Welcome to Feminist Truths

We are reborn! Getting shut down by lawyers working for the mafia (it is a long story) hasn't put an end to Feminist Truths.

The good news is that Feminist Truths is back and I have made it my quest in life to deliver truth to the masses.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Truth about Feminism in the United States

UNITED STATES - Remember Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin? Both were criticized for their looks, their clothing, their voices, their husbands and their children. It wasn't exactly "fair game", but it was certainly sexist. (Please note Sarah Palin is NOT a feminist.)

American women are getting "bitch slapped" back down where 'they belong' on a regular basis in the United States. For all their beliefs about equality Americans still can't accept women as leaders or equals.

The Oklahoma legislature recently approved a move that would compel doctors to fill out 10-page forms on each abortion they perform, including questions about the woman's relationship with the "sperminator"... worse, all these details would then be posted on a public website.

The idea is being pushed by the religious right-wing in an effort to discourage women from having abortions by fear-mongering them and exposing them publicly.

This is just one example of how women's rights are under attack.

If you read Maria Shriver's report "A Woman's Nation Changes Everything" or "When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present" by Gail Collins you will get a better idea of just how much women's rights is under attack by the religious right-wing.

Gail Collins' book has lots of little stories like the woman who couldn't get a lease unless it was signed by her institutionalized mental patient husband or the woman who was shouted out of traffic court by the judge for wearing slacks instead of a skirt.

Collins also writes "Back then, if you wanted a career that involved travel, you'd have to have become a flight attendant..."

"Coffee, tea ... or me?"

The Great Pink North (Canada) meanwhile has free health care and maternity leaves, greater numbers in the workforce and halls of academia, but Canadian women still fall behind in government jobs and executive positions compared to the USA. So we're not much better if you we are realistic about it.

There's also the wage gap, both for wages and pensions. Women in particular suffer in their old age after their husband dies (or leaves in divorce) because they have little or no access to their husband's pension despite serving as homemaker and mother for decades.

Worse, feminism has been so attacked over the years by men and the religious right-wing that young women now associate the F-word with hairy-legs and man-hating Feminazis. So regardless of whether you live in the USA or Canada, the truth is feminism has yet to be accepted as what it really is: Equality.

"Feminism needs to rebrand." - Cristina Simonetto, ad copywriter.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Pregnant Woman Wins Court Battle

FEMINISM/HEALTH - In 2008 Ontario woman Jessica Maciel was 20 years old, single and was accidentally pregnant. She chose to keep it. A year later she has a bouncing baby boy.

What she wasn't expecting was to be fired over it. The Nino D'Arena beauty salon in Mississauga apparently didn't want a pregnant woman working in their salon.

Two days ago on Wednesday the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario awarded Maciel $35,000 is damages and lost wages, to be paid for by the salon. The Nino D'Arena salon has also been ordered to implement a policy that will protect women in the future from being fired over a pregnancy.

Maciel was already 4 months pregnant when she first started working at the salon in August 2008. There is no requirement under the Ontario's Human Rights Code to advise possible employers about a pregnancy.

After telling her boss Cinzia Conforti about the pregnancy however she was asked 15 minutes later to leave. It was blatant discrimination.

The court decision to punish the salon and award Maciel "really sends the message that excluding new mothers from the workplace is not an option for employers," says Maciel's lawyer Kate Sellars. Ontario's Human Rights Legal Support Centre receives about 40 calls / week from women facing discrimination.

Other legal support groups are out there all across Canada and the United States. You just have to look for them. Here is the links for other non-Ontario groups.

Alberta Human Rights and Citizenship Commissions
British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal
British Columbia Human Rights Coalition
Canadian Human Rights Commission
Canadian Association of Statutory Human Rights Agencies
Manitoba Human Rights Commission
New Brunswick Human Rights Commission
Newfoundland Human Rights Commission
Northwest Territories Human Rights Commission
Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission
Prince Edward Island Human Rights Commission
Quebec – Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse
Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission
Yukon Human Rights Commission

Word to the Wise: Don't trample on people's Human Rights, because they can sue you and win.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Truth about Cuckolded Women

DIVORCE - Yes, cuckold is technically a term applied to husbands of cheating wives. Sadly there's no reverse equivalent in the dictionary for when husbands cheat.

When a husband cheats women really have two options:

#1. Leave him.

#2. Forgive him.

There's also a third option, but it usually results in the wife leaving him anyway.

#3. Teach him a lesson / cheat on him too / make his life miserable.

The third option however is just plain vindictive. Once you've reached that point you might as well just split up. Its not worth your time and the stress trying to teach your soon-to-be ex a lesson. Making his life miserable will just result in more cheating. You cheating on him implies you didn't really love him anyway. Being vindictive isn't going to change anything.

Husbands who are cads (such an old term, but an accurate one) aren't about to become faithful over night by teaching them a lesson. People, as a rule, do not change over night. Ever.

Oh sure, you might get someone to change their habits temporarily, but eventually they're back to their old routine.

Call it part of social conditioning, but once a cad always a cad.

But this post isn't about cad husbands. Its about cuckolded women, and more specifically about their goal of revenge / teaching their cheating husbands a lesson.

Some women think that acting like a bitch is "girl power" in action.

Except it isn't. Sure, you have the right to be angry, but being vindictive is just childish, immature, shameful and there's nothing dignified about it.

So my advice to women? Don't bother being vindictive or vengeful. Its not going to accomplish anything, it isn't going to make you feel better, and its only going to make you look like a complete bitch (and possibly provoke further immature acts of vengeance).

Ergo, stay or go. Just take it like a man, ladies. Yes, hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, but taking out your anger on your ex isn't going to solve anything. (Note: This advice works equally well for men who catch their wives cheating.)

If you really did love him... here's what you do:
Cry your heart out.
Eat ice cream.
Dump him.
Get over it.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Truth about Who Wears the Pants in Sudan

FEMINISM/RELIGION - Yesterday a Sudanese judged convicted a woman of wearing pants outside and fined her approx. $200 US.

Originally the penalty was supposed to be 50 lashes for violating the public indecency law, but thanks to international condemnation the judge was pressured to lower the penalty.

