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.
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.
The symptoms of PMS can be agonizing on several levels. I broke up with my boyfriend, my uterus hurts, I look three months pregnant, I snapped at my boss, I'm exhausted, my skin is gross, I had chocolate for dinner and I cry every time I see an elderly dog. We all have our own set of complaints and remedies.
By the end of this year, visiting hours will no longer exist in Saskatchewan hospitals. In early May, the province decided family members will soon be allowed to sit by their loved one's side, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, should they so desire. Personally, I hope my own province is taking note.
I've always been an advocate for speaking openly about sex and masturbation. I make a point in asking my friends (and mother) who are in long term relationships about their sex lives, partnered or solo. The singles are more likely to offer information, but I'll pester them every once and a while anyways.
One time I heard that menopause is the last chance a woman has to straighten out whatever isn't right in her life. It's her last time of insight into the reality that "all is not well in the kingdom." I wonder, dear PMS, if you aren't a microcosm of that concept. My anger may actually be an insight into truth.
Think a toxic injury that doesn't heal. If you are susceptible, exposure to small amounts of chemicals every day creates a "body burden" that impacts multiple biological systems (nervous, digestive, respiratory system, etc.). Typically, you don't detox very well, and repeated exposures can trigger the "on" switch in your brain, making you hypersensitive.
The last time I breastfed my first child, I bawled. Unbeknownst to my 13-month-old, I was about to disappear for several days, a last-resort measure to terminate a relationship that was marked by inadequate milk supply, sleepless nights, blocked ducts and metabolic chaos. She was frustrated, I was frustrated, I was losing more weight than was healthy and I had a job interview in a week. It was taking a huge toll on everyone. Heaving with sadness and guilt, I finally agreed to go cold-turkey.
I was standing in line at my local McDonald's when the person behind me asked, "Is that a plaid shirt you're wearing?" I was flustered, my face turned a crimson red and I quickly exited the restaurant. It was only when I sat down inside my car in the parking lot that I realized what had happened: I'd been plaid-shamed.
To everyone around me, it looked like our family had it all. The truth was that I lived in a house that was filthy and piled high with debris and animal waste. I was 11years old when my father began to sexually abuse me. I had become accustomed to keeping so many secrets by then that I just added this one to the list. I hoped the abuse would stop. I was terrified and lonely. I am living proof that it takes a community to lift a person up. The day I left my abusive family home was the day I stepped into uncertainty and poverty.
In no way would I suggest that the struggle transgender people face isn't real. But let's face it. She was living as a man, not a woman, until six months ago. A woman in hiding as a man, perhaps, but as far as the universe is concerned, she was a he, and treated with all the benefits that come along with being a rich white man for the better part of 65 years.
We need policies that enable the poorest to benefit most from economic growth. Of the 1.1 billion people living in extreme poverty in 2010, 200 million could have escaped extreme poverty if poor people had simply benefited equally from the proceeds of growth -- particularly women and youth, two groups being left behind.
Eighty-eight women will have their voices heard as they take their seats in Canada's 42nd parliament. That's up from the 76 seats held by women in 2011. On top of that, prime minister-designate Justin Trudeau is set to announce his cabinet on November 4, with a promise of having an equal number of men and women: a first for Canadian history.
Please don't portray the niqab issue as a Muslim issue. The vast majority of Canadian Muslims think that the traditional veil is clearly a mark of separation, and consider it an element of the fanatical side of Islam. A tiny percentage of stubborn members of Muslim community is causing unnecessary tension between the government and Muslim community on one hand, and between the Muslim community and society at large on the other.
Every day we see another poll, another tracker, another analyst examining this or that issue. The latest is the niqab, the face veil some Muslim women wear. But women's issues and politics in Canada encompass more than a face veil. In fact, I'm going to come out and say there are far more pressing issues we have to deal with from a woman's point of view than whether or not some women wear a veil. Stephen Harper's continuing waving of the veil in our faces is nothing more than a distraction and a deflection from what truly matters.
Despite the Black Lives Matter movement focusing media attention on how violence affects black communities, the experiences of women and girls have not received the same sustained media attention and outcry as the experiences of men. Our voices are routinely excluded from political and public discourse. It's critical for us to make an intervention.