Gender

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Gender Block: Patricia Arquette, gender equity and intersectionality

Unless you don’t use social media (which you totally do and probably have at least once since clicking this link) you have heard about Patricia Arquette’s that-went-downhill-fast Oscars moment. During her acceptance speech, after winning Best Supporting Actress for her role in Boyhood, she spoke about gender equality, “To every woman who gave birth to… More »

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Gender Block: online harassment is a real concern

Late last January a man in Winnipeg tweeted that the bar he was at was displaying a sexist poster. The bar agreed, and thanked him for calling it out. This constructive back-and-forth did not, however, stop the onslaught of tweets calling the man, Ben Wickstrom, a “pussy” and other predictably homophobic slurs. Despite the online… More »

Gender block: western supremacy, because nothing to see in our backyard

Many a conversation regarding anything of a progressive nature leads to someone making a snide so-called “first-world problem” comment. For instance: who cares about women being raped here, because more women are being raped “there” (wherever “there” is—i.e., everywhere else—it is, apparently, run by barbarians). Not only are these conversations eye-roll inducing, they rely on… More »

Gender Block: She Asked For It

I decided I need to become better at public speaking so I’ve started subjecting myself to the horror of, well, public speaking. I started as a guest speaker at a Durham Rape Crisis Centre volunteer training session, my second and most recent attempt was a literary reading at Oshawa, Ont.’s The LivingRoom Community Art Studio…. More »

Gender Block: real men don’t …

Like believing in Santa Claus and thinking blue participation ribbons symbolize some sort of merit, we leave a lot behind with our childhood. Yet the idea that “bad guys” are rare and easy to pick out seems to linger. If a man commits an act of violence, like sexual assault or emotional abuse, he isn’t… More »

Oh, The Horror: Problematic horror

While most horror movies have problematic elements, the ones below are the worst. Unlike others, there’s simply no merit in them to overpower the awful parts of the film. 1. Hostel (2005): The Hostel franchise is problematic for a variety of reasons. First and foremost it’s part of the torture porn or “gorno” subgenre and… More »

Gender Block: Body shame doesn’t cancel itself out

Is dissecting a woman’s picture to prove it has been Photoshopped really body positive? Media is a big message transmitter and dictates feelings, philosophies, morals, values—pretty much everything that makes up society rules. No matter how critical the viewer, we are still subjected to ads in subway stations and on buses, on billboards and in… More »

Gender Block: the devil’s advocate

I get a lot of pretty hateful messages through e-mail and social media. No matter how much time I’ve devoted to educating myself on gender issues—including re-learning and exploring uncomfortable concepts, like my own privileges—there will always be that person who approaches me with the very misogynistic messaging our society is built on (thus already perpetuated… More »

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Gender Block: Bye Felipe, hello a safer online

Just this morning I was reading Lee Maracle’s Ravensong. In it, there’s a part where a 17-year-old indigenous girl wasn’t sure how to tell a white boy she wasn’t interested: “White boys always have a response which is designed to save their pride by assaulting yours.” And then I found Bye Felipe. Started by former… More »

Gender Block: Pinkwashing

When the calendar flips to October, shelves are stocked with pink products and pink ribbons are all around. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, tackling the most common cancer, and the second leading cause of death from cancer, among Canadian women, according to the Canadian Cancer Society. Companies, like Procter and Gamble (P&G), use this… More »