Lubna Hussein, a journalist, was one of 13 women arrested back on July 3rd in Khartoum. Ten of the women were afraid to go to trial, agreed to the charges and were fined & flogged for wearing pants. Hussein and two others however decided to go to trial

"I will not pay a penny," says Lubna Hussein while still in court custody, who said Friday she would rather go to jail than pay any fine.

"I won't pay, as a matter of principle," says the journalist. "I would spend a month in jail. It is a chance to explore the conditions of jail."

The case made headlines in Sudan and around the world and Hussein used it to rally world opinion against the country's strict morality laws based on conservative interpretations of the Quran. Hussein says the law is un-Islamic and oppressive to women.

Outside the courtroom police arrested dozens of female demonstrators who were also wearing pants. They all say they want to go to trial and denounce the unfair laws.

Meanwhile Amnesty International called on the Sudanese government to withdraw the charges against Hussein and trash the law which justifies "abhorrent" penalties on women and say the law should be scrapped because it allows for state-sanctioned torture.

Human rights groups in Sudan say the law also violates the 2005 constitution which guarantees equal rights and freedoms.

In 2003 eight Sudanese women were publicly flogged with plastic and metal whips leaving permanent scars for going on a picnic and wearing pants.

This is just one of many unfair laws in Sudan that have yet to be overturned.

"When I think of my trial, I pray that my daughters will never live in fear of these police ... We will only be secure once the police protect us and these laws are repealed," says Lubna Hussein.

Hussein says she's ready "to receive (even) 40,000 lashes" if that is what it takes to abolish the law.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Christian woman abducts baby, beats it head against sidewalk

CANADA/RELIGION - In Winnipeg today police are "scratching their heads" over why a 19-year-old Christian woman abducted a baby girl from a house party and brutally beat the child's head against a Winnipeg sidewalk.

Nikita Solange Eaglestick was charged today with attempted murder, abduction and aggravated assault. The 14-month-old little girl, identified by family as Vanessa, is recovering in hospital.

"That is something that we're all kind of scratching our heads right now to try and figure out," says Const. Jason Michalyshen, who also says: "Our investigators spent the majority of (Tuesday) interviewing witnesses, individuals that may possess valuable information with regards to the investigation. We're going to be continuing with that investigation by interviewing individuals that may help us find out some of those answers."

According to friends and family Nikita has been acting erratic and increasingly religious lately and may have been under the belief the baby was possessed by the devil, and thus was trying to beat the baby girl to death in an attempt to kill the anti-Christ... but that is just a theory.

Talk about completely wacko.

Police say the mother was at a house party in the area and her baby daughter was asleep. People were drinking and at some point the baby was taken from the party. Baby Vanessa and her parents have no relation to the abductor Nikita Eaglestick.

There is a hero to this story however.

18-year-old Tyler Bilsborrow is being called a hero for interrupting the attack. He was coming out of his home at 4 AM in the morning when he heard screaming nearby. He rushed around the corner and interrupted the woman who was beating the baby's head against the sidewalk. He then wrapped the baby in a sweater and called police.

"I thought the woman was drunk, beating up a cat," says Bilsborrow, the father of a two-year-old daughter.

The child's condition has been upgraded from critical to stable.

So... Christian or not, what would make a woman abduct a baby belonging to a complete stranger and then try to kill the baby by beating its head against a sidewalk? Its just plain sick.

Hopefully the truth will come out as to the real reason the woman tried to kill the baby. Nikita Eaglestick is a disgrace to all womenkind.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Misogynism at the Cannes Film Festival

ENTERTAINMENT - Want to see a movie that is rather... misogynistic?

The "Antichrist" is a horror film starring William Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg and is rather graphic... featuring a scene in which she lops off her clitoris with a pair of rusty scissors.

I shit you not. Thats pretty graphic.

The film was recently shown at the Cannes Film Fest... and festival chief Thierry Frémaux remarked that the Cannes jury made "a ridiculous decision that borders on a call for censorship" when the primarily Christian jury gave the film the "anti-prize" for being "the most misogynistic movie" at the fest.

Now evidently people are going to get upset about this film. The name "Antichrist" alone is sure to offend some religious folks and create confusion about what the film is about.

The film wasn't the only film at Cannes that was anti-woman. Its actually a theme this year. "Kinatay" features the kidnapping, rape, torture, murder and dismemberment of a prostitute.

"Enter the Void" is about a Tokyo stripper named Linda who is haunted by the spirit of her recently murdered brother, and the end of the film features a rape scene viewed from inside the vagina.

"The White Ribbon" is set in a remote German village just before World War I, where the village elders variously commit incest with their daughters, physically and emotionally abuse their spouses and lovers and treat women like slaves.

Then there's the opening scene in "Map of the Sounds of Tokyo" about a female fish cutter who moonlights as a hit-woman. In the scene a group of Japanese businessmen sitting around eating sushi off the torsos of naked women who lie before them, all the while making sexist and racist remarks.

So what is the point of these films? Well, you might say they are to provoke the audience in the hope that people realize times are changing, but in some cases they really haven't changed that much. Women are still seen as sexual playthings by many men.

Thus these films are just a wake up call to women. I am not saying we should start burning bras again (thats just silly in my opinion), but it is certainly past time that many women start taking a more active role in promoting equality.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Truth about Satellite Babies

CANADA/FEMINISM - No, we're not launching babies into outer space. If you're confused about the name satellite babies, we should best start you off on the right foot so you know what it is we are talking about.

Satellite Babies is the unusual but growing practice of immigrant women (often single mothers) sending their babies to live with their grandparents or aunts/uncles overseas so they can focus on school or career here in North America.

Its a tough decision to make. It can be very difficult to raise a child all by yourself, even if you do live in a wealthy nation like Canada or the United States. Sending your baby overseas to China, India or wherever to be raised by the relatives isn't really a right or wrong decision. Its a very gray area and its up to the individual to decide what is best for their baby and for themselves.

During a recession or during times of financial peril it does make a lot of sense.

