Thursday, January 31

Feminist stories in six words?

"Hemingway once wrote a story in just six words ('For sale: baby shoes, never worn.') and is said to have called it his best work."

Following the lead of the Six Word Story group on Flickr and Caterina's prompt, Wired asked some prominent writers to pen their own six word stories here's some feminist six word stories

Got any good ones?

  • Longed for him. Got him. Shit.(Margaret Atwood)
  • My rapist was set free today.(Dan Boland)
  • My alcoholic ex-husband died last week.(true story-lavonne)
  • She should never have married him.(Shawn Lea)
  • Lucky, yes, but my twin wasn't.(Scot)
  • "No," she said. "Ah," he said.(Total)
  • Iraq report: we got it wrong.(Ash)
  • Decided living her life over his(Petras)

Art Credit

Special report - Still a Matter of Rights - Immediate repeal of Section 67 is vital

Despite controversy surrounding its passage, the Canadian Human Rights Commission has renewed its call for passage of legislation repealing Section 67 of the Canada Human Rights Act, which would grant human rights recourse for First Nations under the Indian Act.

Despite this support, the report continues to lobby for an 18 to 30 month transition period for the law to come into complete effect.

In its special report Still a Matter of Rights released recently, the Canadian Human Rights Commission reiterates its call to Parliament to repeal the Aboriginal exemption. According to a press release from the Commission, the legislation is before Parliament and the Commission said it is "encouraged by this." "Immediate repeal is vital. It will bring First Nations and their citizens closer to the full measure of equality to which they are entitled," said Jennifer Lynch, Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission. "Yet repeal is only the first step.

Upon repeal we will engage First Nations and other stakeholders, as we lead the development of a human rights system that is aligned with First Nations cultures and specific needs."
The exact definition of "specific needs," however, remains undefined. Many critics of a transition period for the new law charge that allowing for "specific needs" would allow for a watering-down of the individual rights protection the law would allow by favouring Aboriginal governments over individual band members. This allegation also accompanies criticism of support for an "interpretive clause" proposed by the Canadian Human Rights Commission, which would aim to balance "individual rights with collective rights." Rod Bruinooge, a Conservative MP in Manitoba and an Aboriginal, argued that such a clause is unnecessary given the presence of Section 35 in the Constitution, which grants Aboriginal rights. Bruinooge said that such an interpretive clause would, in fact, conflict with the Section 35 provisions.
Section 67 denies First Nations people from filing a complaint with the Commission

Section 67 denies First Nations people living on or off reserve from filing a complaint with the Commission relating to any action arising from or pursuant to the Indian Act. It was included in the Canadian Human Rights Act when it was first drafted in 1977. The reason given then was to allow the government time to address issues regarding sexual discrimination against women who married non-Indian men. It was to be a temporary measure. However, the exemption remains after 30 years.
Still a Matter of Rights is a follow-up to the Commission's initial report A Matter of Rights issued in 2005. According to the press release, this new report takes into account many of the views expressed by stakeholders to ensure that human rights protection is introduced in a way that respects the rights and interests of First Nations.
The report also repeats its call for a transition period of eighteen to thirty months and appropriate resources for both the Commission and First Nations communities, to "assure success."

20 years after Morgentaler - PEI abortion information line disconnected

A 1-800 number giving women living on Prince Edward Island information on abortion has closed down due to lack of funding.

The number had been funded by the Canadian Abortion Rights Action League, but after that organization folded funding dried up. Anne Wheatley, who works in the Island's pro-choice movement, said the toll-free number had been operating for the past 15 years.

"Up until last fall we were receiving probably about five calls a month, just for information," said Wheatley.

P.E.I. doesn't offer any abortion services. Women must travel to the private Morgentaler clinic in Fredericton or the Queen Elizabeth II hospital in Halifax.

The provincial government will cover the cost of the procedure if it's done in hospital, and as long as a woman has been referred by two doctors. The government says it covers the cost of close to 50 abortions a year.

In 2006, Canadians for Choice initiated a comprehensive study that documented the accessibility of abortion services in Canadian hospitals. In April 2007, the findings of the research were released in a report entitled "Reality Check"

Give all women the benefit of advocacy - by Ginette Petitpas-Taylor

The murder in Mississauga last month of Aqsa Parvez, allegedly at the hands of her father, allegedly for reasons of faith, has been touted as an example of irreconcilable conflict between two cultures: the culture of Islam as interpreted by Aqsa's father, and the culture of "The West".

People everywhere reacted to the teenager's death. Between too-faint condemnation and holier-than-thou righteousness, few have hit the right note.

Some sought to blame Islam for the varied interpretations it allows of its teachings, like most religions. Others seek to blame Canada's religious freedoms.

There were 96 cases of family murder in 2005, including 21 child victims. We can't blame Islam for those deaths.

Like human rights legislation internationally, Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms concerns itself in detail with the protection of the rights of minorities against the "tyranny of the majority." That is how we reach a balance in situations that would otherwise threaten social cohesion.

Our job is not to apportion blame, but to seek the justice that is allowed by the laws. Part of this justice-seeking is to question why this young woman did not feel safe enough to seek protection from those institutions designed to help those being victimized. We need reach out to others like her.

Related addresses:
Full Story at Straight Goods
New Brunswick Advisory Council on the Status Of Women

Monday, January 28

Filipino youth in Canada mourn Deward Pontes death blaming the Live-in Caregiver Program

As several Filipino groups in Vancouver continue to mourn the death of Deward Ponte, they are calling for better support for their young people.

They're also pointing the finger at the federal government for immigration programs they say keep families apart for too long.

Mildred German with the Filipino Canadian youth alliance says the federal government's live-in-caregiver program-which allows immigrants to come to Canada to work and later bring family over- also brings a host of problems for immigrants and their families back home.

"These are the trauma of migration, family separation and reunification. And added to this trauma is the lack of genuine support and services culturally appropriate to the Filipino youth and the Filipino community."

German says government policy causes Filipino immigrants coming to Canada to stay economically marginalized.

Deward Ponte’s mother worked in the live-in-caregiver program before bringing Deward and his sister.

Ugnayan ng Kabataang Pilipino sa Canada/Filipino-Canadian Youth Alliance, BC (UKPC/FCYA-BC) extend our sympathy and condolences to the family and loved ones of Deward Ponte, the 15-year-old Filipino teen who was stabbed in Grays Park in East Vancouver, and later died in hospital on January 27, 2008.The unfortunate death of Deward is a traumatic event for the community.

It reminds us of the unfortunate death of
Mao Jomar Lanot back in 2003, and of the many similar experiences of Filipino youth in Canada, whose everyday lives are faced with challenges and barriers to full participation into Canadian society.

Most newly-arrived Filipino youth face the trauma of migration, family separation and reunification. A recent study at the University of British Columbia (UBC) found that Filipino youth experience an average of five-year separation from their parents who come to Canada under Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC)’s Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP).

