Progressive politics, ideas & culture



Gender Block: Canadian universities and sexual violence

Why do universities have such a laid-back approach to sexual violence on campus? Plus, CBC's documentary School of Secrets

Hillary Di Menna

On Monday night, CBC’s The Fifth Estate streamed the episode School of Secrets (still online). The episode featured Mandi Gray of Toronto’s York University and Glynnis Kirchmeier of the University of British Columbia. Both women have filed human rights complaints against their schools for not responding to reports of sexual assault by alumni. Since her […] More »
November-December 2015

In their shoes

Nearly 20 years ago, Mary Gordon created a program to bring moms and babies into school classrooms. How empathy can create kinder kids, better adults, and a more equitable society

Blair MlotekWebsite@blairmlo

Mary Gordon believes in the power of empathy. It can, she says, stop patterns of abuse, draw the curtain on generational cruelty, and create kinder, better worlds—especially if we instill its importance at a young age. That’s why, in 1996, the former teacher, as well as creator of the first Toronto District School Board daycare […] More »

Gender Block: election time

As Canada's federal election approaches, which party leaders are paying attention to women's issues?

Hillary Di Menna

Election day is October 19 and women’s issues are being discussed, sort of. Like, one of the discussions is about how major party leaders aren’t actually into the idea of having these discussions. Here’s a glimpse so far: Up for Debate Wouldn’t it be handy if there were a debate specifically about women’s issues? There […] More »

Gender Block: online threats to women’s safety are kind of a big deal

Or, why we need to start taking university campus threats to women's groups seriously

Hillary Di Menna

There is some criticism out there that police and University of Toronto (UofT) campus security took online threats to shoot up women’s studies classrooms too seriously. If Canada didn’t have such a history of letting women and girls be abused, and in some cases murdered, maybe these criticisms would be right. As of Sept. 11, […] More »

Gender Block: rape is still rape even when you like the accused

Why we need to stop victim-blaming and letting celebrities off the hook when they're accused of sexual assault and rape

Hillary Di Menna

Earlier this month LA-based 90s treasure L7 played the Danforth Music Hall in Toronto. Named for one of the band’s more famous songs, a “Shit List” was made and displayed in the venue’s women’s bathroom. On this list were names of men who have assaulted women. The list came with extra paper and pens for people to add more […] More »

Gender Block: Jurassic World

Hillary Di Menna

I didn’t exactly expect Jurassic World  to be feminist savvy—it’s largely about capitalizing on nostalgia and making a bunch of dinosaurs run around. Dinosaurs, after all, are big bucks: as of July 26 the film has grossed $1,542,568,684 worldwide. They’re also very cool and I’ll admit I saw the movie twice. Even if the franchise […] More »

Gender Block: so, the Pan Am games are a mess

Hillary Di Menna

The Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) led a rally and march last weekend in protest of Toronto’s Pan Am Games. As the event page description reads, “If there is money to spend on circuses, then the resources can be found to end the need for food banks, tackle the mounting problem of homelessness and ensure […] More »

Happy 49th Birthday to This Magazine!

This Magazine Staff

We know it’s hard to believe, but This Magazine just turned 49! We wish you could be here to help us celebrate and blow out the candles on our birthday cake (this year we went with a lovely Fudgie the Whale inspired ice cream cake). Since 1966, This Magazine has been bringing Canadians the best […] More »

Gender Block: Harper won’t have a glowing review to hang on the fridge

Hillary Di Menna

Last week the United Nations took a look at Canada’s human rights record. This has not been done since 2006, making this the first review since Stephen Harper became Prime Minister.  A Globe and Mail article written by Alex Neve, the secretary-general of Amnesty International Canada, is currently circulating. Right away it quotes British member of the UN […] More »

Gender block: I’m not a real feminist

Hillary Di Menna

“Don’t worry,” they often tell me. “You’re a real feminist.” In earlier days I was alright with this statement. “OK,” I’d think, “They’re taking me seriously and are willing to listen.” But really, what they mean is that since I’m not wearing army boots and wishing death upon men, I’m a feminist unicorn. In other words, […] More »

Gender Block: victim blaming

Hillary Di Menna

Lately, it seems anytime feminism is mentioned there are many people ready to point out how unnecessary it is: You know, that if women wanted to work they would, but they choose to have families; that if women didn’t want predatory sexual advances they wouldn’t welcome them through their behaviour and clothing; that if a […] More »