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What’s Current: Women won 2014! (Except for all the virulent misogyny)

2014: The year women won (?) Dalhousie University Dentistry School is busted for both students and professors creating a culture of sexual harassment and misogyny. Azalea Banks calls out another celeb! Eminem is no “diss God” when all he does is diss women. “Feminism is needed,” says Banks. “Pink Viagra” may one day solve that awful medical condition of sexual dysfunction wherein women don’t want to constantly satisfy the sexual appetites of men. Why medico-scientific research is continually thwarted by female sexuality. Try something. Just Google “rabid” right now. Look at Google’s automatically displayed dictionary definition. Look at the example for definition #1. “A rabid feminist.” Wtf, Google??? Brought to our attention by this article. Let’s face it: social media...
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An open letter to Dr. Camille Cosby

Dear Camille Cosby, It is very believable that the man you hear about in the news with over 20 victims coming forward telling their stories of having been drugged, sexually harassed and abused by him is not the man you know. I don’t doubt it. Consider this — the vast majority of men who buy women to abuse in prostitution are married. Their wives would say the same thing you have said about Bill were they to hear from prostitution victims and survivors of their husband’s sexual abuse. This is relevant to Bill Cosby how? The descriptions and testimony women are giving of his alleged abuse mirrors how men who buy women for prostitution treat them. And no, they don’t like it, want it. But yes, we live in...
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What’s Current: Uptalk, women & whiskey, and a glorious year of misandry

“Needs More Gay” offers another interesting queer reading of pop culture. This time with the new Peter Pan Live musical, which has “never been gayer.” Oh, God: “Isis ‘executes 150 women for refusing to marry militants’ and buries them in mass graves.” Despite Forbes often publishing absurd shit, here is a cool article on “How Women Shaped the Whiskey Industry.” CBC plans to scrub archives of Jian Ghomeshi’s old show. 2014 was a big year for man-hating. Whoo! Women shouldn’t have to talk like men to be taken seriously. “I was gang raped at UVA frat over 30 years ago, and no one did anything.”   An American expatriate who fled to the wonderland of Canada, Susan...
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On Camille Cosby’s coping mechanisms: I blame the patriarchy

As more and more allegations against Bill Cosby come out, I’ve been thinking about his wife. Until recently, I had actually assumed he wasn’t married, before a quick Google search showed Cosby has been with his wife, Camille, for 50 years. They have four daughters. My initial reaction to this was “God, how awful.” I felt terribly sorry for her — sorrier for Cosby’s victims, to be sure, but I couldn’t imagine what Camille must have had to put up with, ignore, push aside, in all those years married to a man we really cannot pretend is innocent. We don’t know what all she knew but she must have known enough. Women aren’t stupid. Allegations against Bill Cosby have been public since 2004 and I don’t doubt there were...
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What’s Current: Men’s role in feminism, celebrate the holidays with sexism, & Camille Cosby implies her husband is the true ‘victim’

The question men’s role in feminism is both complex and simple: “Show, don’t tell.” We knew the Rolling Stone story would be used in attempts to discredit rape allegations, but now this has actually happened: “Bill Cosby’s wife invoked the Rolling Stone sexual assault story to defend him.” How do you make men listen to women’s issues? Numbers! “Hilary Clinton spurs ‘Gender Data Revolution.‘” More studies on women are great, but, of course, data can always be misleading. Google+ is following in Facebook’s footsteps by implementing system for users to self-assign their gender identity. “How self-tracking apps exclude women.” The tech industry’s embarrassing lack of female perspectives is showing again. Also breaking news: menstrual apps designed by men end up being out of touch with...
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What’s Current: Women wouldn’t shave their armpits in a zombie apocalypse, menstrual cups in East Africa, and putting women on Canadian money

Women in apocalyptic fiction shaving their armpits. Hooray for menstrual cups! An affordable and sustainable solution for women in East Africa. New study shows: Female scientists working in the field are vulnerable to sexual assault from their superiors and supervisors. A report on how conservative Christian colleges treat sexual assault on campus by telling victims to “deal with their sin.” Why are we asking 17-year-old actress Maisie Williams about feminism? More importantly, why is the biggest thing discrediting her the fact that she’s a “wealthy white woman,” and not that she’s a 17-year-old who can’t even bring herself to read a popular fantasy novel because it’s too long and difficult? Let’s get some women on Canadian money! Who...
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Why are we supposed to believe Shia LaBeouf?

