women's human rights: Canada & the world


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This is Susan Robinson, one of the last people in the country who can preform late term abortions after the murder of Dr. George Tiller. This is from an awesome documentary called After Tiller, about the last 4 late-term abortion practitioners in the country. It’s a great watch and available on Netflix, would strongly recommend. 

warrior woman

(Source: throwherinthewater)

FIFA's double standard for women is no surprise

Lawyers for a small group of international soccer stars who claim that next year’s Women’s World Cup amounts to workplace discrimination have suggested that the whole nasty business could be solved with about $3-million worth of natural grass.

This is quite obviously a trifling amount for soccer’s governing body, FIFA. It’s actually $2 million short of the amount that, according to reports in the British press, FIFA officials were bribed to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar, the tiny, sweltering, oil-rich nation that, as a site for a major outdoor sporting event, makes about as much sense as the surface of the moon.

FIFA, though, has studiously ignored the complainants who allege that artificial-turf pitches are discriminatory, and so it has fallen to the Canadian Soccer Association, their co-respondents in the quasi-legal matter before the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal, to provide some answers.

Has Canada Soccer ever considered a temporary grass-field solution for its six host stadiums? Did it examine the costs or logistics? Did it talk to the host cities, or the Canadian Football League teams that use some of the stadiums, about the feasibility and durability of grass on top of concrete?

“There has been no need,” Victor Montagliani, president of Canada Soccer, said on a conference call with reporters on Wednesday. “We will be proceeding with our bid as is.”

And that was about it for the mood of compromise on behalf of Canada Soccer, which is to say there wasn’t any.

Given the attention this issue has received, one might have expected that Canada Soccer would offer that it had looked hard at natural-grass alternatives, but concluded in the end they couldn’t be used due to concerns about the climate, or durability, or even the cost.

But Montagliani was having none of that. It was clear from the beginning of the bid process in 2010, he said, that the Canadian stadiums would use artificial turf. This was, he noted, allowable under FIFA’s rules, up to its acceptable standards, and didn’t prevent Canada from providing world-class facilities. “Our bid was well within the scope that was provided,” Montagliani said. “FIFA, obviously, was very happy with our bid.”

That’s all quite true, even if FIFA would have been very happy with the Canadian bid by the mere fact of its existence, since, after Zimbabwe pulled out in 2011, the Canadian application was the only one left standing. On this line of argument — we followed the rules, and our bid was approved — the CSA stands on firm ground. It is indeed rather late in the game for the complainants, who include former FIFA player of the year Abby Wambach of the United States, to argue that the Canadian bid, which was the only one on offer, is discriminatory.

But when Montagliani also says, as he did Wednesday, that the concerns about artificial turf have no merit because it is “a first-class playing field,” his argument becomes much more wobbly. Men’s events, including Major League Soccer matches in North America and the 2007 men’s under-20 World Cup in Canada, have been held on fake turf, but no one seriously disputes that natural grass is the ideal surface for the sport.

Canada will host next year’s women’s competition with a budget of about $90 million. Qatar is set to spend $16 billion on the 2022 event for the men. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

There is a reason why the owners of Toronto FC spent several years jumping through municipal hoops to have BMO Field converted from artificial turf to natural grass, and why the club’s fans are loath to see it switched back to the artificial stuff should the Toronto Argonauts become co-tenants: because grass is better.

This point was underscored by the fact that, when Montagliani was asked if a possible Canadian bid for the men’s World Cup would include artificial-turf surfaces, he demurred rather than provide an answer. “It’s very early days,” he said of a potential bid for the 2026 event. There was talk of the parameters that FIFA would set and the internal processes that would have to processed and anyway, “We are a long ways away from even looking at that.” It was a tactical response, not unlike the soccer team that passes the ball back and forth among its own side as it tries to run out the clock.

A Canadian bid for the men’s World Cup that included artificial turf is about as likely as Canada winning it. FIFA wouldn’t stand for it, and neither would the various stars asked to play in it.

And that’s really what the complaint with the Women’s World Cup is ultimately about: the double standard that exists in the sports world between male and female competitions. Is there truly equality between the men’s and women’s editions of the World Cup?

Is there truly equality between the men’s and women’s editions of the World Cup? (AP Photo/Keystone/Walter Bieri)

Canada will host next year’s women’s competition with a budget of about $90-million. Qatar is set to spend $16 billion on the 2022 event for the men. The story is the same in sport after sport. Women’s hockey is perpetually discussed as a poor fit for the Olympics because no country other than Canada and the United States bothers to develop a competitive program.