95% of workers coming under the LCP are Filipino women, who cannot bring their families when they enter Canada to work.

Filipino youth are the most affected as they are the ones left behind while their parents are working abroad.

When youth finally are able to enter Canada to be reunited with their parents, they are reunited as strangers—the result of many years of separation.

This was the case for Deward Ponte, and his mother Daisy, who where separated for five years.Ponte told stories of how hard life was in the Philippines.

At the age of ten, he started working while taking care of his sister.

The economic and political crisis in the Philippines have been the main factors for the forced migration of the Filipino people.

The Philippines is the number one source of migrant workers in the world, with Canada bring a top destination.

The Filipino community is the third largest visible minority group in Canada, however it remains one of the most marginalized.

This economic marginalization of the Filipino community in Canada is due to the policies embedded in Canadian institutions.

On January 21, 2008, UKPC/FCYA-BC, alongside with other migrant organizations and community groups, questioned the CIC on the social impacts of their policies, particularly with the Temporary Workers Program, the Canadian Experience Class, and the Live-in Caregiver Program.

The CIC Deputy Director for Permanent Resident Policy and Programs Development Division, Katherine Pestieau, admitted there is no money for the integration and settlement of our migrant communities here in Canada.

Pestieau’s disappointing response could only further the impacts that racist policies implemented on our community and other migrant communities.

Filipino community’s experience with the LCP, the impacts are tremendous: the trauma of migration, family separation, and reunification. Adding to this trauma is the lack of genuine support and services culturally-appropriate to the Filipino youth and the Filipino community. It is not surprising that the UBC research found that the Filipino youth has the second highest drop-out rate in Vancouver.

For us in the UKPC/FCYA and other community groups of the KC, we have been actively conducting Anti- Racism work for over ten years, educating, organizing and mobilizing Filipino youth and empowering them to take a critical look at the immigration policies and the roots of our migration.

With the death of Deward Ponte, it is urgent to look at the issues faced by Filipino youth and the community.

There is a need to look to the policies affecting the Filipino community and other communities of colour.

There is a need to understand the root causes of these traumatic events.

We must all look for a solution and action, so that justice will be fully served for our community, so we no longer remain underdeveloped, underrepresented and marginalized.

...‘old’ and ‘new’ feminism...

The issue is not between ‘old’ and ‘new’ feminism.
(The is no such thing as ‘new’ feminism, just as there is no such thing as ‘new’ freedom. There is freedom; and there is tyranny.)
The issue is between feminism - equalitarianism - and that which is not feminism.

Elizabeth Abbott 1927
Image: Gudrun Gisladottir

Zapatistas: The Women's Revolutionary Law

Just after midnight on January 1st, was the 14th anniversary of the Zapatista uprising.

From December 28th 2007 to January 1st, women of the world were invited into the mountains and jungles of Chiapas which are home to the Zapatistas. This revolutionary indigenous movement erupted onto the international stage in an armed uprising on January 1st, 1994, with members calling out “!ya basta!” [enough already!] As the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), implemented on that same New Years Day, continued to decimate impoverished, indigenous campesino communities in Mexico, the Zapatistas began to build autonomous structures in resistance to over 500 years of exploitation, marginalization, and genocide.

The Women's Revolutionary Law:

  • Women, regardless of their race, creed, skin color or political affiliation, have the right to participate in the revolutionary struggle, in the place and to the degree their willingness and ability permit.
  • Women have the right to work and receive a just pay for their labor.
  • Women have the right to decide the number of children they will bear and care for.
  • Women have the right to participate in community affairs and hold political office if they are elected freely and democratically.
  • Women and their children have the right to PRIMARY MEDICAL CARE in health and food issues.
  • Women have the right to education.
  • Women have the right to choose their spouses and not to be forced into marriage.
  • No woman may be hit or be physically abused, neither by relatives nor strangers. Rape assaults and actual rapes will be severely punished.
  • Women may hold leadership positions in the organization and hold military rankings in the Revolutionary Armed Forces.
  • Women have all the rights and obligations set by the revolutionary laws and obligations.

Thirty-five years of Roe v. Wade and 20 years of R. v. Morgentaler

Heather Mallick writes a piece today on the fact that the legacy of these court decisions is better sex.......Thirty-five years of Roe v. Wade and 20 years of R. v. Morgentaler have at least cut down on the number of women dying from fouled-up abortions done with bleach, pesticide, coat hangers, knives and blows to the belly. Women still die this way in North America, depending on the relative wealth of the woman, and millions have died around the world.

But there is less of it now.

I'm not writing about the Morgentaler decision with smugness. No government, Liberal or Conservative, has punished P.E.I. or New Brunswick for violating the Health Act and making it almost impossible for poor women to obtain abortions.

If you ever yearn for the mucky sensation of sticky fingers crawling down your spine, go to Hansard and read MPs discussing Alberta Tory Ken Epp’s proposed Unborn Victims of Crime Act, due for a House vote in March. The private member's (what an appropriate name) bill means murderers should get a lower prison sentence for killing a regular woman than for killing a pregnant woman. .....

....By extension, there would then exist an elaborate grading system for the value of women's bodies, fetus-containing women being the most valued, old women the least.

Sunday, January 27

Women Against War

Canada's tireless social activist - Maude Barlow

It was Canada's tireless social activist, Maude Barlow, who inspired filmmaker Irena Salina to focus on water in her powerful new documentary Flow. And it was the late British poet W.H. Auden whose words she uses to set the film's tone

"Thousands have lived without love, none without water," wrote Auden. Ms. Salina made Flow: For the Love of Water on a showstring budget, filming parts of it solo with a basic digital camera.

Against huge odds and formidable competition, Flow won the approval of Sundance Film Festival programmers and had its world première at the prestigious Utah event last week.

Full Story: Ottawa Citizen

Saturday, January 26

Saturday January 26 is the pan-Canadian Day of Action in support of war resisters

The War Resisters Support Campaign is a broad-based coalition of community, faith, labour and other organizations and individuals that have come together to support U.S. soldiers seeking asylum in Canada because they refuse to fight in the illegal war in Iraq.The Campaign works on two fronts: they support the material needs of war resisters when they arrive in Canada; and they campaign to persuade the Canadian government to provide sanctuary for U.S. war resisters. in a new era of post-feminism?

The Globe and Mail reports :"It's official: Feminism is out of style"

"Ever since Clinton and her contemporaries crammed their way into law and business schools, we've been told by everyone from the cheerleading women's business networks to Virginia Slims that we've made it. Turning our backs on conventional feminism and its grinding focus on women's oppression, we empowered our daughters to embrace the more upbeat Girl Power movement. Candy-coating the world in Spice Girls tunes, pink-feathered purses and Sex and the City, we sold them a bill of goods: that women are as free and unencumbered as men, that they can achieve any goal they might dream of - even that the odds are in their favour. "

The hard truth is that we have failed to impress upon our own daughters that women's issues still matter.