According to a Canadian study published in the Infant Mental Health Journal, an increasing number of immigrants to Canada and the U.S. are shipping infants to their home country to be raised by extended families. In Greater Toronto alone an estimated 2,000 Canadian-born kids of Chinese parents are sent back to mainland China each year, then returned to Canada when they reach school age.

"These parents are completely torn by the decision, but they believe in this collectivist value that their own pain of separating from their child will be a greater good for the family (later on)," says researcher Professor Yvonne Bohr. "The family system is the building block of a community. When it is changed, compressed and stressed, it could create problems in relationships."

"Serial family separations are common in countries that welcome immigrants, and could be but one of many repercussions of globalization for parents and their children," says the 22-page article. There's even support groups in Toronto that help guide parents through the pros and cons of sending their children home.

"I've built this bonding with my baby boy, seeing him grow every day. It is hard to be separated from him," says one mother with two kids. "But to keep him here, I can't go to English classes or get a job. I really don't know what to do."

"It's too expensive to put two kids in daycare. I don't have any support," she says.

All of the families interviewed for the study cited the necessity to retrain or to develop their careers and the high cost of child care as reasons that would make it impossible to keep their baby in Canada. Some said they tried to bring the grandparents to help babysit in Canada, but were caught up in government bureaucracy.

More than half said their own grandparents had taken care of them, so having their children raised by their own parents feels very traditional. Returning the child to the old culture seemed to be an acceptable solution, the report found.

The parents are also really torn by their decision. Its a decision of necessity because there isn't a lot of support for immigrant mothers. The parents also expressed "sorrow, hardship and guilt" for the "abdication of responsibility and of letting the baby down."

Professor Bohr says parents also raise concerns over the returning school-age kids' adjustment to a new place, as well as depression at being separated from their grandparents.

Some people will no doubt say that these women are bad mothers, but such naysayers have never been in such a position of poverty and doubt about their future, or the future of their children.

Technically the practice of sending children to live with their grandparents does happen frequently in North America, its just that we're not used to sending them overseas.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

We Boobed, admits Marks & Spencer

FASHION - Marks & Spencer (M&S) has admitted it was wrong to charge a £2 ($3) surcharge on larger bra sizes, after months of campaigning on Facebook and Twitter by large-breasted activists who felt they were being discriminated against. M&S is Britain's largest retailer of bras and lingerie.

Marks & Spencer has placed full-page ads in newspapers today stating "We boobed". The ad reads: "It’s true our fantastic quality larger bras cost more money to make, and we felt it was right to reflect this in the prices we charged. Well, we were wrong, so as of Saturday 9 May, the storm in a D cup is over!"

M&S said it will reduce the price of its bras over a size DD by up to £2 and for two weeks from Saturday (today), it will also reduce all prices for bras (regardless of size) by 25 per cent. The retailer said: "Every woman can now experience the difference a well-made quality bra will make."

M&S came under fire from The Busts 4 Justice campaign group for applying the £2 surcharge. One campaigner bought one share in the company so she could confront boss Sir Stuart Rose at the company’s Annual General Meeting.

M&S had said that bigger bras needed more work to develop a greater level of support and therefore the cost was justified, but ignored the fact that under that logic smaller bras are more profitable because they take less material/work, and therefore it all evens out in the end.

Busts 4 Justice has more than 8,000 members and the group's co-founder, Beckie Williams – a 34E – argues that just as fat or tall people don't have to spend extra on larger clothes, so women with bigger breasts should not have to pay more for larger bras.

"We've won, and we never thought it would happen so quickly," said Becky Mount, also a co-founder. "They didn't want a lot of big-breasted women storming their meeting."

British celebrity Ulrika Jonsson has been scathing of the £2 surcharge. She said: "This is nothing short of a tax on bigger breasts." Ulrika Jonsson had breast reduction surgery when after 4 kids her breasts ballooned to size 34I. The surgery decreased her breast size to 34C.

Having naturally large breasts is more of a curse for many women. They're uncomfortable, they become deformed and lumpy (and unsexy) and they make it difficult to purchase clothing that fits properly. There's also numerous health hazards, the least of which is chronic back pain.

Some women may revel in having large breasts, but its a double-edged sword.

"It's really awful, actually. I get terrible back pain," says one woman. "And I can never find a bra that fits, or doesn't look like a piece of building equipment or surgical dressing. Also, people just stare at them all the time. It's as if I'm not a person – I'm just a giant pair of boobs."

"People may joke about it, but bras are a sensitive subject," says Williams. "It just shows how much of an emotional issue having big boobs is for a lot of women."

See Also:
The History of the Bra
The History of the Corset & Brassiere
Open-Cup Bras
Sports Bras

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Truth about Sex and Advertising

SEX - I was visiting my local Toronto bicycle mechanic when he showed me the video below (he knew I'd like it and want to talk about it):

You see when I first saw the video... my first words was "What is this advertising?" I had immediately jumped to that conclusion, and then taken the next step, if its not advertising, it would certainly make good advertising online. It is apparently a clip from a German film, but I immediately thought of the advertising potential of a clip like this. Not for TV obviously (because then children would see it), but as internet advertising.

And I realized, and admonished myself for doing so, that I had immediately jumped to the conclusion that this would make good advertising because as we all know sex sells. Ergo... I thought sexually charged advertising = good advertising.

And in this era of internet advertising (and the increasing obsoleteness of television) this just made sense.

However... its not like we don't already have sexually charged advertising on TV. Check out this Marca Bavaria beer ad from 2003:

Or this ad from Nintendo Wii:

And we're more or less used to seeing such things on TV or the internet these days (although online you can get a lot more raunchy because there is no one looking over the advertiser's shoulder to see if they follow any ethical standards or show nudity).

The trick I think I should point out is that these ads aren't just sexually charged... they're smart and witty. Like this one for Diet Coca-Cola:

Advertisers seem to have mastered the ability of balancing sexuality and wittiness in their ads... Why? Because they know we'd get offended if the ad was blatantly offensive and had no wit involved.

We all know sexually charged advertising is here to stay, but what we have to watch out for is the ones that present an offensive stereotype. The trick after that is to let the company know we will be boycotting their product until after the ads are pulled (hopefully without letting the media know, because mass media attention is probably what they are looking for anyway).