Even in the enlightened West, women are more likely to get on the ice in the big professional arenas as members of the tight-pantsed ice-cleaning crew than as hockey players in front of their own paying audience. And in every Olympics year, when women’s sports do draw interest, there are invariably stories of their second-rate treatment, whether it’s teams flying coach while male counterparts sit in business class, or volleyball outfits that require a minimum amount of butt cheek be displayed. Meanwhile, female athletes are scrutinized for their appearance in a way that men just aren’t, from golfer Yani Tseng (not attractive enough to be marketable) to Eugenie Bouchard (too attractive to be a contender).

This, though, is a big, yawning cultural issue, and not one that is up to Canada Soccer to solve. Sure, FIFA could have set the bar higher, but if you are looking to FIFA to set a shining example for the world then you must be new here. Canada was the only place asking for this World Cup, and so it is Canada, and its turf, that the women will get.

12:20 pm, by padaviya


If someone ever tells you “I used to think I was bi..” and then continue to dismiss your sexuality and existence, remind them that it’s not your fault they got it wrong, it’s not your fault that they’re ignorant, and it’s not your fault that people like this make bisexuality seem like a “phase” when for a large amount of us.. We’re bi forever. 
With love,






Rape is the only crime on the books for which arguing that the temptation to commit it was too clear and obvious to resist is treated as a defence. For every other crime, we call that a confession.

I’ve gotten more angry asks about this post than I have actual reblogs.

I literally put my coffee down, stared at the screen and said “Holy shit…”


this is still my favorite post ever





Cyber harassment study reveals the unsurprising!
It still amazes me that I talk to guys who still think they get harassed just as much as women online. Like even from people who aren’t clearly and totally gross dumbasses. It kinda makes me think that, even in the best cases, it might be hard to really understand the sheer difference in frequency. You see a woman get harassed on a game and you go “Oh well I’ve been harassed” without understanding that there is seldom a session for her where that doesn’t happen or understanding what her inbox might look like…

That is a sort of stunning degree of difference.

"The data’s in! Women were lying about online harassment!”
"Aha! We knew it!" 
“Yeah, they’ve been severely underreporting how bad things are for them, turns out.”
"Wait, what?"

Quelle surprise.





Cyber harassment study reveals the unsurprising!

It still amazes me that I talk to guys who still think they get harassed just as much as women online. Like even from people who aren’t clearly and totally gross dumbasses. It kinda makes me think that, even in the best cases, it might be hard to really understand the sheer difference in frequency. You see a woman get harassed on a game and you go “Oh well I’ve been harassed” without understanding that there is seldom a session for her where that doesn’t happen or understanding what her inbox might look like…

That is a sort of stunning degree of difference.

"The data’s in! Women were lying about online harassment!”

"Aha! We knew it!

Yeah, they’ve been severely underreporting how bad things are for them, turns out.”

"Wait, what?"

Quelle surprise.

If you think women are crazy you’ve never had a dude go from hitting on you to literally threatening to kill you in the time it takes you to say “no thanks.”

Kendra Wells (via belle-de-nuit)

Well this is fucking surreal

(via lampfaced)

(Source: mysharona1987)

76% of negative feedback given to women included personality criticism. For men, 2%. The study speaks to the impossible tightrope women must walk to do their jobs competently and to make tough decisions while simultaneously coming across as nice to everyone, all the time.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/28/opinion/sunday/learning-to-love-criticism.html (via maxofs2d)

I asked for honest feedback on my performance on my last project and the ONLY criticism was that I was too aggressive.

Hahahaha! Really? Yeah, no.

(via faerypotter)

Foxhall police encounter caught on video and the interaction is fascinating
12:20 pm, by padaviya1 note

12:20 pm, by padaviya4 notes

WATCH: Olivia Chow Smacks Down Racially-Charged Question
12:20 pm, by padaviya1 note

Canada Is The Only UN Member To Reject Landmark Indigenous Rights Document

Canada singled itself out as the only country to raise objections over a landmark United Nations document re-establishing the protection of the rights of indigenous people last week. It was a gesture one prominent First Nation leader called “saddening, surprising.”

“Canada was viewed always as a country that upheld human rights,” said Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations Chief Perry Bellegarde. “For Canada to be the only nation state to get up to make a caveat on the vote – that’s very telling.”

