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Perhaps some fearful women will want to hold onto the idea that a man will only want them if he doesn't have to respect them, but hopefully they'll see that it's better to be loved as well as respected by the men in their lives. Feminism is not a dirty word, anymore than love is, or respect, or compassion or consideration.
More than a century ago, an international conference of some 100 working women meeting in Copenhagen decided to establish an annual Women's Day. As we approach the 104th International Women's Day on March 8, large gender gaps remain both in Canada and globally. This time, however, the annual event may become a catalyst for meaningful action, at least in election-year Canada.
The Harper government continues to fail Canadian women who suffer violence. Both financial and policy commitments are utterly inadequate -- Status of Women Canada spends a meagre $9.5 million annually on ending violence against women. It is time the government seriously invests in ending the violence.
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It didn’t take much for Queen’s University student Jacob Rumball to realize he knew almost nothing about harmful ideas of masculinity. After reading a friend’s paper on the portrayal of masculinity in...
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We know from our daily lives that gender-based violence remains rampant. The facts support this conclusion: half of women in Canada have suffered physical or sexual violence. Exactly when did we, as a society, become accustomed to violence? We must ensure access to coordinated services that keep women and children safe.
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The University of Dalhousie is currently facing a scandal regarding some fourth-year male dentistry students who have been caught posting sexually violent and misogynistic comments on a Facebook page. It was announced last night that the University will proceed with a restorative justice process. While some may think it might be an appropriate response to join together both parties in order to come to a mutual agreement on an appropriate punishment, in this particular case -- and in all cases of violence against women -- this route is likely to favour the perpetrators and disappoint or further victimize the female victims.
With the help of Kumpf, UNDP and the UN Foundation, I have compiled a list of some easy ways that you can take action today to help "paint the world orange" and promote gender equality in your workplace.
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When the gunman, a rejected engineering student, shot those young women he was enraged that they were pursuing studies in a profession he believed was meant for men. That was a quarter of a century ago. Today, more and more women are flooding into professions, including engineering, once considered male preserves, but there is still so much more progress to be made in changing those attitudes that enable gender-based violence.
For every act of violence against women, society pays a price in lost productivity, worse health outcomes, and, lost potential. Respect for all women and equality is essential. We need to put the same energy into denouncing the violence in Canada, as we do abroad.
A 30-year-old women came to my office and cried because after a decade of abuse, she had mustered the courage to leave a horrific and impossible situation. She was now being forced out of the shelter, and she had no job, no food, and did not know how she was going to support her children. Her son sat beside her, rolling his eyes.
Trigger warning for graphic violence. A startling new video campaign by YWCA Canada asks why we're treating violence against women lightly in our popular culture. Called #NOTokay, the social media ca...
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Sure there are stars who saw temporary road bumps in their career for their publicized violence against women like Roman Polanski, Mel Gibson, Chris Brown, Tommy Lee, Ike Turner, Bobby Brown and Nicholas Cage. But most of them bounced back and continue to have devoted fans. What message does that send to women who have been abused? That their life is not as important as a great film or song or game or show? What does it say about each of us that we likely have admitted to appreciating the talent of at least one famous abuser?
While it's good news that Canada is beginning to engage in a more open dialogue about rape and sexual assault, the conversation has only just begun. Violence against women, whether physical, sexual...
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Millions of stories of violence. Against millions of women. The United Nations has designated Nov. 25 as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. The day recognizes women...
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This letter was written by my husband and he has agreed to let me share it here. I hope it inspires you as much as it inspires me.
One of the first girls I dated had been raped by a past boyfriend. She went to court and wasn't able to prove that he did anything they hadn't consented to, so he wasn't punished. At the time, she lived in a small town and the gossip forced her family to move away. Before her, I don't think I was really that aware of rape or consent. I'm sure that I'd had the "no means no" conversation in health class but until her it didn't really mean that much to me.
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Jian Ghomeshi has been revered as attractive, popular, successful, a ladies' man -- until now. Now we see that this man, nearly 50 years of age, may have been thinking and acting like a spoiled child who totally believes the world revolves around him -- and that he may feel completely entitled to have all of his needs met, sexual and otherwise. Personally, I am more surprised that we are so surprised!
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Trigger warning: This article contains information about violence which may be triggering to survivors. What help is there for survivors of sexual assault? How do they begin to heal? These questions s...
I started by telling you about my own experience in the world of abuse. I did this because those experiences are what helped me understand the importance of healing in light of a frightening situation. These women -- our sisters -- need our support and understanding to heal. But we cannot forget the men. At some point we are going to have to turn around and help heal this man. Many will think he is undeserving, but he too experienced trauma in his life which he has had to cope with. I'm not talking about forgiveness, I'm talking about compassion.
