women's human rights: Canada & the world



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klammer

papershopprojects:

huffingtonpost:

HERE’S WHAT ‘YELLOW FEVER’ REALLY MEANS

"All my ex-girlfriends are Asian."

If you’ve ever come across this charming come-on, you’ve probably been exposed to yellow fever

For her full rant watch the video here.

YES, THERE IS NOW A MUCH NEEDED GIF SET FOR THIS!


asammyg:

iwatchforsasha:

Fantastic Breasts and Where to Find Them

Everyone stop what you’re doing and watch this video.


So make no mistake: I have a fat body that is often worshiped, but I am not necessarily worshiped for my body fat. To find my body attractive is not unusual, strange, bothersome. And it is most certainly not a sign of mental instability. I am so much more than an object for specific obsession. I am more than a category for things that some may find uncomfortable.


The Future of Ontario Post-Secondary Schools

madamedechevre:

Things happening or about to happen in Ontario education:

-Schools are being pushed to “brand” themselves and further corporatize.

-Accordingly, schools are being encouraged to specialize. They are especially being encouraged to specialize in fields like economics, media, and science.

-Schools are being more carefully audited by the government.

-So far it looks like more conservative schools like U of T are being favoured for increased funding over more liberal, social justice-oriented schools like York.

-But overall funding for schools remains pretty tight.

Citation: Toronto Star, August 7/2014

What I think these changes will mean:

-Schools are prodded into becoming ever more invested in the ideology of capitalism. Rather than producing critical thinkers, they will solely produce workers. While preparation for the workplace is important, and does have a place in school, an increased or even singular focus on this outcome seems contrary to the other purposes of education like producing an overall informed and thoughtful democratic populace.

-While none of these trends are new, the increased focus on them is concerning.


fuck-yeah-feminist:

"BUT WHAT ABOUT THE MEN?!" - Is Feminism Sexist? (x)

Guess what? Feminism is beneficial for men. But even if it wasn’t, empowering women shouldn’t be limited or defined by what men think is important.

(Source: marinakeeptalking)


"Jury duty at a rape trial? Acquit!" says MRA Paul Elam

fuckyeahfeminists:

feministingforchange:

sneferie:

misandry-mermaid:

A Voice For Men (MRA website) founder Paul Elam would rather see a male rapist walk the street freely than charged for his crime.

He admits that he would never convict a rapist, even one who is unequivocally guilty.  He claims it’s because the “system is rigged” (ironically, it is, but not in favor of the victim), but it’s obvious that he would really do this because he doesn’t think rape should be a crime.

But MRAs are more about helping men with legitimate problems than oppressing women at every opportunity, right? Get the fuck away from me right now if you don’t think the MRM is a hate movement.

This is disgusting and deplorable.

ugh


After dark on Monday, police responded with tear gas and rubber bullets. The ironies of race and policing were readily apparent: law enforcement using force to suppress outrage at law enforcement’s indiscriminate use of force.
Jelani Cobb reflects on the violence in Ferguson in the wake of Michael Brown’s death. (via fuckyeahfeminists)

(Source: newyorker.com)



The genius of Kate Bush in an age of subjugation

The system was, apparently, nail-bitingly tense and casino-level frustrating: to buy Kate Bush tickets, one had to choose a particular date at a particular price point. While the computer calculated that, no, sucker, there were no further spots available to meet your requirements, the other dates were gone too. All of them. “Why couldn’t you have put in multiple requests? What’s wrong with people? What’s wrong with the internet?” I haven’t had the same conversation so many times since they changed the large domestic bins in Lambeth to the small ones.

Fifteen minutes into the process, 77,000 people had got lucky, and legions hadn’t – currently we know not their number, but we will be able to collect that data by sales of the “No, I have not got any Kate Bush tickets” T-shirt. A sellout that fast, even of 22 dates, doesn’t necessarily tell you very much, except that middle-aged, middle-class people have too much money, or rather, are no longer able to afford middle-class things such as houses so have a surfeit of money for leisure. This, coupled with a nouvelle vogue for never growing the hell up, makes a lot of today’s cultural consumption “post-nostalgic”; you drop 200 quid going to see Take That, not because they evoke the past, but because you get to spend the night being indulged, as children are.

