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, […]

Victory for Public Health in Nigeria

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Nigeria is the most populous and one of the wealthiest nations in Africa. Yet reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health (RMNCH) is a leading health challenge in the country. While various programs exist at the national and local levels, our RMNCH health statistics have not changed substantially over the last decade. Indeed, they remain devastating: […]

Why Are People Sitting On Each Other’s Faces in the U.K.?

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Groups of protestors around the U.K. have gathered in recent weeks to express their frustration with new laws prohibiting certain sex acts from being performed in porn films. The restrictions were imposed late last year by British lawmakers. The list of banned acts includes: physical or verbal abuse; strangulation; penetration by any object “associated with […]

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 […]

Calafia: Re-appropriating the Amazon Queen

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Well-known Latin American folklore/saints have been presented through the eyes of the colonizer for centuries now. Stories of La Llorona (the bad mother), La Malinche (the traitor) and Santa Maria de Guadalupe (the good mother) have been labeled this way since the time of colonization. However, many Chicana/Xicana academics have reclaimed these images by revealing the complexities […]

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 […]

The Pakistani Superhero Who’s Battling Polio

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In Pakistan, a woman superhero is saving the day on television screens, spreading awareness about women’s issues and fighting for gender equality. Launched last summer, award-winning animation Burka Avenger tracks Jiya and her titular alter ego. An agreeable schoolteacher by day, Jiya transforms into her superhero counterpart at night, donning a burka and kicking butt […]

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 […]

Dear UN: Where Are the Women in Your Ebola Prevention Plan?

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The following is an open letter from the Mano River Women’s Peace Network member states to those who attended the UN Security Council’s special meeting on the Ebola crisis. It was originally published on the Social Justice blog and is reprinted here with permission. For only the third time in its history, the UN Security Council has convened an emergency meeting on […]