Thursday, January 24

10 Reasons Why the Fight for Reproductive Justice Is Still Essential

By Jill Filipovic, AlterNet (Also posted at Feministe and the Huffington Post. )
......... time to get out and fight. Here are a few reasons why:

10. Abortion is already inaccessible and out of reach for many women.
9. If abortion is illegal, then women and doctors will be criminals.
8. Anti-choicers care about controlling your sex life, not saving babies.
7. They're going after your birth control, too.
6. Illegal abortion kills women.
5. Legal abortion is good for women, men and families.
4. Poor women and women of color are disproportionately impacted by anti-choice policies.
3. Choice isn't just about not giving birth -- it's about your right to have children.
2. Anti-choicers are also going after the rights of women around the world.
1. Reproductive justice is about you.

It's about your rights and your family and your body. All of us make reproductive choices -- to have kids or not, to use birth control or not, to have sex or not, to continue a pregnancy or not.
Reproductive health care impacts all of our lives. In a pro-choice country, children are wanted and cared for, pregnancy is voluntary and families are healthy. Women and men have a full range of rights, and the liberty to act as individuals instead of squeezing themselves into narrow gender roles. Sex is both a pleasure and a responsibility, not a guilt-ridden exercise intended only for reproduction in the context of a male-headed heterosexual marriage. One's character and morality are squarely centered in their heart and their head, not between their legs. Health care is available for everyone who needs it, without judgment or impediment. And lives are actually valued -- even mine and even yours.

Feds challenge nurse-discrimination ruling

The federal government has asked the Federal Court to review a landmark ruling last month that found it has been discriminating against a group of federal nurses on the basis of their gender - female - for more than three decades.

But the nurses' lawyer, Lawrence Armstrong, says it's unclear whether the government is serious about challenging the ruling or is merely using the threat as a bargaining tactic.

The December ruling by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal found the 430 mostly female nurses, who determine the eligibility of applicants for Canada Pension Plan disability benefits, perform the same core functions as predominantly male CPP doctors paid about twice as much. Under the Canadian Human Rights Act, it is illegal to treat a female dominated group differently from a male-dominated group when both perform the same, or substantially similar, work.

The week the women left....

What would happen if all the women were to disappear from a town, leaving the men to not only work, but also take care of the family and the home?

Recent government statistics show that 70 percent of Canadian households are run by women. The majority of these women also hold full-time jobs.

Wednesday, January 23

Cops warn Calgary women

Siblings of Arcelie Laoagan arrived in Calgary to try to make sense out of a senseless situation.

Calgary women are being warned to be careful at night as police investigate the city's fourth homicide and an attack on a woman

Tuesday, January 22

MacKay, WTF?

aahhhhh......MacKay - the never-changing braniac Tory charmer.

We watched in horror at how he treated Belinda he held off Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf so that Harper could talk "hockey"and........... now (in the Kelowna Conservative stronghold) MacKay framed Canada's role in Afghanistan as that of a white knight.

According to MacKay, before Canada and its allies invaded, the Taliban controlled republic, he said, human rights did not exist, especially for women, who were not allowed to vote or participate in government.

MacKay said. "And here's a shocker. There are more women sitting in the parliament of Afghanistan than in the government of Canada."

Apparently the government of Canada is able to do more for gender equality in Afghanistan than it can within its own ranks.

Blogging For Choice Round-up

On January 28 Canada commemorates the 20th anniversary of the Supreme Court of Canada decision in the case of R. v. Morgentaler

David Frum writes (in the National Post) that the Morgentaler decision cheapened the worth of human life

Justice Bertha Wilson would argue that no man could ever properly appreciate the abortion issue “because he can relate to it only by objectifying it, thereby eliminating the subjective elements of the female psyche, which are at the heart of the dilemma.”

Here in Canada while the Feds investigate the use of government logo on anti-abortion banner and the Ottawa Senator hockey wives hold raffles for the First Place Pregnancy Centre, (an Ottawa anti-abortion group run by Pentecostal Christians), the majority of Canadians oppose the idea of making abortion illegal and some go so far as to boycott places like Curves (founder Gary Heavin reportedly anti-choice)

Today, in the U.S, they are commemorating the 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade

Feministing writes: Commemorate Roe, but work for reproductive justice. For those who are unfamiliar with the idea of reproductive justice, as opposed to reproductive rights...The term "reproductive justice" was coined in 1994 by the Black Women's Caucus at a national pro-choice conference in Chicago. (Some of these same women went on to co-found the amazing organization SisterSong.) Instead of focusing on the right to abortion, reproductive justice takes a holistic view of women's health and social justice issues.

The U.S. anti-choice crowds are out in the thousands today:

Today, thousands of anti-abortion activists rallied in Washington , no suprise that President George W Bush has restated his personal opposition to abortion on the 35th anniversary of its legalisation in the US.

The Los Angeles Times writes:"It's not 1973. Pro-choice forces must adjust to regain the moral high ground."

If Men Could Get Pregnant, Abortion Would be a Sacrament

Childbirth is miraculous, but it can also be difficult, dangerous and even deadly -- so why should men be able to force women to go through it?

There is a low-budget documentary called Leona's Sister Gerri that helps me connect to that time. It unravels the story of a photograph (viewer discretion advised) of an anonymous woman lying face down in a pool of blood on a motel floor, dead after a botched abortion. She became an icon for the pro-choice movement when Ms. magazine published her image. The film makes Gerri Santoro into the story of a person, not a coat hanger. We learn through her that women went to unimaginable lengths to not be pregnant.

On this anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Suzanne Grossman gives thanks to the men and women who make this choice possible -- to doctors, to clinic workers, to advocates and activists, to lawmakers and politicians who are brave enough to stand up to "pro-life" rhetoric, to all of those who fought for abortion rights before..... and finally to Justice Harry Blackmun, the author of Roe v. Wade. He received hate mail for the rest of his life as a result of that decision, but for thousands of women he is a hero.

He is certainly one of mine.

Northern Territories YWCA to get $1.5 million over the next three years

The YWCA will receive $1.5 million over the next three years from Status of Women Canada to develop programming geared towards women in all three territories.

The application was only approved in late December, there is no word yet on how that money will be broken down, according to Paulette Senior, CEO of YWCA Canada.

The new funding is for programming, rather than infrastructure, there is a real need for a women's homeless shelter in Nunavut and the Yukon, according to Senior.

That need was identified clearly in the recently released You Just Blink and It Can Happen: A Study of Women's Homelessness North of 60, she added.

"I think it was a wakeup call in terms of the federal government seeing how critical the situation is, and critical in terms of bringing the issues of homelessness and the dire situation of women in the North to the rest of the country," Senior said.