Going to see Kate Bush live isn’t remotely like that. In a world built on fake exits and stage-managed yearning, she left everybody genuinely wanting more. She has been a hermit, as far as performing is concerned, for 35 years; she’s a one-off, a prodigy, a creative heatball, an experiment of the species – dazzlingly successful but unreplicable. Her lyrical romanticism is questing and ambivalent, rather than needy and predictable. Her voice is wild, her melodies only make sense when you submit to them. Her physical world is perhaps the greatest of her idiosyncrasies, abandon and urgency at its poles, creating the magnetism that one would once have called “sexy”, but for the fact that the word now means “identikit gyrating in hotpants”. She is what music sounds like when it is the authentic creation of its author, and there are no strings being pulled by marketing guys or Svengalis.

Taking her as a creative ideal, I realise I’ve been having the wrong conversation about female pop stars. I spend a lot of time wondering about female creativity as it’s represented in music. What does it actually mean when Miley Cyrus leaps around faux-masturbating all the time? Could that ever be called a genuine expression of her sexuality? When Lady Gaga makes a video with R Kelly that looks like a slickly produced advertisement for date-rape drugs, is that collusion with the patriarchy or a subversion of it? Can Beyoncé, through sheer force of will, emancipate herself from the craven re-domestication agenda of her lyric: “If you liked it then you should have put a ring on it”?

The pattern with mainstream music is that a young woman is fashioned into an image of sexual desire concocted by some sleazy 50-year-old guy (or, more likely, a focus group full of them). She is then rounded on by feminists from the left and social conservatives from the right for being naked or (this is worse) naked and too thin.

She says, “What are you talking about? I’m doing what I want. Isn’t that what feminism is supposed to be all about?” And just as you’re about to explain – to Geri Halliwell, or whomever are her successors – that what she’s doing has nothing to do with her own imagination, and she’s just a cipher for someone else’s, it dawns on you how ridiculous it is to tell a woman what you think her self-expression should look like, on the basis that she shouldn’t be letting other people tell her what her self-expression should look like. If you say that Britney Spears was just the unwitting victim of the quasi-pederasty of her early oeuvre, then you’re infantilising her as much as the first guy who dressed her in school uniform and used her virginity as a calling card. Absurd! It’s all so circular and self-defeating.

But then you think about Kate Bush, or Janis Joplin, or Nico, and realise that it doesn’t matter whether or not Miley Cyrus is a feminist or whose fault Taylor Swift is. What matters is what the culture loses, as a whole, when mainstream music is comprised almost entirely of a male version of female creativity, women funnelled through male objectification, women’s self-expression totally subjugated, essentially absent. It loses its Kate Bushes. It loses, at a conservative estimate, half its genius.

02:00 pm, by padaviya2 notes

wearys:

protesting outside of hobby lobby today in tulsa oklahoma!


prokopetz:

grrspit:

nessanotarized:

nativefemboy:

thartist72:

“In 2002, having spent more than three years in one residence for the first time in my life, I got called for jury duty. I show up on time, ready to serve. When we get to the voir dire, the lawyer says to me, “I see you’re an astrophysicist. What’s that?” I answer, “Astrophysics is the laws of physics, applied to the universe—the Big Bang, black holes, that sort of thing.” Then he asks, “What do you teach at Princeton?” and I say, “I teach a class on the evaluation of evidence and the relative unreliability of eyewitness testimony.” Five minutes later, I’m on the street. A few years later, jury duty again. The judge states that the defendant is charged with possession of 1,700 milligrams of cocaine. It was found on his body, he was arrested, and he is now on trial. This time, after the Q&A is over, the judge asks us whether there are any questions we’d like to ask the court, and I say, “Yes, Your Honor. Why did you say he was in possession of 1,700 milligrams of cocaine? That equals 1.7 grams. The ‘thousand’ cancels with the ‘milli-’ and you get 1.7 grams, which is less than the weight of a dime.” Again I’m out on the street.”

powerful Black Science Man

Exactly.

“I teach a class on the evaluation of evidence and the relative unreliability of eyewitness testimony.” Five minutes later, I’m on the street.
This is a good illustration of what’s wrong with the US criminal justice system.