Bellegarde travelled to New York City to attend a special UN General Assembly meeting of more than 1,000 delegates and heads of state for the first-ever World Conference on Indigenous Peoples on Sept. 22 and 23.

On day one, nations voted on the adoption of the document – the first vote of its kind after the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was introduced in 2007.

In his opening remarks, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon spoke about the document’s significance, saying it helps “set minimum standards for the survival, dignity and well-being of indigenous peoples” – more than 370 million around the world.

“I expect member states to meet their commitments, including by carrying out national action plans to realize our shared vision,” he told delegates.

The United States, who was among four nations (including Canada) who opposed the adoption of the original declaration seven years ago, notably reversed its position. President Barack Obama threw his administration’s support behind the declaration, regarding it as one that will “help reaffirm the principles that should guide our future.”

The document was adopted by all nations by consensus last week, but Canada was the only country to file its objections, flagging the wording of “free, prior and informed consent” as problematic.

Free, prior, and informed consent is commonly upheld as a key principle in international law. But according to Ottawa, it’s tricky wording that could be interpreted as “a veto to aboriginal groups and in that regard, cannot be reconciled with Canadian law, as it exists.”

“As a result, Canada cannot associate itself with the elements contained in this outcome document related to free, prior and informed consent,” the government explained in a statement.

‘Deeply Concerning’

Interim Assembly of First Nations Chief Ghislain Picard called the government’s objections “deeply concerning,” adding “Canada continues to embarrass itself and isolate itself on the world stage by offering to explain their vote.”

In the feds’ explanation, the word “veto” pops up three times, and Bellegarde says that’s inaccurate.

“Veto does not exist in the declaration anywhere,” Bellegarde said. “Why are they misleading and using that word?”

In 2007, Ottawa first used the same “veto” explanation in its statement rejecting the UN declaration.

Then in 2010, despite rejecting the declaration three years earlier, the federal government issued a statement saying: “We are now confident that Canada can interpret the principles expressed in the Declaration in a manner that is consistent with our Constitution and legal framework.”

Fast-forward to today and First Nation leaders, including Bellegarde, say they’re flabbergasted over the government’s flip-flopping and contradictory statements.

Bellegarde, who announced his candidacy for Assembly of First Nations chief on Wednesday, told The Huffington Post Canada in an interview the Harper government failed to consult with aboriginal groups in “any forums, any meetings, any dialogues” prior to the two-day UN conference.

He brought up recent decisions from Canada’s own Supreme Court which upheld aboriginal rights and titles and reinforced the necessity to obtain consent from aboriginal people on issues pertaining to property rights and claims.

In Tsilhqot’in Nation vs. British Columbia, a ruling written by Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, it clearly states government and other agencies who desire access to land conferred by aboriginal titles “must obtain the consent of the Aboriginal title holders.”

“This relationship between this government, our Crown, and Canada and its indigenous peoples does not have to be so unnecessarily adversarial,” Bellegarde said.

Strained Relations ‘Persistently Unresolved’

Prime Minister Stephen Harper did not join Bellegarde at the UN conference, nor did Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Minister Bernard Valcourt. Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq was in New York at the time, but opted to attend UN climate summit meetings.

Instead, new aboriginal affairs deputy minister Colleen Swords was sent to represent Canada.

Bellegarde said he pressed Swords for a clearer explanation of what “veto” means in the context of the non-legally binding UN outcome document and its application to Canadian law.

“No adequate response given back,” Bellegarde said.

The Huffington Post Canada asked Valcourt’s office for an explanation of Canada’s stance on the outcome document and received a written response.

“Our government is focused on working with aboriginal communities on our shared priorities, and we have in place a constitutionally-entrenched framework that ensures the consultation and accommodation, as appropriate, of aboriginal interests. This framework also balances the interests of non-aboriginal Canadians and it has served as a model for nations around the world,” read the statement.

Valcourt’s office also repurposed one line from UN human rights investigator James Anaya’s 22-page report from earlier this year about Canada’s relationship with its indigenous peoples.

“To quote the report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples ‘…Canada has taken determined action to address ongoing aspects of the history of misdealing and harm inflicted on aboriginal peoples in the country, a necessary step towards helping to remedy their current disadvantage,’” read the email.

However, Valcourt’s office failed to acknowledge that in the same July 2014 report, Anaya concluded: “The numerous initiatives that have been taken at the federal and provincial/territorial levels to address the problems faced by indigenous peoples have been insufficient.