A co-ordinator for the program has already been hired, and will be in Iqaluit in February to meet with local women's organizations, according to Senior.

The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by ......

Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky said: "The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons."

I suggest that the degree of civilization in a society can also be judged by the effectiveness its child-care programs.

If so, Canada is failing as a civilization.

I remember stepping out of my house on Sept. 12, 2001, looking up at a silent sky thinking, "The world will never be the same."

And it hasn't. The Conservatives have committed $9 billion to Afghanistan, $2 billion to child care. What's wrong with this picture? The Taliban have no plans to invade Etobicoke.

There is an important child-care related bill coming before Parliament. Bill C-303 would be the first step in a much needed national daycare program.

As Jane Mercer of the Toronto Coalition for Better Child Care told me, "Canada has made a choice to stand still on the issue of publicly funded child care while Quebec and the rest of the world moved ahead. The longer we wait, the greater the gap and the harder it will be to catch up."

You can use your influence to support Bill C-303 by going to

For information on daycare in Toronto, go to

Monday, January 21

Taking Aim at Target

Clicked writes: Feminism issue of the day: Are you troubled by a Target ad's placement of a woman's spread legs at the center of a bull's eye? To my eye there's no denying the intended visual focus of the ad - I definitely look "there" first when I look at the ad. I'm less certain about the message that's coming with it. I wouldn't exactly call it a sexy ad ...... more arguments

Sunday, January 20

Announcing the First Annual Canadian F-word Blog Awards!

LINK: Visit Canadian F-word Blog

Necessity is the mother of invention

Neatorama wrote an excerpt of The Daring Book for Girls by Andrea J. Buchanan and Miriam Peskowitz, as part of Neatorama’s review (and giveaway contest) for the book:

Even though it’s said that "necessity is the mother of invention," women’s contribution to inventing and science have been, in the past, often overlooked. It’s likely women have been using their creativity and intelligence to engineer new ideas and products since the beginning of human experience, but nobody really kept track of such things until a few years ago. Below we’ve assembled some of our favorite daring women inventors, scientists, and doctors - from Nobel Prize winners to crafters of practical devices, from women who revolutionized the way diapers were changed to women whose revolutionary ideas changed the world.

For example in 1870 Martha Knight patents a machine to produce flat-bottomed paper bags. She also becomes the first woman in the United States to fight and win a patent suit, when she defended her patent against a man who had stolen her design and filed for his own patent on it. He claimed a woman couldn’t possibly have the mechanical knowledge needed to invent such a complex machine, but Knight was able to back up her claim. After her success, she went on to develop and patent several other machines, including rotary machines and automatic tools.

Saturday, January 19

Stop War Shadow Grafitti

Spotted in Bloomington, Indiana, is this creative grafitti protesting the war. Way better than those ubiquitous "Stop Hammer Time" stickers:

The piece itself is was stenciled on the floor using a shadow cast by a light post at night, and later carefully sprayed with a ‘camouflage black’ can.

Feminine-ism replaces feminism??

Great article by Jess McCabe at F-word deconstructing Harriet Rubin's article in the San Francisco Chronicle where Harriet talks about feminism in the past tense writing: "Feminism was a conflicted demand for power. "

What Rubin's article reminds Jess of most is this recent post by Jeff at Shakesville, on the difference between so-called equity feminists and gender feminists..... as Jeff points out very well, this is an anti-feminist construct.

The gender/equity construct was created by Christina Hoff Sommers in her seminal anti-feminist trope, Who Stole Feminism? Sommers claims that she herself is an equity feminist; that is, she believes in equal rights and equal opportunity for women under the law. But she does not believe in addressing or changing gender roles; that falls under the rubric of gender feminism.

......there is a difference between equality under the law and actual equality. Take race, for a contrasting example. While one can argue about certain points of law and the way the law is enforced, from a strictly statutory standpoint the law is pretty color-blind, especially when contrasted with how it was written in, say, 1957.

But only a benighted fool would claim that therefore, racism has been eliminated, and those working to change society's opinions on race are doing something wrong. Indeed, it's well-understood that society still functions in an unequal manner, and that we all need to do more work to eliminate racism.

The conclusion? "Feminine-ism isn't enough. Only feminism will do."

Random Acts of Feminism

From the Guardian: Random Acts of Feminism represent a small but lively opportunity to fight back in our everyday lives......thoughts from women's page readers, who responded in droves to a shout-out on this subject last year. If you are looking for quick, effective ways to stand up for yourself - and other women - in 2008, here you go!

Of the many plagues sent to try modern women, the rise of raunch can cause particular anguish. Glance around your local newsagent, and behold: lads' mags, the 1990s joke that just won't go away. A whole genre of magazines, all filled with busty lovelies and pernicious rubbish about how readers can persuade young women to give them a blow job.

So what to do about these? My preferred option is to find my nearest newsagent, ferret out some copies of Good Housekeeping and Mary Beth's Beanie World, and put these nice homely publications neatly at the front of the racks, obscuring the latest lads' mags. You don't even have to touch the hateful things!

There are many popular variations. For instance, one woman I know simply turns the magazines around. Women's page reader Charlie Grrl recommends "subvertising" magazines that offend you by adding your own copy to tawdry covers. Arm yourself with some Post-it notes pre-inscribed with wry, thoughtful lines - "Real Men Buy Books", for example. Or draw a speech bubble ready to animate one of the pouting cover girls. It might say, "I am somebody's sister", or "Despite my come-hither expression, I wouldn't shag a Nuts reader for a million pounds".

And if, for some reason, you decide to buy a newspaper that features bare breasts on page three, then why not ape the eco warriors who leave their excess food packaging at the supermarket checkout, by ripping out the offending page and leaving the excess porn with your newsagent?
  1. Many readers were exercised by the lazy use of language, and came up with simple ways to combat it. Rachael in Devon, Alison in Essex and Ann in Edinburgh, for instance, all suggested the random act of Hear No Evil - a refusal to acknowledge anyone using the term "girl" to describe a person over the age of 16.
    Insisting on Ms as a title also cropped up regularly. One woman I heard of became so annoyed by computer programs that only allow women to use the titles Miss or Mrs (yes, such programmes do still exist) that she now solves the problem by entering her title as Mr. Then, when any post arrives addressed to this fictional male character, she knows to bin it straightaway, without even opening it. After all, it is clearly junk mail.

  2. Swearing can be a good place to start some random acts, too. Among the long list of expletives with which our fair language is blessed, a disappointing majority refer to the female form, or women's sexual appetite. Adelaide Thomas wrote to say she relished the opportunity to challenge the terms "slag" and "slut", especially when used as throwaway or generic insults about someone who is often "nothing more than a little annoying".