I also want to take this moment to say kudos to the good people at South Park for making their new episode "The Ring", which depicts how the Walt Disney Corporation uses sex to sell their movies, music and products to little girls. I strongly recommend people watch the episode.

See Also
Advertising Sexploitation

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Prostitution: Criminalizing the Men

FEMINISM/SEX - What is the point in arresting prostitutes? We charge them, fine them and release them back on to the street within 48 hours.

But the Johns and pimps on the other hand... to say nothing of sex traffickers who smuggle children into sex-slavery. Those are the people we should be worried about.

"89% of prostitutes desperately want out"

In the world of international exploitation and sex trafficking, it's men, the customers and the people pushing the women into into sex, who should be charged and tossed in prison.

Some women choose to work as prostitutes, but many admits its "the ultimate act of humiliation and desperation". They do it to survive and put food on the table. Studies show that 89% of prostitutes desperately want out. They're hungry, need to feed children or give health care to aging parents, and the only alternative is to take their clothes off and service a line-up of willing men.

In some countries there's really no other kind of work for young women to do, especially in countries with struggling economies. Its not like the United States or Canada or other western countries where prostitution is largely a choice. In many countries they don't have other options available.

And even here in Canada there is surprising results for the makeup of prostitutes. Many of them are immigrants with poor English, struggling in this new place. In Vancouver many of them are Native Canadians who were raised on reserves and are now being controlled by pimps who pay them with drugs.

The drugs keeps them controlled and coming back for more.

The pimps are the root of the problem and the Johns seeking a "moment of bliss" are the demand. So how do we cut off that demand?

"These men never ask how she is, how did she get here, is she being forced. They don't look into her eyes beyond the veneer of gaudy makeup, stiletto heels and cheap clothes. They just want to get their rocks off. When money changes hands, it's the ultimate conscience pacifier. They don't have to deal with guilt," says investigative reporter Victor Malarek, author of "The Johns: Sex for Sale and the Men who Buy It".

"They delude themselves into believing that every moan and groan is because of their magnetic masculinity. They want to believe it, and the women are trained to do this," says Malarek.

And the type of men who use women in this way, they're not exactly pro-women, just pro-sex. "When anyone on the... sex sites raises the question about conscience, they are immediately asked, "Are you a feminist, a fem-Nazi, a fundamentalist? Who are you?" They don't want anyone to raise the question," says Malarek.

Then there's the STDs, the beatings, the men who pay extra for strange services (including having sex without a condom)... and even murders. Legalized prostitution comes with all the same risks as illegal prostitution, the problem is its giving men a green light to do whatever they want, without fear of police looking over their shoulders.

Even in drug-and-sex-crazed Amsterdam, the mayor is saying, "What a big fricking mistake." Women there are still controlled by pimps, beaten, trafficked, forced and controlled with drugs. There is almost no measures to protect women and organized crime is rampant. The government there has essentially becomes pimps and pushers.

Prostitutes in Sweden have been reduced by half.

So what would happen if we started having sting operations and charging Johns?

Well, theoretically we could get that 89% of women out of the business and doing something else. Give them job training so they can find jobs and create careers with a future.

In Sweden the government decriminalized the women and criminalized the men. Since then the number of prostituted women has been reduced by half. Norway just introduced identical legislation in January 2009.

So would it work in Canada and the United States?

"I believe it would. We have a mishmash of laws that don't seem to make sense. Sweden is concerned with equality of women ... and an option for women to be retrained, to seek psychological help, all the safety valves. Here, there is certainly no protection for women," says Victor Malarek.

Laziness seems to be the key for some of these men. They say they don't want the drama, they don't want to invest in relationships, because it takes too much time, effort and emotional strain.

But if it was illegal for men, if the police did a lot more sting operations to catch Johns, it would cause men to be more worried about getting caught with their pants down and their balls on the chopping block.

If its proven to work in Sweden and Norway, why can't we do it here?

Feminist killed in Afghanistan

POLITICS - Sitara Achakzai, a female provincial official known for fighting for women's rights was gunned down in southern Afghanistan on Sunday.

A Taliban spokesman, Qari Yousef Ahmedi, claimed responsibility for the attack.

Four men drove up on two motorcycles and shot Sitara Achakzai as she was getting out of her car, just outside her home in Kandahar city and then rode off.

Sitara Achakzai, a dual German-Afghan citizen, spent the years of Taliban rule in Germany and returned to her native country to fight for women's rights, says Shahida Bibi, who worked with Achakzai as a member of the Kandahar women's association.

A member of Kandahar's provincial council, Achakzai was vocal in encouraging women to take jobs and encouraging them to fight for equal rights. According to relatives she also has a 99-year-old mother and sister living in Markham Canada.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Canada's First Female Warship Commander

CANADA - Commander Josee Kurtz of the HMCS Halifax is taking on a historic role for the Canadian navy. She's the first female commander of a warship.

The veteran navigator became the first woman to command one of Canada's legendary warships, a development she said highlights the progress females have made since they won the right to serve on naval vessels 20 years ago.

"Twenty years ago, having a woman commanding officer was not on the radar screen of any leadership," says Commander Kurtz as her sailors readied the ship for a brief run through Halifax harbour to mark the change of command. "I think it's a tremendous achievement that here we are, 20 years later, and somebody has been able to demonstrate that a woman can do the job equally as well as her male counterparts."

Kurtz downplayed the significance of her gender to the 225 crew on board the navy frigate, who she claimed cared little about whether their commander was a man or woman. She did however acknowledged that her appointment as commander of the HMCS Halifax might inspire the two dozen female crew members and others who may be new to the Canadian Forces.

Women in the Canadian navy were traditional given communications and nursing roles, fulfilling stereotypes that women should be given roles assisting the men.

"I see myself as no different," she said. "I do realize, however, that because of who I am and because of my place in time, my position is significant to many women... They look up to what I have done," says Commander Kurtz.

Six years ago Lt.-Cmdr. Marta Mulkins became the first commanding officer of a Canadian naval ship, aboard the HMCS Kingston, a much smaller vessel (55 meters) with less armaments (1x Bofors 40 mm 60 MK 5C cannon and 2x M2 Machine Guns) assigned to the Canadian Coast Guard.