I’m more struck by the second anecdote, in which he was evidently disqualified from jury duty for displaying the ability to do math.

prokopetz:

grrspit:

nessanotarized:

nativefemboy:

thartist72:

“In 2002, having spent more than three years in one residence for the first time in my life, I got called for jury duty. I show up on time, ready to serve. When we get to the voir dire, the lawyer says to me, “I see you’re an astrophysicist. What’s that?” I answer, “Astrophysics is the laws of physics, applied to the universe—the Big Bang, black holes, that sort of thing.” Then he asks, “What do you teach at Princeton?” and I say, “I teach a class on the evaluation of evidence and the relative unreliability of eyewitness testimony.” Five minutes later, I’m on the street.

A few years later, jury duty again. The judge states that the defendant is charged with possession of 1,700 milligrams of cocaine. It was found on his body, he was arrested, and he is now on trial. This time, after the Q&A is over, the judge asks us whether there are any questions we’d like to ask the court, and I say, “Yes, Your Honor. Why did you say he was in possession of 1,700 milligrams of cocaine? That equals 1.7 grams. The ‘thousand’ cancels with the ‘milli-’ and you get 1.7 grams, which is less than the weight of a dime.” Again I’m out on the street.”

powerful Black Science Man

Exactly.

“I teach a class on the evaluation of evidence and the relative unreliability of eyewitness testimony.” Five minutes later, I’m on the street.

This is a good illustration of what’s wrong with the US criminal justice system.

I’m more struck by the second anecdote, in which he was evidently disqualified from jury duty for displaying the ability to do math.


I Liked Everything I Saw on Facebook for Two Days. Here’s What It Did to Me | Gadget Lab | WIRED

thisfeliciaday:

It’s so funny that I stumbled upon this article this morning, because I woke up irrationally livid at Facebook anyway. Why? Because for a while now, I feel like FB has been closing me in a box, and unless I play by their rules, I am losing access to the people who want to be reached by me.  

I have almost a million followers on FB. But I reach a very small percentage of people with every post on average. And this isn’t by my fans’ choice. Not a day goes by when I don’t see comments like, ‘Hey why am I not getting your updates anymore?” I’m helpless to explain exactly why, but I have a good inkling.

In order to scale with the number of people we collect on our accounts, FB has had to implement technology to filter our feeds. Because they’ve learned that “social” media is just that, and we can’t just dump people when we get bored with them or want to move on in life. So the FB algorithm filters my content based on how many likes people make on the things I share. (Because closing people into interest pockets makes it easier to make money on them, I get it.)

So how do I, as an individual, fight this type of “downgrading” of certain types of content I share? Well, I could cater to the algorithm more. I could do this by sharing things I know will be popular!

Easiest way to do that? Share pictures of my face, my body and things based on my appearance. 

This sucks.

Yes, I guess this is human nature to give feedback on our appearances, that’s why we’re swimming in a world of selfies. But because our new virtual statuses are built on this type of feedback, it is training us to output things that will be popular, and that, in turn, tells women that achieving high statuses online means sharing things about their looks. To the detriment of anything else. Or else get buried and excised from the people around you. In a sense, we’re hostage to the algorithm.

Who thinks this is a good thing?!

And I think this is more than just about my own online engagement, it’s about FB specifically. I see way less of this on other platforms, this filtering of “everything but the most reinforced” content. FB is training people to feed the algorithmic machine with things that will please the most mainstream. Reinforcing the median taste level. I think this methodology is marginalizing people who think out of the box, closing them in enclaves of people who only like exactly what they like. Trapping us in our own echo chambers of reinforcement, where we’re not influencing or being influenced by opposing thoughts. And in addition, we’re being tricked into believing that our small worlds are much bigger than they really are in the grand scheme of things.

Neither of these things is helping anyone’s reality.

I don’t think it’s healthy. Or good for us as a society. I think the internet is an amazing place, where you can connect with people who are like you, and be accepted when you don’t feel accepted in real life, but the drive to make money and clean up the platform to scale properly is not helping us, it’s taking the good things about what the internet can do to the opposite extreme. 

Don’t look for my account to share more selfies than usual, or pictures of me in cute outfits. That’s not my style. Look for me to share the exact same stuff I always do.

Unfortunately, you might have to go way out of your way to look at all. 



A pregnant, suicidal rape victim fought Ireland's new abortion law. The law won

There is one thing that suicidal rape victims need: immediate assistance. But for one young woman in Ireland who was pregnant and seeking an abortion after reportedly being attacked, the only thing her government offered was the slow, bureaucratic violation of her humanity.