    I sometimes liven up my swearing by using those who are hateful, as my hateful slurs. Get out of it, you Clarkson! Another option is to use the kind of "rude words" heard in in-flight films. Melon-farmer may not have the same brute force as the word from which it is perverted, but it can be a lot of fun to use.

  3. Calling cards for prostitutes concerned a number of women who wrote in. Sabine Scheuring simply rips them up, while Elaine Hake suggests not just removing them, but adding some advertising of your own, pasting up stickers for sexual violence helplines. You could take it even further. Before you consign those calling cards to the bin, why not fire up your scanner and create some of your own? Amuse yourself with new taglines. "Too sad and ugly for a real girlfriend? Call me!", or "Like to use women? Phone now!" And if the number you include happens to be for a premium rate astrology hotline, well, that's all to the good, isn't it?

  4. Another way to help out your fellow women is by providing us with interesting reading material. Red Chidgey, for instance, suggests building "clandestine libraries in unusual locations" and personally delivers lively feminist material to the waiting room coffee table at her local GP practice. When you finish with your copies of Ms, Bust or Bitch magazines then, or suddenly realise that you have two copies of The Second Sex lurking on your bookshelf, why not target the magazine racks of your local library, or just leave a radical book on a park bench? You never know who might pick it up ...

  5. Sometimes inaction is the most positive way forward. When the boyfriend of Christine from London started making crude hints about her bikini wax being overdue, for instance, she decided that it was time to let her hair flourish."In this case," she writes, "two weeks was enough to prove the point". (Said boyfriend has since been banished.) And this approach works in other situations too. If you find yourself doing an unfair share of the housework, why not just down tools?

  6. The WCs of Britain's clubs and pubs might also be a nice place to awaken some solidarity. Whenever I see something nasty scrawled on the back of a toilet door, I like to add amendments of my own. It only takes a second - and a handy marker pen - to transform something mean-spirited. Cross out the "c" and the "h", for example, and "Jilly is a bitch" can quickly be changed to "Jilly is a bit of a genius".

Finally, I leave you with news of a famous toyshop, where a women's page reader (who shall remain nameless) spent a busy afternoon with her best friend and their daughters. Seeing a large pink plastic castle, she took pity on the blonde in the highest turret. Taking a card from her handbag and inscribing it neatly in black ink, she slid her small sign next to the princess's head. "Please let me out," it read, "I gotta get to work!"

Science Not Stereotypes

Marchers protesting a recent decision to exclude gay men from being blood or organ donors head out of Victoria Park toward downtown London Ontario yesterday.

Signs of Gender Bias in Reviews of Scientific Papers

Symphony orchestras discovered that female musicians had a better chance of succeeding at audition when their identity — and gender — was concealed. Now, researchers say, a similar tendency toward bias might be at work in scientific publishing, New Scientist reports (subscription required).

Bias long has been suspected of playing a role in influencing which scientific research gets published. To test whether this is true, a team at the University of Toronto led by Amber Budden looked at the journal Behavioral Ecology, which switched to a double-blind peer-review process in 2001. The study found that 8% more female authors had papers published once authors’ identities were hidden.

Dr. Budden says that while there might be other explanations for the discrepancy, she believes the findings should spur a debate about adopting anonymous review policies in scientific fields.

Wednesday, January 16

WTF Andy?

In 2006, St John's city council changed its harassment bylaw in a bid to muzzle the mayor (Andy Wells) after he called a councillor "a stupid old woman" and elitist snob. In 2005, Mr. Wells angered women's groups when he appeared on the cover of an alternative magazine in bondage gear with a leather ball gag in his mouth.

..... and he criticized Suzuki and Gore calling them junk scientists and took a firm stance on pesticides; specifically, that pesticides are awesome and DDT will save sub-Saharan Africa......!

Sexism at Bell

Two former Bell ExpressVu executives have filed a civil lawsuit alleging gender discrimination in the workplace by their former employers.In court documents, Fran Boutilier and Alison Green said they had to put up with a macho corporate culture that included sexist, vulgar language and being frozen out of drinking sessions with the "boys' club."

In July 2005, the two women attended an off-site retreat with a martial arts theme. They had to read The Art of War, wear war paraphernalia such as bandannas, costumes and props and participate in a judo class.

It was this last element that was "over the top," Green told the Toronto Star. While Boutilier was able to pair up with a woman from another Bell Canada department, Green refused to pair up with a man to practise kicks, punches and chokeholds.

Not long after the retreat, both women were fired.

  • Seems as though BellVu has dismissed 5 senior women at Bell and no men.
  • The number of women employed in senior management has declined from 25 per cent in 2004 to 17.7 per cent in 2006, the data show.
  • The percentage of women working at Bell ExpressVu – 38.3 per cent of its workforce – is well below the numbers for women available in the workforce – 59.3 per cent – for the jobs

The stigma of being a woman...

…Can you imagine someone yelling at (Barack) Obama, "Stick to basketball!" before the international press and it not sparking at least some examination about race issues afterward? (2 hecklers repeatedly yelled "Iron my shirts” at Hillary Clinton at a rally last week) Can you conceive of a radio host gaily making fun of candidate Bill Richardson's generous girth, as (Boston’s Michael) Graham did of Ms. Clinton's thighs? … Many of the judgments being passed against Clinton are rooted in her sex. … What the late Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman to serve in the U.S. Congress, once noted may still hold true: "Of my two 'handicaps, being female put more obstacles in my path than being black."
- The stigma of being a woman in this race, Christie Blatchford, Globe & Mail, 9 Jan 2008.

… Gender is probably the most restricting force in America … Black men were given the vote a half-century before women of any race … and have ascended to positions of power …before any women… Why is the sex barrier not taken as seriously as the racial one? … Because sexism is still confused with nature as racism once was; because anything that affects males is seen as more serious than anything that affects “only” the female ; … I’m not advocating a competition for who has it toughest. The caste systems of sex and race are interdependent and can only be uprooted together. … What worries me is … that male Iowa voters were seen as gender-free when supporting their own, while female voters were seen as biased if they did and disloyal if they didn’t… that some women, perhaps especially younger ones, hope to escape the sexual caste system. … It’s time to take equal pride in breaking all the barriers. We have to be able to say: “I’m supporting her because she’ll be a great president and because she’s a woman.”
- Excerpts, Women Are Never Front-Runners, Gloria Steinem, NY Times, 8 Jan 2008.

In family law, no case involving children is ever over...

Sometimes it's as obvious as a slap in the face or a kick to the ribs. …Then there's a more insidious form of abuse. Abuse by proxy. …The abuser controls and abuses the victim through a third party. Friends, family and organizations and branches of government can unwittingly become an extension of the abuser's arm.

Misuse of family court is one strategy. ... – it’s sometimes called "legal bullying" or stalking by court.
In family law, no case involving children is ever over, and circumstances change often, requiring negotiation or court order and bringing parents in frequent contact. So, when there is harassment, the pattern may not be quickly identifiable by others.