Kurtz signed up when the navy was just opening its doors to women on a trial basis after a discrimination complaint led the Human Rights Commission to order the Forces to integrate females in all occupations.

Kurtz admits that she's had to prove herself over and over again as she's moved up through the chain of command, from a weapons officer and then combat officer to the executive officer on HMCS Ville de Quebec. "You are tested and you are scrutinized," Kurtz says. "There was some reluctance when we first joined . . . but when they realize you can do the job just as well, that scrutiny goes away."

Kurtz served on the Ville de Quebec when it was deployed to Somalia last year to participate in anti-piracy and escort duties through the United Nations World Food Programme.

After signing up in 1989 in her hometown of Joliette in Quebec, Kurtz knew then that she was entering a profession dominated by men, but insists the navy has evolved into an organization that accommodates anyone regardless of race or gender.

Kurtz's husband was in the navy for 20 years but is now home taking care of their seven-year-old daughter.

So will there be more female commanders? Canada's navy has 33 warships and submarines. When will we see the first female submarine commander? Or the first battleship?

On May 17th 2006, Captain Nichola Goddard, (Canadian Forces Land Force Command), became the first Canadian woman to be killed in action since World War II, and the first Canadian female combat soldier to be killed on the front lines.

Who says women aren't ready to fight and die for their countries?


The 4,770-tonne, 134-metre vessel is the lead ship in her class, can clock over 30 knots/hour and is equipped with 1x Sea King helicopter, 24x Honeywell MK 46 Torpedos, 16x Sea Sparrow Surface to Air Missiles, 8x Harpoon Surface-to-Surface Missiles, 1x 57 mm Bofors Gun, 1x 20 mm Vulcan Phalanx Close in Weapons System (CIWS) and 6x .50 Calibre Machine Guns. The ship's most recent combat mission was patrolling the Persian Gulf off the coasts of Iraq and Iran after September 11th, from 2001 to 2004. It returned to Canada for a major weapons refit in 2004.

The HMCS Halifax will spend roughly two years undergoing a modernization and technical program to get the new crew combat ready.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Boxing and Breast Implants

FEMINISM - Female boxers are a rarity. Female athletes in general seems to be a rarity.

So when I heard a female boxer has been banned from fighting - because of her breast implants - I thought, well, what should we make of that?

Sarah Blewden, 25, has been told that repeated blows to her false breasts could knock them out of shape and damage her breast tissue. She was stunned when she was told she wasn’t allowed to fight under Queensbury rules due to her implants.

A medical expert from the association said Sarah’s chest was at risk of ‘capsular contracture’ or distortion if they were repeatedly hit. Blood cells in the breast tissue pushed forward by the implants could also be harmed, the medical expert ruled. Sarah said: ‘I think it is just ridiculous. My surgeon said they make me no more vulnerable than any other woman. They are not enormous ones - they are in proportion.'

These are not 'huge' breast implants as you can see from the photos. She got them because her breasts looked deformed and she wanted a more natural look (that's right, breast implants that look normal).

Technically speaking breast implants are very difficult to break or get dislodged, and as it stands many female boxers wear protective gear over their breasts to prevent regular injury.

INTERESTING POINT: There are a lot of male boxers with pec implants to make them look more buff, but none of them have been banned for the same reason that Sarah Blewden is being banned for.

So is this really a worry about injury? Sarah Blewden evidently is confident enough that her breasts won't be injured and is willing to take that risk that she's wrong. And even they did somehow get damaged, she could easily have surgery to fix the problem.

Male boxers with pec implants are also confident their implants won't be damaged either.

So why the double standard?

Its because women are supposed to be beautiful, and female athletes are often discriminated against in sports because they're worried about the marring of female beauty.

The sentiment is nice, but its not necessary. We girls can take care of ourselves.

Sarah Blewden still hopes to box in the 2012 Olympics in London.

See Also:
Sport in a Masculinist World
Gender Biases in School Sports
Weightlifting for Women
The Often Misunderstood She-Hulk
You throw like a girl!
Women's Fitness

Monday, March 23, 2009

Ursula Andress on Osteoporosis

ENTERTAINMENT/HEALTH - Ursula Andress is the original James Bond girl, but she is hardly the stereotypical image of the osteoporosis sufferer. Andress is the iconic Bond Girl, emerging from the Jamaican waters like mythical Venus in the 1962 film 'Dr. No', complete with a knife tucked into her hip-belt.

Andress, 73-years-old, still looks to be around 60-something and unmistakable with her sharp cheekbones.

She is currently the spokesperson for 'Timeless Women: The Campaign for Stronger Bones', a program aiming to raise awareness of osteoporosis. It is a disease that weakens bones, making them more susceptible to breaks or fractures, usually in the hip, spine and wrist. It also reduces the body's ability to grow new bone tissue and repair micro-damage.

One in four women over the age 50 have osteoporosis. And it is surprisingly deadly, one out of five Canadians who fracture a hip will die in less than a year.

People as young as 25 can be affected by osteoporosis, as can men. One in six men over the age of 50 has osteoporosis.

"I have to accept the truth," says Andress. "Why would I want to hide it? If I can help other women I am happy to do it.

"It is important to reach the public. It is very important to create awareness and get a checkup (a bone-density test). I never took osteoporosis seriously: `Oh, it's an old-bone disease and can be cured with calcium.' It's a sickness and I was diagnosed at 60. I did the mammogram, blood-pressure test and they asked if I'd had a bone-density test. When they did it, they said, `On your left hip, we don't like that. Take this medication.'"

Staving off osteoporosis is best using a combination of exercise (especially weightlifting) and a high calcium diet. Sometimes that is not enough however.

"I was snow shovelling and I fell down. They told me then that I had osteoporosis. I had been taking extra calcium, and that wasn't enough."

For her condition, Andress intravenously takes an $800, annual dose of Aclasta, a medication that inhibits the release of calcium from bone. Before her fall, Andress thought she was warding off osteoporosis with calcium, but her lack of exercise had resulted in her body not absorbing all of the calcium she was eating.

