Since the feminist movement, women have openly discussed and debated what it means to be female. This multi-decade dialogue has led to a more nuanced understanding of the complexity of womanhood, and what it means to grow and develop as a multi-faceted woman. A similar dialogue between men about the nuanced intricacies of malehood has been slower to develop.
With kids growing up surrounded by advertising, movies and TV, toys, books, and clothes that tell them that some things are for girls, and others are for boys, we're already fighting an uphill battle if our goal is to raise girls who know that they can solve tough, real world problems, and boys who are interested in collaboration, not just competition.
I recently ended up on a talk radio show based in my hometown of Calgary. "Is this Rae Spoon?" asked the interviewer. "Yes, it is," I replied. "And you are transgender, right?" "Yes, I am." "And we're supposed to use a different word for you?"...In over 10 years, through the hundreds of interviews I'd done with people firing questions at me about being transgender, I had always tried to avoid answering the ones that sounded like they were something off of Jerry Springer.
We are not just expected to put in the same amount of work in the office, and still more at home, we also have to find the time to go to the gym, pull on skin-tight shape wear, prepare gluten-free, carb-free, Paleo, blah, blah, meals, get Botox, gel manicures, and buy expensive serums, lotions, and potions proven to even out our complexion, hide fine lines, and reduce sagging.
While there are a myriad of reasons the Premier Redford has faced such heavy criticism, we have to recognize that systemic misogyny -- an entrenched prejudice against women and girls that is inherent in a given system, such as society -- plays at least some part in the story. It's not the only source of the premier's troubles, but it's certainly one piece in the much larger puzzle.
What even is this steaming plate of garbage on my computer screen right now? By the time my girls are adults, society (with no help from you, apparently) will hopefully have come farther in allowing fluidity in gender roles, more lenient maternity and paternity leaves, women will make the same as men, and even now, even now, you're right, we can be intelligent and efficient and be mothers.
When women engage me in my community, in Ottawa or across the country, they talk to me about the economy, about health care, about child care, about housing, about the environment. Simply put, all issues are "women's issues." But as Status of Women critic, I also ask questions about challenges specifically facing women.
If my experiences have offended some of you, I'm sorry that you didn't like it, and I'm sorry that you don't understand. I'm sorry that when the next time a woman of colour speaks on a subject like this, you will do the same thing to her. I'm sorry that you won't give her experience any second thought. I'm sorry that you won't even consider delving deeper into history. I'm sorry for you.
Today, The Rosedale Club -- which has no formal website, instead operating through personal tweets, Facebook event pages, and a Gmail address -- announced that their next meeting would be held on July 1, and feature "guest of honour" Conrad Black. Inevitably, critiques culminated in the all-too-familiar refrain: "What's with all the white guys?"
According to the latest Statistics Canada report on household demographics, the nuclear family is no longer the norm. But are Italians, one of the country's largest ethnic groups, rethinking family composition in step with other Canadians? If so, how do these changes interplay with cultural identity?
Want to start an argument? Ask friends and acquaintances for their thoughts on the gender gap in pay in Canada, and watch how many of them argue that it just doesn't exist. However, data from several sources have shown, over and over again, that there is a real gap between what men earn and what women earn for comparable work. I don't have a solution for all of this; I wish I did. I am still trying to figure these things out for my own family, and I know it's not easy. What we can do is start making changes in our own homes: throw out the old, outdated gender expectations, let go of the resentment about who brings in what.
Last month, I wrote how patriarchy and racism give birth to rape culture, not a drunk woman or her miniskirt. But it is baffling to see the dialogue outside of these platforms going off on a tangent, in random directions. This needs to stop, now. Here are five "solutions" that aren't stopping rape culture.
If the world was like The Walking Dead then it would be a world where nearly everyone alive speaks English, nearly everyone is white, and male. The biggest failure of the show is to have the audience rooting for a society that preaches tired principles of violence, lack of community, selfishness, capitalism, patriarchy, and shoot-first mentality.
Men may take women out on different sorts of dates than they previously did, but the expectation that men be the ones to do this largely remains. When it comes to dating, many men are expected to pay for dates, both by some women, and more commonly, by themselves. Men paying for women on dates because they enjoy their company, and view it as a kind gesture, is not an issue. The issue is that some men still pay for women simply because they are women, and the men would feel emasculated if they did not.
After a four-hour trek through downtown to find coloured fishnet stockings, a garter, and plastic water pistols in an outfit that reveals more skin than I do at the doctor's office, we are on our way to the Late Night Double Feature Picture Show. I begin to get very nervous when remember that I am not wearing pants.
Cognitive psychologists have discovered that our brains reduce women to their sexual body parts, and treat those parts as objects. The data confirms what many of us have suspected all along: we objectify women without even thinking about it. But does that mean that sexism is an inevitable result of our physiology? That's not so easy to answer.
Daniel Tosh, the host of Tosh.0, recently performed stand-up at the Laugh Factory whereby he proceeded to make many a joke about rape. After a woman in the audience retorted, "Actually, rape jokes are never funny!" he proceeded to ponder aloud how funny it would be if she were gang raped right then and there. And he got laughs. So, what is it about violence against women that is so time-tested and hilarious? And why do people feel the need to defend the "right" to make such jokes?