Canadian legal scholars who looked at the issue of legal bullying concluded that "The result of protracted legal bullying ... is simply that bullies win." The abuse may also be in the form of spiteful reports to child protection, tax or welfare authorities or to her employer. …
- Excerpt, column by Ginette Petitpas-Taylor,

Thursday, January 10

Coalition Fights To Bring Back Court Challenges

Source: : In September 2006, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced that the minority Conservative government was cutting over $1 Billion in funding from programs funded by the National Treasury. The Conservatives did this by stripping the funding from what they referred to as ‘wasteful programs.’ One of these allegedly wasteful programs was the Court Challenges Program – an arms-length, non-profit organization that has provided funding for some of the most significant Supreme Court decisions of the past 30 years. Last month, a coalition of eight organizations representing equality-seeking communities announced that it will file a motion in Federal Court to intervene in a case challenging the decision of the federal government to cut funding to the Court Challenges Program. Their press release can be found here.

Background to the Court Challenges Program

The Court Challenges Program was introduced by the Trudeau Liberals in 1978. At the time, it was meant to help fund language rights cases based on sections 93 and 133 of the Constitution Act, 1867. In 1982, the program’s mandate was expanded to provide funding for the language rights found in sections 16 through 23 of the freshly introduced Charter.

In 1985, the program was further expanded to provide funding for litigation relating to sections 15 (equality), 27 (multiculturalism), and 28 (sex equality). This decision stemmed from a report by the Parliamentary Committee on Equality Rights, which noted that the extreme differential in resources between the government and individuals seeking a benefit under the equality sections of the Charter constituted a considerable barrier to accessing those rights.

The purpose of the program was simple. The provisions of the Constitution could only be clarified by the courts if they were challenged by litigants. Recognizing that the cost of a complex court challenge is out of reach for most individuals – especially people facing discrimination under the law - the government decided that some public funds would have to be made available to ensure these cases would be heard in the courts. The mere existence of the program demonstrated the committment the Canadian government had to language and equality rights; the government would fund people suing its own departments to reduce the financial barriers that most potential litigants would not otherwise be able to overcome.

Despite a positive review of the program in 1989 by the Standing Committee on Human Rights and the Status of Disabled Persons, the program was cancelled by the Conservative government in 1992. However, when the Liberals returned to office the next year, they brought it back in its modern form.

While operating, the program funded cases dealing with issues such as same-sex marriage, accessibility rights for people with disabilities, sex discrimination, violence against women, criminal law provisions regarding the use of disciplinary force against children, and racial discrimination in the immigration system. A more detailed list of some of the cases the program helped fund can be found here.

Court Challenges gets cut

The federal government was the Court Challenges Program’s sole source of funding. Therefore, the program was effectively cancelled when the Conservatives announced it would no longer provide the program with funding. As the program’s website states, the non-profit corporation has not been able to accept any applicants for funding since September 25, 2006. Conveniently for the government, since the decision to eliminate the program’s funding was made as an executive one, the funding cut did not need to be debated or ratified in the House of Commons.

The “Backgrounder – Effective Spending” released by the government to announce the government omnibus program cuts states that the program was cut because it was not providing ‘value for money.’ However, the Conservatives did not offer a further explanation for why such a conclusion was reached. This is disturbing, considering the last evaluation of the program conducted by Heritage Canada in 2003 came to the opposite conclusion. It found that the program “meets the need that led to the Program’s creation.” The evaluation also stated that “a better understanding of the rights and freedoms covered by the Program is best achieved by funding test cases. No alternative would be as efficient.” This report can be read here.

The Challenge to the Loss of Court Challenges

The case challenging the government’s decision to eliminate funding for the Court Challenges Program was started by the Federation of Francophone and Acadian Communities of Canada, a group representing French-speaking minorities outside of Québec. Applying to intervene are The Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD), the National Anti-Racism Council of Canada (NARCC), the Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action (FAFIA), the DisAbled Women’s Network of Canada (DAWN-RAFH Canada), the Metro Toronto Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic (MTCSALC), the Charter Committee on Poverty Issues (CCPI), the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF) and the South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario (SALCO). Egale Canada is also offering support for the coalition.

The case will be heard February 24-25, 2008 in Federal Court in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

Women in power not a priority for Tories: ex-PM Campbell

As the country's first ministers unpack their suits and ties for their meeting in the nation's capital, Canada's first and only female prime minister is bemoaning the lack of women in federal positions of power.

In particular, Kim Campbell says the small number of women in Stephen Harper's Conservative cabinet signals the issue is a low priority for his government.
Her comments come exactly a year after Harper shuffled his top female minister out of Environment and into the Intergovernmental Affairs portfolio. Since then Rona Ambrose has been virtually invisible on the public scene, even this week as the premiers gather to meet in Ottawa for perhaps the most important intergovernmental meeting of the year.

Campbell noted in an interview Thursday that she doesn't keep track of all the players on the federal scene. But she said that the message the Harper government is sending by having only 5 female cabinet ministers out of slate of 27 is that "it's not an important issue to them."

"Part of the problem is that women are still seen as kind of an afterthought, that men are the default quality and women are somehow a departure from that," she says.


HIV a stigma in aboriginal communities

Rates of infection among Canada's native people grossly disproportionate to their total numbers

In November, the Public Health Agency of Canada released its latest stats on the spread of HIV and AIDS in this country.

The report reveals aboriginal people (Inuit, Métis and First Nations) accounted for more than a quarter of all positive HIV tests reported in 2006, even though they only make up about 6 per cent of the total population in the 12 provinces and territories included in the stats. (Ontario and Quebec are excluded because they do not collect ethno-specific HIV data.)

And, for the third year in a row, women accounted for more than half of the positive test results among aboriginal people.

LINK: TorStar
LINK: Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network
LINK: Epi Notes

Advocates urge premiers to fight for child care

The premiers must take on Stephen Harper'splan to limit the federal spending powers when they meet the prime minister onFriday, say child care advocates.

"We hear that this meeting is all about the economy. Child care is at theheart of that discussion - for children, parents and the country. It doesn'ttake a PhD to see that early learning and child care is central to ourcountry's ability to compete internationally in the 21st century," says MabOloman, acting coordinator for Code Blue.

Code Blue has written an open letter to the provincial and territorialpremiers urging them to press Stephen Harper to use the federal spending powerto expand early childhood education and child care services.

"Without federal funding and leadership, we'll remain at the bottom ofthe barrel of industrialized countries when it comes to child care services,"says Jody Dallaire, Chairperson of the Child Care Advocacy Association ofCanada (CCAAC). "Without vision, leadership and collaboration, even the basicearly childhood education and care services now available will erode," addsDallaire. The letter stresses that Harper's plan to limit spending powers will havelong-term implications for any new social program, including child care.