Now Andress is on a huge exercise kick. "I don't do crazy things but I do certain exercises. I never go to the gym – I have a huge property and I work in the garden. I swim a lot; I have a pool. I walk so fast nobody can follow me. I don't lift weights except for 150 flower pots. And I do the lifting wrong. You are supposed to crouch down." Andress admits she should be doing more weightlifting but says "I am active and my freedom is so important. I will give up anything but my freedom. I need it to exist. I don't do anything more carefully. I hope not to fall but you never know: You go skiing, you fall."

Thankfully she doesn't ski any more.

"Dr. No was my first movie and they asked me what kind of gymnastics I do," she recalls. "I have never worked out in my life. I was born with an athletic body. As a child, I biked miles and miles to school and I did competitive swimming. I walk briskly but I do nothing with fanaticism."

Andress also appeared in over 30 films including Fun in Acapulco, What's New Pussycat?, The 10th Victim and Casino Royale (1967).

Andress was married to John Derek from 1957 to 1965, when he divorced her for younger actress Linda Evans.

Andress's advice for women getting older? Lots of milk and an active lifestyle.

QUESTION: Is Osteoporosis a feminist issue?

Yes, because its an issue of exercise and education. Women need to ignore the stereotypes about female athletes and go out there and exercise more.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

German gunman kills 11 women, 4 men

The German highschool student who killed 15 people yesterday was deliberately targeting women.

Tim Kretschmer's motives are still unknown, but his victims were primarily female: eight of nine students killed were teenage girls, and all three teachers were women. Three men were killed later as the suspect fled and had a shoot out with police.

A 17-year-old schoolmate said he had been studying this year with Tim Kretschmer at a private business school, and described him as quiet and reserved.

The two played poker together, both in person and online, as well as a multiplayer video game called "Counter-Strike" that involves killing people to complete missions. Tim was quite good at the game apparently.

Based on Tim Kretschmer's choice of targets one would think he just hated women, like the École Polytechnique Massacre in which a gunman in Montreal killed 14 women and injured 10 other women and 4 men.

In that massacre, Marc Lépine deliberately separated the men from the women in the room and started executing the women. Lépine claimed he was "fighting feminism", while he shot all nine women in the room, killing six of them. Lépine then moved through corridors, the cafeteria, and another classroom, specifically targeting women to shoot.

In Lépine's suicide note he included a list of nineteen women whom he considered to be feminists and wished to kill.

See Also:
Dealing with Anti-Feminism
Feminism vs. the Evil Lessers
NRA Subverting Feminism for Guns
Femicide in Guatemala & Canada
Gender Violence in Mexico

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Truth about Women in Conservative Islam

FEMINISM/RELIGION - Check out the video titled "The Violent Oppression of Women in Islam", produced by the 'David Horowitz Freedom Center' (an Israeli group that is promoting war against Islamic countries).


The video depicts the much-publicized horrors of repressive conservative Islam and tribal ways in Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan...

But does this justify invasions and war for oil, territory and other material gain on the broken backs of women who are stoned, whipped, beheaded, mutilated and murdered "for honour"?

Talk about usurping feminism.

Yes, the truth is women are treated horribly in conservative Islam. (Please note the differences between conservative, moderate and liberal Islam.)

But how will war fix that problem? The answer is it won't. In fact it only makes the problem worse because it polarizes/jades Islamic societies and they become MORE conservative.

The politicians in Washington, London and the Hague don't give a damn about women's rights in the Middle East. George W. Bush's so-called "war on terror" has paid only lip service to women's rights.

Female journalist Sally Armstrong from Canada and filmmaker Shelley Saywell have been spreading the truth about women's rights in Islam, but is there anybody doing anything about it?

Yes, there's a few education programs out there, training Muslim women to join the work force, become doctors/etc, but in a world where women are denounced and killed for being liberal and courageous, its very difficult and the programs are few and far in between.

In Iran, eight women currently face death by stoning, a torturous form of execution that can last half an hour or more.

In Saudi Arabia this week, a 75-year-old Syrian woman has been sentenced to 40 lashes, four months imprisonment and deportation for unlawful "contact" with two young men reportedly delivering bread to her. A woman can't even shake hands with a man without the risk of being denounced and executed.

Women in such countries are legally "chattel", like furniture and livestock, and may not mingle with unrelated men without the presence of a male family member. They're basically slaves.

Why aren't moderate Muslims denouncing these crimes? Because they're afraid of being executed too.

War is not the answer to these problems. Activism, training and jobs for women is the answer.

But before you get pissed off, remember that according to UNICEF: Every year, 500,000 Christian young women die in childbirth, mostly because they have no choice, no contraception, no access to reproductive medicine, and were far too young to be having children.

That is thanks to the dictates of the Vatican. Catholic women have one of the highest death rates for childbirth.

In Brazil last week, the doctors who performed an abortion on a 9-year-old girl who was pregnant with twins after years of "alleged" sexual abuse by her stepfather, were, along with the child's mother, excommunicated by the Catholic Church.

The child rapist however remains a good Catholic, according to the Vatican. Mind-boggling isn't it?

Never mind that the life of a child, whose body would not bear one fetus, let alone two, was at stake. Never mind the emotional and physical trauma the 9-year-old girl has already endured. Never mind that she had been sexually abused by her step-father since the age of 6, along with her disabled sister.

We have our share of religiously-supported violence against women in North and South America.

Why aren't moderate Roman Catholics denouncing these crimes? Because they're afraid of being excommunicated by the Vatican too.

Evidently its not just patriarchy that feminism should be worried about. Its FEAR.

See Also:
Religion and the Rape of Children
Pakistani Teen murdered and her baby tossed into canal
Domestic Abuse in the USA
Virginity, Chastity and Muslim Beauty Queens
Taliban kill top Afghan policewoman
Killing Female Babies in India
The Truth about Rape Victims in Saudi Arabia

Friday, March 6, 2009

International Women's Day

FEMINISM - Sunday March 8th is International Women's Day (in Canada and several other countries IWD is celebrated on March 7th). Around the world women will be gathering together to promote equality, better pay and an end to discrimination against women.

