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Hana Shafi

Hana Shafi is a journalist, intersectional feminist, illustrator and Lord of The Rings enthusiast hanging around Toronto.

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Forget Russia, We Have Our Own Human Rights

Forget Russia, We Have Our Own Human Rights Problems

Fixating on Russia is not going to solve the various human rights crises facing the West. Russia does have several of its own human rights abuses, several of its own problems that harm the society there. But let's not pretend for a second like the West is somehow incredibly different. By doing so, we forego the responsibility to address the problems that we have right here at home, and prove to the world that we are still holding onto simplistic "scary Russia" sentiments that were just as misguided and ignorant during the Cold War as they are now.
06/08/2015 01:34 EDT
Charlie Hebdo's Cartoons Were Racist, Not

Charlie Hebdo's Cartoons Were Racist, Not Satirical

There is no doubt in my mind that what happened to the cartoonists of Charlie Hebdo was an unacceptable tragedy. Nobody should die because of their views.Still, despite the tragedy of the lives lost, I still cannot stand behind the "Je Suis Charlie" slogan. And the automatic herd of people rushing to back the slogan without applying critical thought to it or educating themselves about the publication is a deeply troubling phenomenon.
01/15/2015 12:46 EST
Why Can't I Be Feminine and Have Body

Why Can't I Be Feminine and Have Body Hair?

Body hair doesn't have a gender. It's just hair that grows from your body and twisting it to mean otherwise is just yet another way for society to control women and profit off the double standards that have been forced upon them. So if you spot me on the subway with my ripped jeans and leg hair, just remember: it's just hair, it's not going to bite you.
12/21/2014 10:23 EST
Have a Holly, Jolly and Budget-Friendly

Have a Holly, Jolly and Budget-Friendly Holiday

The Christmas fervour of shopping malls and Dundas Square is partly a good thing. It creates a sense of community and happiness. And it's a way to brighten up the cold, overcast dullness of winter. But people really do need to control their spending and remember that they are not the Great Gatsby.
12/11/2014 05:50 EST
Arranged Marriages Can Be Happy Marriages

Arranged Marriages Can Be Happy Marriages Too

My parents have been married for 25 years. They're different in a lot of ways, but their marriage has survived through the hardships of immigrating to a new country. You might not guess it, but my parents had an arranged marriage. The Western narrative of an arranged marriage is quite severe: A family forces their oppressed daughter to marry a man 20 years her senior and she sees him for the first time at the altar. But the truth is in the language -- arranged marriage is not the same as forced marriage.
12/03/2014 12:47 EST
Why Are the Tone Police Only Called on

Why Are the Tone Police Only Called on Women?

When you're a woman, tone policing is rampant. Amid the hate and abuse, we are expected to stay as calm and eloquent as possible. Our justified rage is always attributed to over-sensitivity, hormones, or PMS-ing. We are treated as emotional, not intellectual beings, when the truth is we are emotional AND intellectual beings. Intellect without emotion is dead inside. There's a whopping double standard regarding tone between men and women (and of course others along the gender binary and non-binary folk). Men who are angry are passionate and driven. Women who are passionate and driven are just angry.
11/26/2014 05:51 EST
International Men's Day Isn't Worthy of

International Men's Day Isn't Worthy of Celebration

Today is International Men's Day, so let's join hands today and celebrate all that men have done for the world. Wow, I couldn't even type that with a straight face. But International Men's Day? Seriously? Every day is International Men's Day, or really International Cisgender Men's Day. Every day the achievements of men are celebrated. Every day their innovations are hailed. What's next? International White People Day? International Heterosexual Day? I'm sure some of you would love that.
11/19/2014 06:04 EST
Why Should I Apologize For Having a Complex

Why Should I Apologize For Having a Complex Identity?

Girls like me are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Our critiques about, let's say, the misogyny within our community are so often co-opted by white Eurocentric feminism as a kind of "see, look, the oppressed brown women need us!" And at the same time, I don't want to silence myself from critiquing by own community just because I'm scared that some white feminists may twist my words.
11/18/2014 12:53 EST
This Child Pornography Case Proves Misogyny Is Alive and Well in

This Child Pornography Case Proves Misogyny Is Alive and Well in Canada

As a nation, we can keep looking abroad and pointing our fingers halfway across the world at the pitfalls of other countries and cultures. But we have a problem here at home, and the young Halifax woman is just one name out of thousands of women who have been victims of sexual violence. She was turned into a statistic, as so many women have. Before you begin your critiques of sexism in other critiques, let's look into Canada's reflection and realize how dangerously prevalent it is here.
11/14/2014 01:04 EST
I'm Disgusted By Assault Allegations in Parliament, But Not

I'm Disgusted By Assault Allegations in Parliament, But Not Surprised

As allegations of sexual assault seem to be flooding out of Parliament Hill, I want to pretend that I am as shocked as the rest of the nation. But I'm not. The reality for survivors is that we don't have the luxury or privilege of being shocked when sexual assault happens.
11/12/2014 08:36 EST
Why I Didn't Wear A Poppy This Remembrance

Why I Didn't Wear A Poppy This Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day has turned into something that I don't like, and I can't wear a symbol that's representative of a government that has fought neocolonial wars that I simply don't agree with. If the government is so adamant that we respect veterans, they could, perhaps, respect veterans by giving them greater access to mental health resources for when they come back home riddled with PTSD. Our government has its citizens to go fight in pointless wars, then makes up for it by throwing big displays of poppies and hundreds of renditions of Flanders Field.
11/11/2014 05:42 EST
For Canada's Indigenous Women, Going Missing Is a Terrifying

For Canada's Indigenous Women, Going Missing Is a Terrifying Possibility

There's an epidemic in our country that our government is refusing to respond to. For Indigenous women in Canada, the idea that they might go missing is a terrifying reality. The United Nations has urged Canada to launch a national inquiry on missing and murdered Indigenous women. But Harper has not been willing to act. Disappointing as the news is, it's, unfortunately, not surprising that a settler-colonial state does not value the lives of Indigenous women as much as other citizens.
11/04/2014 12:16 EST