I don’t have any particular opinion on Shia LaBeouf. I don’t particularly like him or dislike him. I really haven’t given him much thought. Based on a quick internet search, he seems, like many actor-types, to be overly self-involved and, like many other men, to maybe have issues with substance abuse and aggression/dickbaggery. But that impression has nothing to do with whether or not we should or should not believe he was raped. After the actor claimed, in an interview, that he was raped by a woman during his February performance art piece #IAMSORRY, Lindy West wrote, for the Guardian, about her disappointment at “expressions of doubt, scorn and outright rage from people across the ideological spectrum – some fellow feminists included.” She seems to believe that many of these...
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What’s Current: Angela Davis connects police violence to slavery, women are still excluded in film, and ‘virginity testing’ in Indonesia

Agnès Varda, 86, accepts lifetime achievement award; hits out at European cinema’s failure to recognize women. UNICEF media stunt at video game convention highlights players’ privilege in consuming extreme depictions of horror and violence. Angela Davis: “There is an unbroken line of police violence in the US that takes us all the way back to the days of slavery.” The myth of the hymen After Uber rape in Delhi, Ola plans ‘by women, for women’ cabs  ...
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What’s Current: Bro-country, breast-shaped glassware, and womenomics

“We measure our breasts in cups. We pour ourselves into dresses. Men drink us in, tall glasses that we are. We spill our secrets and intoxicate with our wit. This parlance is often obtuse, but what it conveys is clear as crystal: whatever pockets of fluid and fatty tissue comprise the female body are liminal and liquid, and they are for others’ consumption. Especially our jugs.” From Marie Antoinette to Kate Moss, the enduring legacy of breast-shaped glassware. There’s popular feminist music for young girls, and it’s a hell of a lot better than “girl-power” ever was. Maddie & Tae top the country music charts with their scathing critique of “bro-country.” “Torture is a culture. The Leaked CIA Report is a way of fighting it.” Some CIA torture methods...
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What’s Current: Sexual violence in gaming, the Rolling Stone rape story, and violence against women of colour

Today we’re launching What’s Current, your daily digest of feminist news and essays, brought to you every weekday! — During outrage over police murders of unarmed black men, we cannot help but wonder why female victims have disappeared in “virtual silence.” Ontario Universities take first steps in combatting sexual assault. Sexual Violence is present in more games than just Grand Theft Auto V. How gaming’s moral gate-keeper, the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), institutionalized violence against women. (Written by yours truly.) In case you hadn’t heard, “Rolling Stone threw a rape victim to the misogynist horde.” A chilling piece on the Rolling Stone fiasco and how the testimonials of women are written out of reality. Keep your womanly things like motherhood out of the public sphere!     Susan...
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The victims of anti-rape campaigns: Men on sexodus

Between the pulling of Grand Theft Auto V from Target Australia and the increasing number of women who want to be treated like humans, men are under attack like never before. A widely-read article by Milo Yiannopoulos, published at Breitbart, recently decried the excruciating oppression facing men, who, with the advent of women’s right to work and vote, are no longer able to use “girls” to solve their problems. A travesty of the highest sort. The author quotes one man: “ wouldn’t be so bad if we could at least dull the pain with girls. But we’re treated like paedophiles and potential rapists just for showing interest” These men claim they are earning less money, have less retirement funds and now, have to deal with “girls” who expect to...
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Northern Ireland will be the first part of the UK to criminalize buying sex