International Women's Day did not come about by chance but evolved under pressure. This pressure was brought to bear as women reacted to hardship experienced by female needle trade workers in New York City in 1908. Due to poor working conditions, several female workers in that trade perished in a fire. The tragic event led women in the needle trade to demand better working conditions, the right to be unionized and the right to vote. Their ideas gained momentum with wide acceptance of IWD on a global scale, in both developed and developing countries, since 1910.


Female Genital Mutilation

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), between 100 to 140 million girls and women worldwide are living with the consequences of female genital mutilation. In Africa, about 92 million girls age 10 years and above are estimated to have undergone the procedure - the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, the partial or complete closure of the vaginal opening, or other injury to the female genital organs as part of cultural, religious and social reasons. The procedures are mostly carried out on young girls, sometime between infancy and age 15.

Violence against Women & Femicide

The WHO reports that about 5,000 women are murdered by family members in the name of honour each year worldwide. See The Ten Worst Countries for Women.

Also, in a 10-country study on women's health and domestic violence conducted by WHO, between 15 per cent and 71 per cent of women reported physical or sexual violence by a husband or partner. See Femicide in Guatemala & Canada or Gender Violence in Mexico.

Stonings of Women

In countries like Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia the stoning of women is still highly practised. In one case in Nigeria, Safiya Hussaini Tungar-Tudu, a 30-year-old woman was ordered stoned to death for having sex outside marriage after asking a court to force a man that she alleged had raped her, to pay for her newborn daughter's naming ceremony.


If you live in a major city, check out the local events that feminists are doing tomorrow in your local city newspaper.

In Toronto Canada, Feminists are having a three part event on March 7th:

11 AM - Rally at OISE auditorium.

1 PM - March down Bloor Street and Yonge Street. See map.

1:30 PM onwards - Fair at Ryerson University, 55 Gould St.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Truth about Affirmative Action

FEMINISM/POLITICS - Is affirmative action a good thing?

But first, lets stop and ask what is affirmative action?

Affirmative action is about taking sex, race and ethnicity into account when giving people jobs. So for women in politics, affirmative action is hiring/electing more women for high and low ranking positions, so that the sex distribution is eventually roughly 50/50.

The point of affirmative action is to address social disadvantages so that equality is endorsed in the hopes that eventually people hire equal or proportional numbers of staff from different backgrounds.

But is affirmative action a good thing?

Lets say for example I have a job available for an assistant manager. I want someone with experience and don't want to promote someone within the company because none of them have the relevant skills/experience.

I narrow down the resumes to 4 candidates, one Caucasian female, one Caucasian male, one ethnic minority female and one ethnic minority male. They're all roughly the same so I have decide whom to hire which one is best suited for the company. Depending on the current ethnic/sex makeup of the company I could pick any which one of them. In theory if we have a shortage of white males (fat chance that will ever happen) I should hire him. Depending on the company however it is possible.

Typically the ethnic minority female should be the one hired, but if the company already has plenty of ethnic minority females maybe the Caucasian female or the ethnic minority male would be a better choice. Its all about balance and can sometimes be a difficult challenge.

If all else fails, stick their names in a hat and pick one randomly.

So affirmative action is usually good for women and minorities.

But what about the company? Does the company somehow benefit?

According to a new report from the Fawcett Society in the UK, yes they do.

Companies who hire equal numbers of women develop higher productivity, more profits and are more resistant to corruption and bankruptcy during times of recession. The report also discusses how women in the UK are currently dealing with the American recession and gives several possible solutions for addressing the inequality of women's pay and the lack of affirmative action in the UK.

One of the ideas is to fill government imposed quotas, similar to what Norway has done and has achieved remarkable success with.

In Norway, women's representation in boardrooms has soared from 6% to 44% since they first introduced quotas. The rule in Norway states that either gender may not exceed 60% of the workforce in public owned companies (ie. government buildings, utilities, etc). By enforcing this in public companies women get more experience, better resumes and this follows over into privately owned companies as those women take new positions later in life.

As a result of the changes Norway has seen a blossoming of its productivity in the workforce, with men and women realizing that if they want that promotion they're not just competing with the other men or the other women, but all the people... so if they really want that promotion they need to work harder.

The report's five point plan includes:

1. Promote women’s rights and stamp out discrimination.
2. Deliver a bold package to end pay discrimination.
3. Promote flexible working as a solution to the recession.
4. Fast-track women into decision making positions using quotas.
5. Ensure women’s skills are harnessed through education.

The real trick, for most industries, is that affirmative action is largely optional. Some industries just plain have a shortage of women who have studied that particular field (ie. engineering or physics).

But that could be addressed through university quotas, allowing in more female applicants wanting to study physics, engineering, etc.

OR, depending on the field of study, it could be addressed by getting rid of class size caps, allowing more of both women and men into the program.

The point I am making is that affirmative action can be used smartly, and actually benefits companies in terms of productivity/profits.

See Also:
Women during Recessions
Jobs for Girls and Women
The Truth about Women's Work
Are High Heels a Detriment or a Benefit?
Male Hysteria at Work

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Canadian Conservatives Eroding Women's Rights

FEMINISM - Women's rights are falling to the side and being ignored in Canada, and its largely due to the Conservative Party of Canada which has been deliberately unraveling the rights of women.

For example, lets take the Conservatives' new "Equitable Compensation Act".

It has NOTHING to do with equal pay.

In fact, it's the opposite. It removes any chance women in the federal civil service have of fighting for pay equity by denying them the right to complain to the Human Rights Commission, or to go to court, when they believe there is discrimination. Instead, pay equity issues are to be solved as part of the regular bargaining process but - get this! - if anyone (including unions) agitates on the basis of pay equity, they face a $50,000 fine.

Ergo the Conservative Party is forbidding a woman from fighting for herself and, simultaneously, penalizing her union $50,000 from fighting for her.

Once this proposed legislation is passed, a woman working in the federal public service will have fewer rights than women working elsewhere in Canada.

This is nothing new either. Prime Minister Stephen Harper began attacking pay equity for women years ago when he was director of the right-wing National Citizens Coalition. He has been dead opposed to women receiving equal pay for equal work for as long as he's been in politics.

