Gender Block: Black women are not accessories

White artists appropriating black culture isn’t new (Elvis, anyone?)—but pop culture social commentary as of late is taking a hard look at the practice. Recently, singer Lily Allen has been criticized for using black female dancers as props in her video for “Hard Out Here.” “Much of the video features Lily Allen dancing in a… More »

Gender Block: Advertising’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

Imagine having your waist measured with measuring tape and being a size “passionate.” Or stepping on a scale to see, not a number, but the word “perfect.” Body positive activists already have—and Special K has mysteriously come up with these same ideas to put in their ad campaigns. On August 21, a commercial for the… More »

FTW Friday – May the FORCE (Feminist Ordered Ratings for Cinema Equality) be with you

“I tried to remember any case in the course of my reading where two women are represented as friends.” -Virginia Woolf There’s a hoary old cliché about male nerds that they’re perennially afraid of women, clamming up whenever one begins to talk, scoffing through their retainer at the thought of one intellectually matching them on… More »

Gender Block: What we’d really like Rob Ford to apologize for

Yesterday Toronto’s mayor admitted on his radio show that he has made  ”mistakes.” By now, the whole world (literally) knows that Ford is embroiled in a substance abuse scandal; beyond the vague-sounding “mistakes” there is, of course, the video in which it appears Rob Ford is smoking from a crack pipe. But what about the… More »

Friday FTW: China’s Human Rights Violations Enjoy a Moment in the Spotlight

When I returned from China over the summer, having worked there for a year and a half, people would ask me, “What was it like?” And I, like a child trying to verbalize their first lofty idea, was sort of tongue-tied. There are over a billion individual perspectives in the country, yet only one autocratic… More »

WTF Wednesday: Globe and Mail’s Margaret Wente steps up to defend David Gilmour

By the time Friday rolled around last week there was a veritable anthology of jokes to which “David Gilmour” was the punch line. The paper-bag jowls and complacent half-smile of his face pasted on News Feeds and blogs like an advert for a public flogging. Everywhere that CanLit went, so too went the name David… More »

Blurred Lines

Friday FTW: Blurred lines? Ask first!

You’ve probably heard the tune, though you may not even know it—it’s definitely a candidate for 2013′s song of the summer, alongside Miley Cyrus’ also contentious We Can’t Stop. It’s floating in the air on every patio, blasting from cruising cars, oozing along the sidewalks in the club districts. “#BLURREDLINES” billboards loom over this city…. More »

Friday FTW: Happy 100th birthday John Koerner

John Koerner is 100 years old and still making art. Really. If you haven’t heard of Koerner—a Vancouver-based modernist painter who basically kick-started said movement in Canada—or seen his work, you’re missing out. Lucky for you, he’s having a birthday party on June 9 in Burnaby, B.C., where you can hear him speak and see his work…. More »

WTF Wednesday: Science reduced to Facebook personality tests

The National Academy of Science just published a study that shows what your Facebook ‘Likes’ reveal about your behaviours and personal life. The study released March 11 explains: “We show that easily accessible digital records of behavior, Facebook Likes, can be used to automatically and accurately predict a range of highly sensitive personal attributes including:… More »

Tim Hortons Priestley

Mess with our doughnuts, but leave Anne Shirley alone

Earlier this week, the American sitcom How I Met Your Mother dedicated an episode to Canada, with appearances by famous Canuckers like Stephen Page, Geddy Lee, Alex Trebek and Jason Priestley. Going north of 44 is not exactly uncharted comedy territory — writing rooms from The Simpsons to The Colbert Report have mined Canada’s perceived… More »