"The federal spending power gave us Medicare - an innovation born inSaskatchewan. We need the same groundbreaking push on child care. It's theonly way Canadian parents and children will benefit from the kind ofaffordable early learning and child care services available in Quebec," saysEmily King, CCAAC Project Director.

The letter is available at

Monday, January 7

You Mean A Woman Can Open It?

A new release of an old book - You Mean A Woman Can Open It?: The Woman's Place In The Classic Age Of Advertising - brings together images from the past......visit the Daily Mail to view more pics

Featured here: 1953: You don't need a knife, a bottle opener or even your husband to unscrew the cap of this bottle - just a little twist of the Alcoa HyTop Closure, made of pure aluminium, and that ketchup is ready to pour ........

Morgentaler at 20: An Activist reflects

On January 28, 1988, the Supreme Court handed down its landmark judgment in R. v. Morgentaler. To mark this month’s twentieth anniversary, The has commissioned contributions from some of those involved in the case. Today, journalist and former National Action Committee on the Status of Women president Judy Rebick describes how the ruling was received by the Canadian women’s movement.

I’ll never forget January 28, 1988, the day the Supreme Court struck down the abortion law. It was freezing cold. A group of pro-choice activists were standing in front of the Morgentaler clinic along with a mob of media waiting to hear the news from our comrades in Ottawa. They were supposed to call the clinic as soon as the decision came down and the clinic staff would let us know what happened. We didn’t have cell phones in those days. A reporter called me aside and said she had just heard on her radio that the Supreme Court had struck down the law on the grounds that it interfered with women’s right to security of the person. I didn’t believe her. We thought the justices might very well strike down the law, but we figured it would be on the technical grounds of lack of equal access. A decision based on the Charter guarantee of security of the person was too much to hope for. After all, the major argument of the pro-choice movement was that a woman had the right to control her own body.

Indeed, the majority decision written by Chief Justice Brian Dickson stated:

[S]tate interference with bodily integrity and serious state-imposed psychological stress, at least in the criminal law context, constitutes a breach of security of the person… Section 251 [the old abortion law] clearly interferes with a woman’s physical and bodily integrity. Forcing a woman, by threat of criminal sanction, to carry a foetus to term unless she meets certain criteria unrelated to her own priorities and aspirations, is a profound interference with a woman’s body and thus an infringement of security of the person.

Sunday, January 6

He's just NOT that into you.....

Canadian women have shown a reluctance to vote Conservative for some time now. But it was not always so.

In the early post-war era, it was generally accepted that women in western democracies tended to be more right wing in their voting preferences than men. But since the 1980s, many scholars have observed a realignment of female voters toward the left. Experts attribute this shift to a range of factors, from greater educational opportunities to the ongoing lag in women's wages and a decline in religiosity.

The so-called "modern gender gap" also became apparent in Canada during the 1990s, especially outside Quebec, according to a 2002 study by Lynda Erickson of Simon Fraser University and Brenda O'Neill, now with the University of Calgary. During the '90s, women recoiled from the policies of the Reform Party, a precursor of the Conservative Party, and moved toward the NDP.

Some analysts believe the Conservatives must now do more to address issues traditionally considered important by women

  • The environment (28 per cent of men believe that Canadian leaders should focus on the environment, compared with 29 per cent of women.)
  • Health Care (Both genders agree that health care is the second most important issue facing the country, but a much larger 27 per cent of women consider it key, compared with only 18 per cent of men.)
  • Education (For men, it was the economy)
  • Poverty (For men, it was military defence)

It's all in how you look at things...

Photo Credit: FFFFound

Ensuring the Best Start in Life: Targeting vs. Universality in Early Childhood Development

A study for the Institute for Research on Public Policy ( indicates that targeted preschool programs aren't serving Canada's children well. Politicians aren't qualified to pick the kids who need help. Allowing millions of children to fall short of their potential, with labour shortages looming, is bad economic planning.

Intuitively, it makes sense that early learning programs should be targeted at low-income children. They face bigger hurdles than other youngsters. They're more likely to struggle at school. They have a higher risk of dropping out and perpetuating the poverty cycle.

Yet pediatricians, teachers and psychologists consistently advocate that all pre-schoolers be treated equally.

For the past 15 years, Canada's politicians have ignored the experts and gone with their guts.

The result is a patchwork of programs aimed at youngsters living in poor neighbourhoods, aboriginal communities and single-parent households.

It fails on two counts, says Gillian Doherty. First, it isn't particularly cost-effective. Second, it excludes 70 per cent of youngsters with development problems.

Doherty hopes middle- and upper-income voters – who have the power to decide elections – take a hard look at the evidence.

Title: Ensuring the Best Start in Life: Targeting vs. Universality in Early Childhood Development

Author: Gillian Doherty
Research program: Investing in Our Children
Release date: December 6, 2007
Photo Credit: Banksy

Olympic bosses must rethink exclusion of women ski jumpers

With the coming of the 2010 Vancouver/Whistler Winter Olympics F-email Fightback could write about many, many things - cost to taxpayers......... cost to environment (remember Harriet Nahanee?)......attack on panhandlers....impact on prostitutes.....etc etc

Today's post adds blatant gender discrimination to the mix noting that there is no compelling reason why women ski jumpers should not be allowed to participate in the 2010 Vancouver/Whistler Winter Olympics? (Given the view of the jump on the left...I won't be signing up for ski jumping lessons anytime soon....but I digress)

The exclusion of women ski jumpers, defended by the International Olympic Committee on the flimsiest of pretexts, risks giving the Games an international black mark for blatant gender discrimination.

In September, the Canadian Human Rights Commission heard a complaint filed by a group of female ski jumpers, who claimed the Olympic movement was discriminating against them. The Commission's decision is expected soon.

Wednesday, January 2

F-email Fightback - 2007 - looking in the rearview mirror

Blogging for one year - here's a look back at some of our posts....


We cheered for the women who held a Sit-in at BC/Yukon Status of Women Canada Vancouver Office


We were delighted to promote the new website for the Ad-hoc Coalition for Women's Equality and Human Rights website

We cheered for the women who occupied the SWC office in St. John's

We joined the “Women are angry” valentine card campaign to Harper: (“Chocolates and flowers don't last, but Equality is Forever) while cheering with the Halifax RadicalFeminist Cheerleaders


We yelled “shame” at Stephen Harper’s flip flop on child care which showed that the Conservative government can’t support its own ill-conceived child care policy.

We sent kudos to the Angry Women On The Halifax Pier" and we reported on the March 30 rallies for Status of Women (in Toronto and Hamilton) and Child Care

We cheered Supreme Court Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin who said the courts are now facing growing pains that are limiting access to the justice Canadians deserve

We sent kudos to LabourStart's IWD news page which proved so popular they made it a permanent feature


We promoted Bill C303, the Early Learning and Child Care Act

We were surprised that our post on male privilege was so appreciated in the blogosphere

We were thankful to for giving us a countdown of 60 of the ways Harper is reshaping Canada in his own image. We had fun creating cartoons!