And what is even sadder is that the Liberals and NDP are quite powerless to stop this new Act because it was part of the recent February 3rd budget, which has already been passed and is now being tweaked, which the Liberal Party supported so that Canada didn't go to a new election. There has been a tiny bit of fuss about the new "Equitable Compensation Act"... but otherwise it has been largely ignored.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Messy divorces costly, bankrupting couples

FEMINISM - Watching a messy divorce can be pretty sad sometimes. Especially when you learn of the results:

Wayne Tippett of Canada has nothing left but a 10-year-old car and a granite tombstone.

Tippett, 51, is bankrupt and living with his parents after a messy divorce settlement left him $75,000 in debt and racking up $1,000 more each month.

He also cannot afford to pay his ex-wife (the couple had no children) $3,300 a month in spousal support, $16,000 in retroactive alimony and $42,000 of her court costs.

His ex-wife, who has no income of her own, took everything in the complicated and messy divorce.

Wayne Tippett makes a good poster child for no-contest divorces (also known as no-fault divorce). Lawyers, typically, badmouth the idea of a no-contest divorce but the idea is gaining popularity. The end result is that ex-couples keep more money for themselves and split things evenly rather than having most of it go towards their greedy lawyers.

Divorces are often messy, but they don't have to be. Sometimes people can part amiably and without the financial heartbreak.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Divorce, Custody Battles and Brainwashing the Kids

FEMINISM/DIVORCE - A mother in Toronto has lost her custody battle for her three kids today.


Because she was brainwashing them to hate their father.

I'm totally serious and I agree with the judge's decision.

The Toronto judge stripped the mother of custody after the woman spent more than a decade trying to alienate them from their father. The mother's "consistent and overwhelming" campaign to brainwash the children into thinking their father was a bad person was nothing short of emotional abuse, wrote Justice Faye McWatt of the Superior Court of Justice in her decision.

The judge said awarding the father sole custody was the children's only hope for having a relationship with their father, given their mother's long-running transgressions.

The three girls, ages 9 to 14, were turned over to their father, a vascular surgeon and a self described "devoted father".

The judge also stipulated the mother can't have access to the children except in conjunction with counseling, including a special intensive therapy program for children affected by "parental alienation syndrome." Furthermore the mother must bear the costs.

AND the mother must now pay child and spousal support.

This is a wakeup call to divorced men and women across North America: You can't badmouth your ex just because you hate them and want custody.

The mother also ignored court orders, slammed the door in father's face when he came to collect the children and refusing to answer the phone when he called to say goodnight to his children. (He was earlier granted telephone access to say good night on Monday, Wednesday and Friday). She also prank-called police so they would show up when her daughters had overnight visits with their father and eventually cut off all contact with the father.

The judge also said the mother was given several chances to change her behaviour and squandered them.

Nicholas Bala, a Queen's University law professor who specializes in family law, said "badmouthing" or negative attitudes by one parent toward another is quite common among separated couples. But in recent years, the justice system has begun to understand the harmful effects of the worst form of this behaviour. In most cases, the problem is resolved through counseling, where parents are encouraged to accept they'll both always be in their children's lives, said Bala.

Judge McWatt also heard testimony from Barbara Fidler, a Toronto mediator and clinical psychologist who predicted eight years ago the three girls were at risk of becoming alienated from their father. Fidler said research points to long-term damage in people alienated from a parent in childhood. If what one parent is saying about the other doesn't accord with their own perceptions, they can become confused, she explained.

PERSONAL NOTE: Regardless of whether its the mother or the father brainwashing the kids during a custody battle is inexcusable.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Obama ends abortion-linked ban

FEMINISM/POLITICS - President Barack Obama on Friday struck down the Bush administration's ban on giving federal money to international groups that perform abortions or provide abortion information – an inflammatory policy that has bounced in and out of law for the past quarter-century.

Obama's executive order, the latest in an aggressive first week reversing contentious policies of the previous president was warmly welcomed by liberal groups and denounced by abortion rights foes.

The ban has been a political football between Democratic and Republican administrations since Republican President Ronald Reagan first adopted it 1984. Democrat Bill Clinton ended the ban in 1993, but Republican George W. Bush re-instituted it in 2001 as one of his first acts in office.

"For too long, international family planning assistance has been used as a political wedge issue, the subject of a back and forth debate that has served only to divide us," Obama said in a statement released from the White House. "I have no desire to continue this stale and fruitless debate."

He said the ban was unnecessarily broad and undermined family planning in developing countries.

"In the coming weeks, my administration will initiate a fresh conversation on family planning, working to find areas of common ground to best meet the needs of women and families at home and around the world," said President Obama.

Obama signed the executive order, without coverage by the media, late on Friday afternoon. The abortion measure is a highly emotional one for many people, and the quiet signing was in contrast to the televised coverage of Obama's Wednesday announcement on ethics rules and Thursday signing of orders on closing the Guantanamo Bay prison camp and banning torture in the questioning of terror suspects

His action came one day after the 36th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court ruling in Roe vs. Wade that legalized abortion.

The Bush Administration had banned money from going to international family planning groups that either offer abortions or provide information, counseling or referrals about abortion as a family planning method.

Critics have long held that the rule unfairly discriminates against the world's poor by denying U.S. aid to groups that may be involved in abortion but also work on other aspects of reproductive health care and HIV/AIDS, leading to the closure of free and low-cost rural clinics.

Supporters of the ban say that the United States still provides millions of dollars in family planning assistance around the world. The ban has been known as the "Mexico City policy" for the city a U.S. delegation first announced it at a UN International Conference on Population.

Organizations and legislators that had pressed Obama to rescind the Mexico City policy were jubilant. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said the move "will help save lives and empower the poorest women and families to improve their quality of life and their future."

Both Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who will oversee foreign aid, had promised to do away with the rule during the presidential campaign. Clinton visited the U.S. Agency for International Development earlier Friday but made no mention of the step, which had not yet been announced.

Anti-abortionists condemned Obama's decision.

See Also:
International Women's Day
Criminalizing Women

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