This Magazine

Progressive politics, ideas & culture

Menu

Gender

September-October 2018

Why is the number of women in Canada’s prisons increasing?

New report sheds light on the experiences of imprisoned women across the country

Melanie Woods

For many female inmates in Canada’s prisons, a routine trip to the gynecologist could mean being shackled to a bed. This is according to a 2016–17 investigative report from Canada’s Office of the Correctional Investigator (OCI). About one-quarter of female maximum security prisoners interviewed in the investigation reported being restrained during off-unit movement, including health […] More »
July-August 2018

What the #MeToo movement hasn’t said about mental health and sexual assault

The movement has largely focused on male entitlement and toxic masculinity. But failing to discuss, support, and connect the patriarchy-endorsed violence against women with its long-term mental health effects is problematic

Lori Fox

When Krista Dale was 11 years old, she awoke from a sleepwalking episode to find her stepfather on the couch next to her. “He was trying to have sex with me,” she remembers, 18 years after the incident. “I freaked out.” She ran to the bathroom, locked herself in, and began yelling for her mother, […] More »
May-June 2017

Meet the woman combatting sexism in Canada’s STEM fields

Eden Hennessey’s #DistractinglyHonest exhibit explores the realities for women in STEM fields

Sohini Bhattacharya

When Nobel Laureate Tim Hunt said, at a science conference in 2015, that the trouble with women in labs is they cry and fall in love, the scientific community reacted with a barrage of vituperations from both sides. For doctoral candidate Eden Hennessey, one hashtag became a call to action. Under the banner #DistractinglySexy, female scientists […] More »
March-April 2017

Thousands of Canadian women are dismissed by their doctors—because of their gender

Lisa Benshabat was told by doctors that things were "all in her head" when she was unwell. Then she took her life. Why women are routinely silenced by medical professionals

Talia Wooldridge@TaliaWooldridge

On February 9, 2016, at 3:45 p.m., Gail Benshabat sent a text to her 27-year-old daughter, Lisa, asking if she wanted to catch an early movie. Benshabat was wrapping up her workday at a quiet special needs school in the north end of Toronto, about a 30-minute drive from the third-floor apartment where she lived […] More »
January-February 2017

These reusable pads are changing women’s periods across the world

Lunapads tackle the ongoing cost and environment waste of traditional menstrual products

Courtney Dickson@dicksoncourtney

Photo courtesy of Afripads Madeleine Shaw had been making reuasable cloth menstrual pads for six years when she met Suzanne Siemens at a community leadership course in 1999. The women instantly clicked over their shared goals around business and social change, and together, they decided to take Shaw’s pad project to the next level. “When I […] More »
January-February 2017

New anthology tackles popular misconceptions about virginity

University of Regina Press's Virgin Envy talks chastity, purity, and the meanings behind a first time

Ashani Jodha@ashjodha

Virgin Envy: The Cultural (In)significance of the Hymen Edited by Jonathan A. Allan, Cristina Santos, and Adriana Spahr University of Regina Press, $27.95 Losing your V-card, popping your cherry, your first time: losing one’s virginity is a sacred rite of passage in many cultures—but the contributors of Virgin Envy aren’t buying into the archaic and stereotypical […] More »

Hey, TTC: You should listen to Body Confidence Canada

The National Ballet and the TTC have come under fire for its latest ad campaign—and the criticism is worth listening to

Hillary Di MennaWebsite@fem_directory

Gender Block breaks down and analyzes the latest in news about women, feminism, and gender in Canada. According to its mandate, the Body Confidence Canada Awards (BCCA) “advocate for equitable and inclusive images, messages, practices and policies supporting body diversity.” It’s pretty hard to argue with that mandate, unless you’re a jerk. And if the past […] More »
September-October 2016

Canada’s census must include a third gender category

About 350,000 Canadians identify as non-binary—including me. Why can't we accurately report our gender to the government?

andrea bennett@akkabah

For our special 50th anniversary issue, Canada’s brightest, boldest, and most rebellious thinkers, doers, and creators share their best big ideas. Through ideas macro and micro, radical and everyday, we present 50 essays, think pieces, and calls to action. Picture: plans for sustainable food systems, radical legislation, revolutionary health care, a greener planet, Indigenous self-government, […] More »

Mustafa Ururyar found guilty of rape

Media and public reaction to verdict says much about how far we have to go when it comes to talking about sexual assault and believing women

Hillary Di Menna

In late July, Mustafa Ururyar was found guilty of sexual assault against Mandi Gray. I have goose bumps just writing that sentence. Justice Marvin Zuker read his decision out loud in court from a 180-page prepared document. He started with recounting both Gray’s and Ururyar’s respective reports as well as relevant cases from Canada’s legal […] More »

Jennifer Aniston gives birth to teenager!

Deconstructing the media's obsession with Hollywood celebrity pregnancies—starting with none other than Jennifer Aniston

Lisa Whittington-Hill

Sixteen. That’s the number of years tabloid magazines have spent declaring Jennifer Aniston pregnant. Rumours started gestating while the actress was still married to Brad Pitt, but really ramped up post-Pitt. Aniston has been “pregnant and alone,” “pregnant with twins,” “pregnant with John Mayer’s baby”—your body is not a wonderland when that happens—and a “pregnant […] More »
May-June 2016

Is welfare sexist?

Some provincial governments will cut off social and disability assistance if a woman’s partner makes too much money—a 1950s era policy that curbs independence, reinforces the marry-rich cliché, and can even put women in danger

Amanda Van Slyke

Independence has never come easy for me—but it’s always been vital. I was born premature in 1989 with undiagnosed dyspraxia, a neurological disorder that permanently affects memory, coordination, and processing speed. Because my development was delayed and I was held back in kindergarten, I heavily relied on my classmates throughout school. I nodded my head […] More »