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Dead Wild Roses: Friday Musical Interlude: Argentine Tango

The tango that they dance in Argentina is a very, very different dance than you might see on Dancing with the Stars. It’s highly improvisational, and allows not only the leader, but also the follower, to make artistic decisions. Everything is communicated between the partners through physical contact, whether it’s a slight shift of the shared center of balance, or physically pushing with hands, feet, or legs. One guy that I taught tango to, who was into martial arts, commented that Argentine tango is very much like judo, except that the object is to NOT fall down.

Here (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: When Shaming Survivors is Not Enough: Police-State Motives Behind Sexual Assault Transit Ads

Photo credit Instagram: @the_noush. Permission to use granted.

By Emily Griffiths

The Transit Police got burned in the media recently, when rad feminist transit riders called them out publicly for their summer-line of sexual assault ads. These ads use language that shames the survivors of sexual assault, stating, “the real shame of sexual assault is that it goes unreported.” It turns out that the transit police were the ones doing something that “doesn’t feel right” and making riders “uncomfortable.”

The whole thing was a PR blunder for the transit cops, who realized it right away and are now (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- David Leonhardt offers a revealing look at the relative priorities of wealthier and poorer regions of the U.S. And Patricia Cohen discusses the disproportionate effect of inequality and poverty on women: It’s at the lowest income levels that the burden on women stands out. Not only are they more likely than men to be in a minimum-wage job, but women are also much more likely to be raising a family on their own. “Inequality is rising among women as well as men, but at the bottom, women are struggling with some dimensions (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on how the recent spate of Saskatchewan women being fired for getting pregnant represents only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to gender inequality.

For further reading…- The Leader-Post reported on the increase in pregnancy-related firings here. And its editorial board weighs in here. – Oxfam’s report referenced in the column is here (PDF). And again, Shannon Gormley’s column on how we project to be a lifetime away from wage equality is worth read. – Finally, Clive Crook discusses the need for early and consistent social support to end inequality of opportunity.

Politics, Re-Spun: Slut Shaming, And Other Idiocy

Welcome to the cusp of spring-summer.

Now that the weather is turning, the slut shaming and attacks on women’s clothing choices will ramp up.

In Labrador, 28 girls were sent home from school because their clothing contravened the dress code. They also sent home two boys whose shirts bared their shoulders. 47% of those voting on the CBC story’s webpoll supported the school’s decision.

But Memorial University professor Patricia Dold share some inconvenient truth about this:

Male students and teachers they apparently were distracting should be the ones under the microscope. … Dold said that the school should have an (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: Be A Man

How many of you out there have either heard these words or said them to others? I’m willing to bet most males out there has heard it at some point and many women have told the males in their lives these words. It’s part of the social narrative, these constructs of what gender is and how someone should and should not act. Men are strong, men don’t cry, men are athletic, men demand respect, men settle their differences physically and most importantly men don’t show weakness.

Of course, this is all tripe. These social constructs are ultimately just that, constructs. (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Don’t Tolerate Ignorance About the Minimum Wage

Now, stop tolerating ignorance! And smile, TGIF.

Hello.

It’s Friday.

For many people it’s TGIF. But for many people who aren’t even teenagers, the work week isn’t ending today.

We often THINK minimum wage is for the new entries to the job market. Maybe it was one day. Maybe just for one day.

But today? If it isn’t a living wage, it’s exploitative.

And if it is just minimum wage, we are likely not too accurate on who is suffering with these low wages.

Let’s take a peek:

It is not the stereotypical pothead living in their parents’ basement.

(Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: The Future of Feminism Is Now

The children: being the future.

There seems to be a bit of an epidemic of young women and men rejecting the necessity of exploring or embracing feminism.

Maybe it’s like similarly misguided ideas like how we don’t need unions anymore.

But when you encounter young people who get it, really really get it, it gives you hope for the future.

Meet Jules Spector:

At the risk of pinning all the hopes of the world on one person’s shoulder, that’s not what we’re talking about. We’re talking about one voice, and a platform to speak to the world. Or her community.

(Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Jim Stanford writes that union-bashing has proven to be political poison for many of the parties who have tried to distract from increasing inequality with attacks on workers: (T)he biggest problem for Mr. Hudak’s crusade was a deeper sentiment in Canadian public opinion regarding unions and the role they play in society. No matter their warts, unions ultimately reflect their members: typical Canadians just trying to earn a decent income, support their families, and (hopefully) retire with some security, in an economy which rewards the rich and powerful more than ever before. Unions (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Lupita Nyong’o On Validation, For International Women’s Day

A sublime meditation on validation. Bravo!

…in which a young woman shares her adolescent anxieties and blossoms into a role model for us all.

Happy International Women’s Day!

Enjoy the whole clip here:

 

July 15, 2013 Fearing Kate MacEachern: The Latest Canadian Military Blunder (40) November 22, 2010 A Paradigm Shift is Happening! (0) October 15, 2013 BC’s Child Support Clawback Hurts Kids (2) December 26, 2013 Ending Homelessness: Easy If You Simply Care (0)

Politics, Re-Spun: Women Who Inspire Us

Pam Palmater, getting it done!

“Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

Margaret Mead

For three decades of activism I have been inspired by a great number of wise, engaged women.

Carleen Pickard, for instance. I first met Carleen when she was the B.C./Yukon organizer for the Council of Canadians. En route to becoming the executive director of San Francisco-based Global Exchange, she was part of their human rights campaign in Mexico, and she has testified before the House of Commons (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Women: The Majority, Not a Media Niche

I couldn’t really fault you if you felt that only about 22% of humanity were women.

If we based it all on how frequently they are represented in politics and the media, we wouldn’t know they made up a 51-ish% majority.

This is why Cate Blanchett and Geena Davis have some words for us all.

And god[dess] help us if we try to contradict them:

Blanchett won an Oscar the other night. In her remarks she mentioned a truth that many people still don’t understand, offering gratitude regarding her film

“to the audiences who went to see it and perhaps (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: The Pandemic of Rape Culture

Speaking out against rape culture can create some serious backlash, which reflects our culture of rape.

At UBC the dean of the business school muses about firing all the students who took part in the chant that celebrates rape, which was also sung at Saint Mary’s in Halifax. And the students voted to not contribute money towards a sexual assault counselling program.

At the University of Ottawa, student politticians had a Facebook chat about how they would sexually assault another student leader. Then they got a lawyer to try to stop her from distributing the transcript of their chat. Then (Read more…)

. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: The Pandemic of Rape Culture

Politics, Re-Spun: Why Corporations Don’t Want Women In Charge

It’s interesting to see how far we may have come with gender equity. And not. Men, formerly the head of the household, are now more likely to share authority with women at home.

But what about the most powerful organizations in society: corporations? What’s the role of women in leadership?

This great excerpt below is the tip of the iceberg. The free market will not naturally require corporations to have gender equity in leadership. Regulation can help. And sociologists can track the cultural shifts that occur when organizations “let” women take some leadership role.

And the companion links in the (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: “Pro Life” Procedure For Men

Role reversal. It’s a fantastic way to check if a situation is horribly wrong. A brilliant example of this is found about 3 minutes in on this pretty great video. It follows the point I made in a previous post, but in a new, wonderfully hilarious way. Watch, laugh, be better equipped to deal with anti-choicers.

Filed under: Gender Issues, Humour, Religion Tagged: Jesus, Pro-Choice, role reversal, Sarah Silverman

Politics, Re-Spun: Can We Stop Treating Women Like Meat? Now? Maybe? Please?

Women-as-sex-meat, 2014 edition begins now. The #FacePalm is appropriate.

It’s nothing new, but when can media just stop. Maybe when it’s no longer profitable? We need a revolution in media by boycotting all venues that perpetuate the women-as-sex-meat theme. Here’s what’s new, this time with Eugenie Bouchard and Cate Blanchett.

“You’re getting a lot of fans here,” noted Smith, a former British tennis champ. “A lot of them are male, and they want to know: If you could date anyone in the world of sport, of movies – I’m sorry, they asked me to say this – who would you (Read more…)

. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Can We Stop Treating Women Like Meat? Now? Maybe? Please?

Politics, Re-Spun: Curing Gender Imbalance in Media? MONEY!

Movies that pass the Bechdel Test…make…more…money.

The best things in life are free, but you can give them to the birds and bees.