The unnamed woman, now 18, was reportedly raped as a minor and sought an abortion just eight weeks into her pregnancy. Even after experts found her to be suicidal – a prerequisite for abortion under a new Irish law – she was denied access to the procedure. According to a report by the Sunday Times, the woman, who is not an Irish citizen, believes that the government deliberately delayed her case – both through the state’s decision to ignore psychiatric experts and via her inability to travel because of her legal status – so that she would have to carry the pregnancy at least through the fetus’s viability. After going on a hunger strike, she was forced to undergo a caesarean section at just 25 weeks into her pregnancy.

That’s 17 full weeks after she first sought help.

That is not a policy; it’s a persecution. And now a country with a barbaric abortion ban that killed Savita Halappanavar in 2012 will be forced to reckon with the horror it has inflicted on yet another vulnerable woman.

Halappanavar’s death, caused by an infection after the 31-year-old Indian dentist was denied an abortion under Ireland’s strict laws, sparked outrage across the country. So Ireland passed the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act, which made abortion legal if a woman’s life were threatened by the pregnancy or if she were suicidal.

Doctors warned, however, that the legislation could still stop women from obtaining the care that the law was meant to allow. Dr Mary Favier, a member of Ireland’s Doctors for Choice, told me, “We predicted it would be a bad law, that it was going to be trouble and quickly that’s been proven.”

Psychiatry professor Veronica O’Keane told the same thing to the Guardian earlier this month:

The repeated examination of a woman’s mental state by at least four doctors, and possibly seven, the repeated question specifically about suicidal ideation and intent, will not only be overly invasive, confusing and distressing emotionally, it will also be time-consuming in a period of crisis when a suicidal woman needs access to a termination as soon as possible.

It’s not just confusing for patients, either: the guidelines for healthcare providers on how to implement the law is confounding, complete with complicated charts and figures that demonstrate the unrealistic hoops women and doctors must jump through in order to comply with the legislation.

It’s clear from this latest young woman’s case that those guidelines and policies did what many suspect that they were designed to do: make it as difficult as possible for women to get the care they need. For women here in the US who are familiar with the war on reproductive rights, this likely sounds familiar: laws said to be in our best interest – like mandating hospital admitting privileges for abortion providers – actually only serve to further limit our access to abortion.

Sarah McCarthy, a spokesperson for Galway Pro-Choice, told me that “even those who are entitled to an abortion under our severely restrictive legislation can still be denied that right”, and that the latest case highlights how vulnerable women are the most impacted by the law. Middle-class Irish women who have money to travel can leave the country for their abortions: “If you can’t afford to travel or don’t have the papers, it’s a nightmare,” she said. Again, this is also very much the case here in the US: if your county doesn’t have an abortion provider and you can’t afford the gas or time off from work to travel (sometimes out-of-state), procuring the procedure is near-impossible.

The other piece of this horrific puzzle is the questionable ethics of delivering a fetus at 25 weeks. As mother to a daughter who was born at 28 weeks, I’m well-versed in the nightmare scenarios of babies born too early. Preemies born before 26 weeks – sometimes called micropreemies – are at high risk for brain bleeds, cerebral palsy, blindness, deafness, necrotizing enterocolitis (when tissue in the intestines die off) and many other physical and mental disabilities. They also must endure serious invasive medical procedures, including surgeries, intubation, feeding tubes and central intravenous lines. And while the survival rates of young preemies has gone up in recent years, the chances of severe and lasting disabilities have not gone down.

I understand that, to those who believe all abortion is unequivocally wrong, a suffering child might be better than no child at all – but that is not a decision best made by government flow-charts and distant bureaucrats, but by the family members involved.

As more information on this case comes out, the outrage over Ireland’s treatment of women will only grow. Dr Favier calls what happened to the teenager “a shocking indictment of Ireland – there’s no other country in the civilized world where this would have happened”. McCarthy told me the case “illustrates quite clearly that women are treated as little more than incubators under Irish law”. The United Nations agrees – just last month, UN Human Rights Committee chairman Nigel Rodley said Irish abortion laws treat pregnant women as “a vessel and nothing more”.

We may not know her name, but we know that this woman is more than a vessel – even if she was treated as such. And we know she was wronged by a government that should have protected her when she needed it most.

04:30 pm, by padaviya

Ireland: Hundreds Rally After Rape Victim Says Denied Abortion

Hundreds of people rallied in Dublin to call for a change to Ireland’s abortion laws on Wednesday after a rape victim said she was refused a termination and instead gave birth by Caesarean section.