In October, members of the Stormont assembly voted in favour of a bill that would criminalize buying sex in Northern Ireland. On Wednesday, December 10th, Lord Morrow’s Human Trafficking and Exploitation Bill was voted through at the Final Stage. Once it receives Royal Assent, will be the first dedicated anti-slavery legislation to be passed into law by any UK parliament or assembly in more than 200 years. The legislation will criminalize paying for sexual services, enact tougher punishment for traffickers, exempt victims of trafficking from conviction “for all but the most serious of crimes committed while they were being exploited,” establish independent guardians to protect and advocate for children who have been trafficked, and create a statutory support service to assist adult victims of trafficking. From the CARE press...
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NOW Magazine takes a stand; will continue to generate revenue through prostitution advertisements

In a touching love letter to capitalism, Alice Klein, editor of NOW, a magazine whose survival depends, in large part, on revenue from prostitution advertisements, proclaims the publication will boldly go where everyone has gone before and continue to profit from the exploitation and objectification of female bodies. Klein writes: NOW supports its feisty independent journalism by selling advertising. It has run ads for sexual services throughout its history, because as a publication that stands for human rights and free expression, NOW has refused to discriminate against sex work and sex workers while allowing advertising from other less stigmatized businesses. Canada’s new prostitution legislation, which came into effect on December 6, prohibits third party advertising for sexual services. This means that prostitutes can still advertise for their own services,...
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On the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, let’s remember what feminism is actually about

December 6 is the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. It is also the anniversary of the day when 14 women were shot and killed at École Polytechnique by a gunman who shouted: “You’re all a bunch of feminists, and I hate feminists!” Clearly December 6 is a day of feminist action. It is a day to challenge male violence against women. It therefore feels appropriate to talk about what feminism actually is and means — what is it we are fighting, precisely, as feminists? I define feminism as a movement to end patriarchy and male violence against women. This definition makes sense and feels obvious to me because without patriarchy there would be no need for feminism and because male violence against women is...
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Hi the media. Do your job. Love, feminism.

The Canadian Press published a weird little story today by reporter, Stephanie Levitz, claiming that “sex workers” feel it is “‘sick and twisted’ that Canada’s controversial new prostitution bill comes into force on a day dedicated to eradicating violence against women.” The day referenced is December 6th, the anniversary of the Montreal Massacre and the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. Levitz only interviewed one self-described “sex worker,” Valerie Scott, who is one of the women Alan Young brought on as an applicant in his court challenge (Bedford v. Canada) and who is most likely no longer actually working as a prostitute, having aged out of the biz (johns like the young’uns). This is, of course, part of the problem with the term “sex worker.”...
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Former Q producer goes public. How much longer are women going to be told to ‘just try to cope?’

On Tuesday, Kathryn Borel published an account of her experiences working as a producer for Q in The Guardian. Borel is the previously-anonymous woman who said that Ghomeshi told her he wanted to “hate-fuck” her in a story meeting. The sexual harassment was ongoing. After Borel yawned during a meeting and Ghomeshi responded by saying, “I want to hate fuck you, to wake you up,” she was subjected to “uninvited back massages at my desk to which it was clear I couldn’t say no, during which my host’s hands would slide down just a little too close to the tops of my breasts.” The former host also grabbed Borel’s rear end, claiming “he couldn’t control himself because of skirt.” Sometimes, she wrote, Ghomeshi “would stand in the doorway...
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Bikini activism: When sexual objectification and ‘consciousness-raising’ collide

“Sex” sells… or so we’re told. Repeatedly. Contemporary advertising in the West is saturated with references to “sex” (i.e., women’s bodies) — used to sell everything from car tires to baby clothes. But more recently, the “sex sells” mantra has become a part of men’s political education – wherein the sexualization of women’s bodies is used to “raise awareness” about broader social and cultural issues. Last month, the G20 Summit was held in Brisbane, Australia, attracting a large group of protesters and journalists from all over the world. Among the sea of photographers, bystanders and anti-Putin banners, a young woman – looking out of place holding a microphone, wearing nothing but a striped bikini and flip flops – was filmed asking protesters about their thoughts on the state of...
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