“The well-being gap between aboriginal and non-aboriginal people in Canada has not narrowed over the past several years; treaty and aboriginal claims remain persistently unresolved; indigenous women and girls remain vulnerable to abuse; and overall there appear to be high levels of distrust among indigenous peoples towards the government at both the federal and provincial levels.”

03:40 pm, by padaviya3 notes

Yes, and when you try and throw a private degradation-of-black-people party between just you and me, you’re assuming that saying racially oppressive things is both less oppressive when you do it in private and also something I think is cool and fun. Neither are true.

Most of the time, it’s clear that you actually believe the arguments you claim to have just for the heck of it. However, you know that these beliefs are unpopular, largely because they make you sound selfish and privileged, so you blame them on the “devil.” Here’s the thing: the devil doesn’t need any more advocates. He’s got plenty of power without you helping him. These discussions may feel like “playing” to you, but to many people in the room, it’s their lives you are “playing” with. The reason it feels like a game to you is because these are issues that probably do not directly affect you. It doesn’t matter whether most mass shootings are targeted at women who rejected the gunman if you are a man – though it should, since misogyny kills men too. If you are white, it doesn’t matter whether people of color are being racially profiled or not. You can attach puppet strings to dialogues about real issues because at the end of the day, you can walk away from the tangled mess you’ve exacerbated.

What Does “Organic” Look Like? » Sociological Images

When I was in grad school studying sociology of agriculture, one thing we talked about was organic agriculture and the difference between “organic” and “sustainable.” Most consumers think of these words interchangeably.  So, when many people think of an organic dairy farm they imagine something along the lines of these images, the top results for an image search of “organic dairy farm”:


So happy! So content! And, we assume, raised on a small family farm in a way that is humane and environmentally responsible. Those, are, after all, two of the things we expect when something is defined as “sustainable”: it is environmentally benign and humane. We also usually assume that workers would be treated decently as well.

But there is no reason that those elements considered essential to sustainability have to have much to do with organic agriculture. Depending on who is doing the defining, being “organic” can involve very little difference from conventional agriculture. Having an organic dairy mostly just requires that the cows not have antibiotics or homones used on them, eat organic feed, and have access to grass a certain number of days per year. In and of itself, organic certifications don’t guarantee long-term environmental sustainability or overall humane treatment of livestock.

A great illustration of how little the modes of production on organic farms may differ from conventional agriculture is the Vander Eyk dairy. It is an operation in California with over 10,000 dairy cows. Here are some images (found here and here):




As the caption to the last image makes clear, the Vander Eyk dairy had two herds on the same property, but segregated from one another: the majority of the herd produced conventional milk, while 3,500 cows produced organic milk for sale under the Horizon brand:


In 2007 the Vander Eyk dairy lost its organic certification for violating the requirement that organic dairy cows spend a certain amount of time on pasture. They had cows on pasture, but they were non-milking heifers, not cows that were being milked at the time. What we see here is that the label “organic” doesn’t guarantee most of the things we associate with the idea of organic or sustainable agriculture (and in cases like Vander Eyk, may not even guarantee the things the label is supposed to cover).

This isn’t just in the dairy industry. As Julie Guthman explains in her book Agrarian Dreams: The Paradox of Organic Farming in California, many types of organic agriculture include things you might not expect. For instance, organic producers in California joined with other producers to oppose making the short-handled hoe illegal – the bane of agricultural workers everywhere (and most infamously associated with sharecropping in the South in the early 20th century) – because they want workers to do lots of close weeding to make up for not spraying crops with pesticides. So, though we often assume organic farmers would be labor-friendly, in that case they opposed a change that agricultural workers supported.

Many organic crops are grown on farms that are the equivalent of the Vander Eyk dairy; most of the land is in conventional production, but a certain number of acres are used to grow organic versions of the same thing. Often the producer, which may be an individual farmer or a corporation such as Dole, isn’t very committed to organics; if a pest infestation threatens to ruin a crop, they’ll just spray it and then sell it on the conventional market rather than lose it. They may then have to have the land re-certified as “in transition,” meaning it hasn’t been pesticide-free long enough to be declared completely organic, but many consumers don’t pay too much attention to such distinctions.

The Vander Eyk dairy — and lots more examples of large containment-facility operations selling to Horizon and other brands at the Cornucopia Institute’s photo gallery – are interesting examples of how terms like “organic,” “green,” and “eco-friendly” don’t necessarily mean that the item is produced according to any of the standards we often assume they imply.

12:20 pm, by padaviya