Lynn Crosbie, the Canadian poet, author and cultural critic, has written a poem entitled "Big Ears Teddy" to address her own feelings about the Jian Ghomeshi scandal, and it's struck a chord with many...
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This story broke with four women. This morning as I write this the number is up to eight, including the very much loved "Trailer Park Boys" actress Lucy DeCoutere. How high does the number have to go before we're able see the stinking rot through all the blinding smoke and roses? Why are we so willing to let this system stay the way it is? Why do words like "due process" and "innocent until proven guilty" sting so much? Why aren't we fixing this?
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Where is the line drawn between BDSM and assault? That's the question on many people's minds as the allegations -- and one story of consent -- about Jian Ghomeshi continue to emerge, and the public wh...
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If you are a friend or family member of a woman living with abuse the best thing you can do is to believe her, offer her non-judgemental support and a listening ear and to help her connect with her local women's shelter or similar community agency. Most of all always put her safety first. Never talk about the abuse in front of her abuser and unless she specifically asks for it, never give her materials about domestic abuse or leave information through voice messages or emails that might be discovered by her abuser.
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Every time someone clicks on that video we re-victimize Janay Palmer. Every time someone watches it, we are voyeuristic bystanders to her abuse. The real question is: why would we want to watch a woman be violated, humiliated, devalued, brutalized and abused?
Recently in the U.S., the Federal government has taken a strong zero tolerance stance on sexual assault. This increased intervention in sexual assault on university campuses made me wonder -- are we doing enough in Canada to prevent similar outcomes? Are we doing enough to prevent sexual assault and ensuring the safety of young women in our country? According to statistics on Canadian campuses published on the York University website, 29 per cent of female undergraduate students in Canada report incidences of sexual assault.
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This "give me what I'm owed" attitude is prevalent -- ask any woman who's ever been to a dance club and been cornered and made to chat, had her ass grabbed, her tits groped. I'm talking about literally every woman I know. What's interesting is that this attitude is rarely articulated quite so clearly by the actual person perpetrating the violence -- in many ways, Rodger was more upfront than most about his sexist ideology. He admitted to it, then he acted on it, and the consequences were enormous. Now that #YesAllWomen has shown the world what it feels like to be female, I hope that the little, "insignificant" instances of everyday sexism are no longer brushed aside.
If you are a man and reading this, you might be thinking "But not all men would hurt women." That's true. Not all men would. But all women have been dehumanized by a man. That's what's forgotten in this conversation -- there's so much defensiveness from men. Please listen to what we have to say. We're telling you that this happens enough that every woman has a story. Not all men do this, but enough men do that the default is to be distrustful and wary around men. Elliot Rodger believed in the lies the Men's Rights Activist Movement told him.
When you look the statistics on violence against women, Elliot Rodger's act doesn't seem so much like a one-off incident. He was participating, albeit in a grandiose public way, in the time-honoured tradition of controlling women with violence and punishing them when they don't behave as desired. This is what the Men's Rights Movement teaches its members. Especially vulnerable, lonely young men who have a hard time relating to women. It teaches them that women, and especially feminist women, are to blame for their unhappiness. This is what the Men's Rights Movement does: it spreads misogyny, it spreads violence, and most of all it spreads a sense of entitlement towards women's bodies.
How is it that we live in a culture where speaking out is still taboo? A culture where so many blame victims for their own abuse. Where women are afraid to report or seek assistance because they worry that they will not be believed? But today and every day, I choose not to be heartbroken.
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Fear is a tactic repeatedly used to stop the denunciation of violence against women and to keep women oppressed. This fear forced on women by the patriarchal social order encourages women to remain silent and allows society to mask men's violence. Individually and collectively, we ask men to reflect on the ways in which they can question the exercising dynamics of power against women and contribute to the denunciation of men's superiority and domination.
Given the recent incidents involving male students from the University of Ottawa, several commentators have raised concerns regarding the rape culture on university campuses. Drawing upon a feminist perspective, female students and faculties have initiated diverse actions to end violence towards women, but we now ought to consider how men can act as allies in this movement.
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Dear proud men who have taken a woman's "No" to sexual activity, touching, or intercourse as a "Yes" instead of respecting her wishes; to men who have taken advantage of an intoxicated or blacked-out...
The challenges that remain in Afghanistan are significant and they are copiously documented elsewhere and do not require repeating here. But the challenges should not overshadow the progress, and what can be concluded from the state of affairs in Afghanistan today is that Afghanistan is far better off today than it was in in 2001.