native has defied traditional beauty ideals by taking on the fashion industry and not letting her vitiligo (a condition characterized by the depigmentation of skin) get in the way of success. But she still doesn’t see herself as someone to look up to.
Donald Trump may get to be president of the United States, and if he does, it will in large part be because the U.S. populace is more interested in re-tweeting pictures of Orlando Bloom's genitalia than in finding out who the Republican candidate really is and what his intentions are for the great United States of America.