To Veil or Not to Veil: The Twisted Logic of Canada’s Prime Minister

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Fear-mongering about the alleged threats of the Muslim faith took a decidedly Canadian turn last month when Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper declared in Parliament that covering one’s face with a niqab (a headscarf that covers every part of a woman’s face but her eyes) is “rooted in a culture that is anti-women.” Using pro-equality rhetoric to […]

Every City Needs a Trans Awareness Campaign Like this One

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Vancouver is consistently named one of the most livable cities in the world, and its Park Board recently launched a program that’s making it even more appealing. Hillcrest Community Centre, built during the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, became host this week to a series of posters raising awareness about the trans community and issues facing […]

Ode to My High School Health Teacher

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Back when I was a public school student in Toronto, my sex-ed classes—while certainly better than the abstinence-only education many American and some Canadian children receive—were inconsistent; sometimes helpful and sometimes bizarre. Take, for instance, my 7th grade experience. Our teacher pulled out flash cards of different relationship “steps” (think: holding hands, kissing, oral sex, intercourse, […]

Say Their Names: Remembering the Montreal Massacre

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We said their names each year in my Toronto schools on December 6. It was ritualistic, saying out loud the names of the 14 women murdered on Dec. 6, 1989, rolling the French r’s and picturing their faces the afternoon they were killed at École Polytechnique in Montreal. We did it to remind ourselves that […]

How Jian Ghomeshi Pulled the Feminist Wool Over Everyone’s Eyes

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Reprinted with permission from Feminist Current I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been interviewed by male journalists who have been clearly antagonistic to my feminist, anti-porn position. I can usually tell within the first five minutes of the interview that these guys are very upset by my argument that porn shapes male […]

Why the Jian Ghomeshi “Rough Sex” Scandal Isn’t About Rough Sex

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This article is reprinted with permission from Sex Geek. There’s a scandal breaking in Canada. It’s about BDSM. Or is it? I’m not so sure. Short version: Jian Ghomeshi is a wicked popular CBC radio host, and the CBC just fired him without disclosing why. He’s retaliating with a $55-million lawsuit (unheard of in non-litigious […]

The Woman Who Could Replace Toronto Mayor Rob Ford

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By now, the mayor of my beloved hometown, Toronto, needs no introduction: His name is Rob Ford. He’s the guy who gets belligerent at sporting events, sometimes speaks with a faux Jamaican accent, coached a kids’ football team (but can’t catch a football) and, oh yeah, occasionally smokes crack while “in a drunken stupor.” Ring […]

Canadian Teen Gets Abstinence-Only Education Class Cancelled

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Canadian high school student Emily Dawson has a lot to celebrate this month. She and her mother, Kathy Dawson, filed a human-rights complaint with the Alberta Human Rights Commission last year after Emily completed a mandatory abstinence-only workshop that slut-shamed students and used scare tactics to enforce abstinence. Two weeks ago, the Edmonton Public School Board announced […]

Last Abortion Clinic in Canadian Province to Close

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When Kandace Hagen told the nurse at her family doctor’s office she wanted to terminate her pregnancy, the woman abruptly stopped speaking to her. But she scribbled the name of the Morgentaler Clinic in Fredericton, New Brunswick, on a piece of paper before quickly leaving the room. “The entire atmosphere was very cold, very unsupportive,” […]

24 Years On: Never Forgetting the Montreal Massacre

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I live with 14 women I have never met. Each holiday season, I grade final exams, choose my Christmas tree, shovel my driveway and wrap my gifts, all the while remembering what happened on December 6, 1989. On that day in Montreal, 14 young women were in school studying to be engineers. They were doing […]