We echoed mockery of those who support exorbitant bills for the military action while denying government funding for festivals in Quebec, Canadian studies research, cultural programs, recreation, social housing, urban transit, student bursaries, court challenges, women's shelters, and child care

We were sad to report that in Alberta - "Basically zero child care spaces available"

We couldn’t believe that Feds can't say for sure where $2 billion in child-care funding went?

We cheered the results of the Manitoba election - women won more seats than ever


We cheered 150 members of the Women Against Poverty Collective (WPAC) who took to the streets of Toronto to take part in an anti-poverty demonstration.

We were saddened to read that a motion by the Anglican Church of Canada to bless same-sex unions lost by only two votes.

We saluted Jinny Simms who said "Goodbye for now" as the head of the BC Teachers' Federation makes way for a new President.


We urged women to Scrap the Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP)

We were disappointed that the Supreme Court of Canada launched a new portal for litigants wishing to represent themselves before Canada’s highest court. (The “Representing Yourself” portal ) We wish that the Court Challenge Program was reinsituted instead

We promoted The Child Care Advocacy Forum has launched a new website: "Setting the Record Straight". Their goal with this feature is to get underneath government 'spin' about child care announcements and decisions.

We joined in on the fundraising campaign to save NAWL from closing


We spread rumours about Bev Oda – the enigmatic and lacklustre head of culture as heritage minister since early 2006 – who was rumoured to be a likely target for Stephen Harper cabinet shuffle. Bev Oda and Josee Verner then switched posts

We reported that two Vancouver lawyers launched a constitutional challenge of Canada's prostitution laws, arguing they force sex workers into unsafe conditions and infringe a sex worker's right to freedom of expression

We knew that women in Canada and Quebec were smart - According to recent polls, 71 per cent or more of Canadian women say they do not support Harper, and in Quebec it is even worse if you’re the prime minister of a minority government looking for a majority. As few as 14 per cent of Quebec women say they would vote for Harper.


We reported vicious sexual assaults on campuses, and as a new threat appeared at a third school, Canadian universities beefed up their security measures

We sadly reported that the latest organization to close its doors was the 33-year-old National Association of Women and the Law (NAWL), which lost a critical $300,000 a year after Status of Women Canada changed its funding rules last fall.

We cautioned that Tax Cuts Come With a High Price

We were happy to report that for the first time in Canada's labour history, more women than men are joining unions, according to a recent Statistics Canada Labour Force survey. And women now hold a majority of jobs in core federal government employment, a dramatic shift over the past decade.


We celebrated the The 80th anniversary of the Persons Case

We criticized Harper’s Tories for not delivering a single one of the 125,000 child care spaces they promised

We rejoiced that the cookbook – “Out of the Kitchen, Cooking Up Equality” - wass rolling off the presses in October !!!

We alerted readers that 'Big-box' daycare coming to Canada

We reiterated once again that Harper lacks the political will to abolish child poverty - More than 1 million children, one in six kids in Canada, live in poverty.


We advocated for Jordan's Principle and urged others to do likewise

We were sad to report that thousands of women are turned away from Alberta women's shelters

We had fun promoting Olivia's Adventures in The Land Of Pay Equity ”(As published in NB Women’s News)

We joined the party to celebrate Canada’s New Democratic party marking 40 years of fighting for LGBT rights


We reproduced Pamela Cross’ piece Violence rooted in inequality

We proudly reported that advocacy groups head to court to fight cancellation of the court challenges program

We loved the Ad-hoc Coalition for Women's Equality and Human Rights presents an animated response to the Stephen Harper Conservative Government's 2006 cuts

We sent kudos to Burnaby-Douglas MP Bill Siksay is calling for transgender and transsexual people to be protected under Canadian hate crime laws.

We sent more kudos to The Sudbury City Council whovoted in favour to amend the Purchase of Service agreements so that in the future, only public and/or not-for-profit child care qualifies for any form of public funding


We mourned the deaths of activist Jane Rule; author Peg Bracken of the I Hate to Cook Book; Ukranian feminist pioneer Halyna Chomiak Freeland; Cuban revolutionary Vilma Espin ; Mi’kmaq poet Rita Joe; former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto; feminist icon and former Chatelaine editor Doris Anderson; first female Supreme Court Judge Bertha Wilson ; activist June Callwood; Elder and Warrior Harriet Nahanee

Offensive Quotes of the Year

MP Irene Mathyssen (NDP): Mr. Speaker, the government … does not have any intention of promoting equality. We will not rest until we have equality, pay equity and real child care. When can women finally achieve real equality in our country?
Minister Bev Oda (Status of Women): "Mr. Speaker, the women in Canada know that they will achieve full participation in Canadian society when they continue to support the government."
Excerpt, House of Commons Hansard, 14 February, 2007.

The member (Jacques Gourde) said:
Often, a father will give his son advice on how to select a heating system. That is not usually something a mother discusses with her daughter; a mother is more likely to advise her daughter on what curtains to pick. That is the reality. It may be sexist, but that is the reality.

"Status of Women is a make-work project for radical feminism,” said Gwen Landolt, national vice-president of REAL Women"REAL women" complain: Hearings by Status of Women Committee a Hoax

Early in the campaign, Action democratique du Quebec Leader Mario Dumont is forced to fire two candidates, one for scoffing at violence against women and the other for suggesting Quebecers need to make more babies to avoid being overwhelmed by "ethnics."

"I was not aware until yesterday [Tuesday] that the President of Liberia (first woman elected as a head of state in Africa ) was here," Mr. Harper said in the House of Commons. Mr. Harper met instead with Vladislav Tretiak, the famous Russian goalie who was in town trying to win support for another Canada-Russia hockey summit.

Hurst, a general manager with Industry Canada, is reported to have sent out 31 allegedly racist, sexist e-mails from his office. The e-mail messages are said to have depicted images of four naked women, one of whom was an older Aboriginal woman exposing her breasts. The attached message in the e-mail was "pick Miss Northwest Territories."

Reports from 2005 and 2006 say the SWC's own staff labelled the Status of Women office as "a relic of the past" and that its effectiveness was hobbled as gender equity slipped from being "a top-of-the-agenda issue" in Ottawa.

For the next 5 years, Canada is giving $500,000/yr to the Conference of Defence Associations, "the oldest and most influential advocacy group in Canada's defence community", to promote better understanding of defence issues and of the contributions of Canadian Forces. Harper Supports Advocacy, Just Not Women's

This video was old news but f-email fightback loves Lewis Black especially when he talks about Jerry Falwell blaming 9/11 on the Pagans and the Feminists