"Reproductive tourism" is the practice of infertile people crossing international borders to receive technologically advanced reproductive services. Indeed, the international fertility trade is now big business, with India having recently emerged as the likely world leader in providing services -- most controversially the hiring of surrogate mothers -- at comparatively low costs. In our recent paper we attempted to elucidate some of the factors that make the maternal surrogacy industry ethically troubling to many people. On one hand, it's hard not to celebrate a poor woman's opportunity to pull herself out of poverty by exercising her autonomy over her body. On the other hand, there's no denying that when the poor and illiterate enter into a commercial relationship with people of greater wealth and power, there's usually more than a soupcon of exploitation involved.
When we first learned that one beauty brand is joining the battle against bullying by donating to a fund that offers a teen help line for bully victims, our heads turned. There are others. An admirable message, all. But what about the medium? For us, campaigns like these raise more questions than answers. Can a cosmetics company make a sincere plea to stop bullying and plump up the customer's pout or zap a zit? Or are these token donations -- made by companies whose marketing strategies tend to reinforce teens' fixation with physical appearance -- suspect?
October is breast cancer awareness month. Yesterday, my 10-year-old son came up to me and asked: "Mommy, do you remember that commercial we saw about those pink things?" He made his hands in a cup formation and covered his chest like a bra. Is there anyone else out there that has some feminism kicking around to feel objectified by overly sexualization of breast cancer? Are breasts selling cancer awareness just like they sell cars, beer, music, cigarette, shoes, and pretty much everything else. Just in case you think I am a prude, I ask you this: Are men asked to wear speedos to raise awareness for prostate cancer?
Friday, October 26th, marks the upcoming annual celebration of Eid-ul-Adha, which commemorates the story of Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son Ishmael, is a day of celebration around the Muslim world. However, for millions of animals it is anything but a day for rejoicing as this day marks the beginning of ritual animal slaughter. Consider, that, the very act of involving ourselves in the ritual animal sacrifice places our earth at jeopardy. As Muslims, on Eid, and the rest of the year, should we not be mindful of whether continuing such a tradition is compatible with our Islamic responsibility to be care-takers of this earth?
An article published in Scientific American this week demystified a commonly held colloquialism -- Rachel and Ross knew it, Monica and Chandler certainly knew it: men and women can't be "just Friends." Nomenclature aside, men carry certain chromosomal differences from women. It's why our balls drop and our voices get deeper. It's not why we get to be douchebags and blame Darwin for our douchebaggery.
I once witnessed a bar fight in Ottawa where a seemingly docile civil servant and a mild-mannered professor were reduced to fisticuffs over their contradictory alliances. True story. But, incidentally, I'm not talking about hockey here folks. I'm talking about the airline carriers across our fair northern nation.
It's not that we parents don't WANT to connect socially, to share a laugh, dip some chips, or put our keys in a bowl and take our chances. It's just that we're pooped. Dark under-eye circles, can't finish a sentence kind of exhaus...zzzzz. Do you phone up your host an hour before a party with some excuse to stay home? You may be a Chronic Bailer. It's a serious (and LAME) condition.
On Thursday, Canada Customs, that wonderfully-democratic institution of unelected bureaucrats, decided that Canadians weren't capable of deciding whether Pastor Terry Jones, whose congregation held a Quran burning in March 2011, was worth listening to. They have a long history of overstepping their authority, and this denial of entry is just another case of censorship at the hands of unelected and unaccountable government officials. By taking the choice away from Canadians to decide what they're capable of hearing and evaluating for themselves, Canada Customs has done our country yet another disservice
The Liberals are trying to argue that they are the party which is really consulting people and casting both the Conservatives and the NDP as unreasonable ideologues. If the Liberals want to really distinguish themselves from the other parties one really good way could be by making the party very open. We're talking more than a couple polls by email but a collaborative, ongoing discussion with party supporters. A discussion which explicitly guides party policy in a very detailed way, day to day.
It turns out that consumers want one thing: their issues resolved. And, they want it done fast. Faster than fast. The challenge is this: the majority of brands act fast... as fast as they can. Sadly, it's not even close to being fast enough for consumers. Now, brands and consumers are going to have move forward and figure out a way to define what the true speed limits are.
The word "abortion" seemed to cast a hypnotic spell over MPs who spoke against Motion 312 in the Parliamentary debate, causing them to suspend thoughtful analysis and abandon time-honoured Canadian values and institutions. Canadians across our land are beginning to realize the damage to our democratic institutions and principles being done by those whose single-minded, intransigent and extreme preoccupation with protecting our abortion practices leads to abandon essential Canadian ideals.
It used to be that modern medicine was a thing to be venerated, a doctor's words regarded like golden nectar of wisdom. Now, not so much. Once upon a time vaccinations were seen as miracles in a needle, warding off potentially life-threatening illnesses. In the States, the unvaccinating movement has turned epidemic, with as many as one in 10 parents refusing to vaccinate their children.