Media corporations love their money.

And in a sexist society, common sense indicates that movies with lots of testosterone and no whiny women should make more money.

That may have been true at some point, but as of last year, not so much.

Here’s why we know this:

Click the image to see the grandeur of it all!

After analyzing the top 50 biggest box office movies of 2013, Versha Sharma and Hanna Sender have an innovative money-making tip for (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Cheap T-Shirts Keep Harper in Power

Whenever I read stories about corporations wanting to do the right thing, I never hold my breath. Clothing corporations, the sector where “sweatshops” originates, want us to believe they care. They don’t.

Read what nonsense they are trying to peddle to get us off their back for exploiting people so we can have cheap t-shirts. Then, hold your breath for this, scroll all the way to the bottom to see how it comes all the way back to keeping Stephen Harper in power.

Start here:

Shortly before Black Friday, H&M announced that it also plans to start paying 850,000 workers (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Fried Squirrels

It’s a crisp, foggy November Saturday morning in the south side of the city. Seventeen people sit in the large open area at the back end of an organic fair trade coffee shop run by a workers’ co-op inspired by the Mondragon movement in Spain. Meet-ups like this are quite common in this shop.

The male and female co-facilitators move briskly through the agenda with the help of the nodding volunteer maintaining the speakers list. There are sporadic jazz-hand gestures, common from the Occupy Movement, as well as a strict yet comfortable group norm of only one person speaking at (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: The Secret Weapon: Self-Esteem

It’s Monday.

Have you contributed positively to a young girl’s self esteem yet today?

If not, here is some inspiration and a place to get better resourced!

“As a child, I never heard one woman say to me: ‘I love my body.’ Not my mother, my elder sister, my best friend. Not one woman has ever said: ‘I am so proud of my body.’ So, I make sure I say it to Mia, because a positive physical outlook has to start from a very early age.”

- Kate Winslet

In the first movie, when it was obviously (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: How Does Violence at Home Affect Workplaces in Canada?

Worksafe BC at least isn’t keeping itself in the dark

Here is yet another stigma-laden, denial-inducing taboo topic in society and workplaces: domestic violence.

And when we connect violence at home to effects on people as workers in the workplace, we get lots of crickets.

So I’m happy to report that Western and the CLC are trying to turn on the flashlight to gather some data to see how big a problem this is, and how much we’ve been ignoring it as people, workers, co-workers, employers, unions and governments.

I’ll give you a hint: I expect we’re in pretty massive (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Are We Good Allies to First Nations?

This is what solidarity looks like; make sure it’s authentic!

Lots of us care about deepening relationships with and social/economic/political justice for first peoples. It’s hard to come in, though, sometimes as a person from an oppressor or settler class. But there is a good checklist to make sure we’re actually contributing effectively.

It’s hard to know how to live humility, sincerity and really really good listening to make sure we are not a hindrance, but this Ally Bill of Responsibilities does a good job of helping us be mindful of humility, and maintaining a sincere focus on assisting those (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: I Believe the Children Are Our Future: Barf

Faisal and Azeem, getting it done!

Platitudes and paternalism aside, the 21st century actually does belong to the young. And not that they’re OUR future, like an extension of us, but that we are stewarding the future for them.

And we’re doing a pretty horrible job of it. But since we’re not idiots, we should be able to try on a new hat and leave a legacy we won’t be so ashamed of. Here’s how.

I’m not a big fan of Microsoft, but they’re figuring it out at least a little bit [see below] by spotting that there is a (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: BC’s Child Support Clawback Hurts Kids

British Columbia’s Child Support Clawback for Children of Parents on Government Assistance Hurts Kids

When I bring up the issue of the child support clawback in British Columbia affecting single parents on temporary or disability assistance through the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation, most people are completely unaware of this mean-spirited policy. It requires that all single parents receiving assistance report the child support they bring in on a monthly basis so the Ministry can then deduct it, 100%, dollar-for-dollar, off of their next monthly cheque.

This is problematic for so many reasons. The most obvious is (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: Russia: The Westboro Baptist of Nations

Ms.Betty Bowers thoughts on the 2014 Olympics.

Filed under: Ethics, Gender Issues, International Affairs Tagged: bigotry, discrimination, Olympics, Russia