The young migrant’s case has reignited a debate about Roman Catholic Ireland’s abortion laws, among the most restrictive in Europe, that sparked large protests before parliament voted to allow limited access to abortion for the first time last year.

"I’m here because I was horrified. This poor girl suffered because she didn’t understand the convoluted, stupid system here in Ireland," said Aoife McLysaght, a 38-year old science professor, holding a sign saying ‘Forced pregnancy is torture’.

"We are trying to put pressure on the government, but it seems to be one of those things they’d prefer to ignore. I feel it’s only a matter of time before this law is changed. I just want that time to be sooner so fewer people suffer."

The young foreign national, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told the Irish Times that she became pregnant as a result of rape that took place before she arrived in Ireland.

She sought help to end the pregnancy when she discovered she was expecting a child, but was turned down by medical authorities. While Irish women seeking abortions typically travel to Britain, which has less strict laws, the woman said she could not do this because she did not have enough money.

Under the Protection of Life During Pregnancy bill, which was passed a year ago in the wake of the death of an Indian woman who was refused an abortion, a pregnancy can be terminated if the life of the mother is in danger, including by suicide.

The woman said she had attempted to commit suicide, but was interrupted. But by the time she was assessed by a psychiatrist, she was told her pregnancy was too far advanced to halt it.

Protesters gathered in central Dublin chanted ‘repeal the eighth’ in reference to the eighth amendment to the constitution which followed the passing of a 1983 referendum giving the unborn an equal right to life as its mother.

A United Nations human rights committee told Ireland last month that it should revise its abortion laws to provide for additional exceptions in cases of rape, incest, serious risks to the health of the mother, or fatal fetal abnormality.

The Committee’s Chairman Nigel Rodley said Irish law treated women who were raped as a “a vessel and nothing more”.

Ireland’s Health Service Executive said in a statement it could not comment on the circumstances of the case until an investigation to be completed by late September.

Prime Minister Enda Kenny’s government has indicated it does not plan to address the issue before the next general election, due by early 2016. It would need to hold another referendum to further amend the law.

The Pro Life Campaign group said in a statement that the clamour for wider access to abortion laws was obscene as a premature baby clings to life and a chilling and disturbing reminder of the inhumane reality of legalised abortion. (Editing by Padraic Halpin and Crispian Balmer)

02:00 pm, by padaviya1 note

Ugandan President Signs Law Making HIV Transmission Illegal

A bill that criminalizes HIV transmission has been signed into law by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.

Provisions of the law include possible imprisonment of HIV-positive individuals, a ten-year prison sentence and fine for the “intentional transmission of HIV,” a five-year prison sentence for “attempted transmission of HIV,” and compulsory testing in some situations. The law also allows courts to order the release a person’s HIV status without that person’s consent. The signing comes not long after the Ugandan Constitutional Court struck down the country’s Anti-Homosexuality Act, a law that many believed would steer LGBT people away from getting necessary health services.

The new law was denounced earlier this year by the United States - the biggest funder of Ugandan HIV/AIDS programs. After the Ugandan Parliament voted in favor of the legislation, but before Museveni signed the bill into law, US Global AIDS coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx called on Uganda to reject criminalization of HIV transmission.

Over the past 30 years, we have witnessed time and again how stigma, discrimination, and fear - and the misguided policies that stem from them - further fuel the epidemic by deterring those most in need from accessing lifesaving HIV prevention, treatment, and care services,” said Dr. Birx. “I join with the many health practitioners, HIV/AIDS and human rights activists, multilateral institutions, and individuals everywhere - in Uganda and around the world - in calling for the people and the Government of Uganda to reject this regressive bill.

The stigma against those with HIV/AIDS is not limited to Uganda. HIV transmission is criminalized in many US states, too, where there have been 200 prosecutions against people on charges related to HIV transmission. And too often, HIV transmission is not fully understood. This ignorance was apparent in Texas, for example, where a man with HIV was sentenced to 35 years for spitting at a police officer - even though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention maintain that contact with saliva, tears or sweat has never been shown to result in transmission of HIV.”

The Center for HIV Law and Policy says, “Many people with HIV internalize and accept this judgment and the perception of those with HIV as toxic, highly infectious, or dangerous to be around. This has serious adverse ramifications for those individuals, as well as on the broader effort to combat HIV.”

11:30 am, by padaviya3 notes