Don’t overthink it, $15 an hour could fix a lot

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Can You Relate?

There is something afoot in the fight to raise the minimum wage—the increasingly visible voices of low-wage workers. The Fight for 15 started in Chicago and has spread to 50 cities including Seattle. At SeaTac Airport, baggage handlers, shop workers, and folks transporting people using wheelchairs, are all asking for a $15 minimum wage to provide for their families.

American_Flag_&_SloganAs a country, we say that all work is honorable, no job is beneath anyone, and that if you show up and do your best, you will be rewarded. Not if you are a low wage worker. Nancy Salgado confronted the U.S. president of McDonald’s and asked “It’s really hard for me to feed my two kids and struggle day to day. Do you think this is fair, that I have to be making $8.25 when I’ve worked for McDonald’s for ten years?” She was ticketed for trespassing.

McDonald’s…

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SACHA Broadcast — Feminist Links & Hijinks No. 16

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Oh goodness… This here broadcast’s gonna be short, sweet, and to the point.

Here in Hamilton:

Police seek suspect in assaults on four women

Police are asking for the public’s help identifying a suspect — a young white male in a dark hoodie — in two assaults and two sexual assaults against women walking in east Hamilton over the past two weeks.

The incidents all occurred between 8:30 and 9 p.m. and each time, the suspect fled on foot.

The first involved a 55-year-old woman, who was sexually assaulted on St. Andrews Drive on Oct. 9.

The other three happened in the area of Greenhill Road and Quigley Road. A 32-year-old woman was assaulted Oct. 11 and a 55-year-old woman was assaulted the following day. On Oct. 22, a 31-year-old woman was sexually assaulted.

Police said they believe there were witnesses who may have seen the suspect. They are asked to call Det. David Wide of the sexual assault unit at 905-540-5543.

 — The Hamilton Spectator (via SACHA and WAWG)

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Thinking of finding a more less patriarchy-crazed place to live? That makes two of us:

If you’re the type of person who makes choices according to the New York Times Travel section, you already knew Iceland was too hot to handle. The country’s got some other notable qualities besides being a hip place to visit right now: it’s held its position as the most egalitarian place for women to live for the fifth year in a row.

— Iceland Is the Still Best Place to Live if You’re a WomanJezebel (via Miss Representation)

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Maryl Streep and Joss Whedon have something to say about how the media responds to women. “Why do you always write these strong women characters?” … “Recognizing somebody else’s power does not diminish your own.”

(via UpWorthy)
Derp derp, The Media.

— Compiled quickly and dozily by Amelia

p.s. Really. Watch the video, folks. It’s a good one.

Change Starts Here – SACHA’s United Way Fundraiser

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SACHA is proud to be funded by the United Way.

To support the United Way’s Fall Campaign, SACHA is hosting a fundraising dinner!

UW_Dinner_flyer_2013_final

Come to eat some amazing homemade dishes prepared by some of the best chefs that the Hamilton area has to offer – SACHA volunteers and staff!

Everyone is invited to come and enjoy this amazing dinner with some amazing people while supporting our local United Way.

When: Thursday, October 24th at 5:30pm
Where: Christ’s Church Cathedral – 252 James Street North

**New this year!**
Tickets will ONLY be available in advance.
Order your $15 tickets by phone – 905.525.4573 x221 – or by email – sacha@sacha.ca.

All money raised will benefit the sixty-six local agencies that receive support from the UnitedWay Burlington-GreaterHamilton.

http://www.sacha.ca
http://www.uwaybh.ca
https://www.facebook.com/events/456986401081847/?ref_newsfeed_story_type=regular

 

 

 

SACHA Broadcast — Feminist Links & Hijinks No. 15

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Ah, back to the concrete jungle and the omnipresent buzz of computer fans and fluorescent lights. My time off was great — thanks for asking — but too darn short! …Nothin’ a little feminist-ramblin’ won’t fix, right? 😉

Some thoughts on the role of “the stay-at-home Mom”:

Yes, my wife is JUST a mother. JUST. She JUST brings forth life into the universe, and she JUST shapes and molds and raises those lives. She JUST manages, directs and maintains the workings of the household, while caring for children who JUST rely on her for everything. She JUST teaches our twins how to be human beings, and, as they grow, she will JUST train them in all things, from morals, to manners, to the ABC’s, to hygiene, etc. She is JUST my spiritual foundation and the rock on which our family is built. She is JUST everything to everyone. And society would JUST fall apart at the seams if she, and her fellow moms, failed in any of the tasks I outlined.

Yes, she is just a mother. Which is sort of like looking at the sky and saying, “hey, it’s justthe sun.”

— “You’re a stay-at-home mom? What do you DO all day?”
by Matt Walsh on his blog.

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An extremely inspiring critique of the Cliteracy Project:

“Freedom in society can be measured by distribution of orgasms,” reads another slogan of Wallace’s Cliteracy project — a statement that seems almost painfully ludicrous when we consider the millions of women worldwide whose freedoms, sexual and otherwise, are devastated on a daily basis by state violence, environmental degradation, poverty, racism, and the wide variety of other hardships women must tackle in the contemporary world, in addition to a lack of sexual gratification. Women’s sexual empowerment is not an issue which can be separated from broader struggles for gender justice, and in order to support its realization, we must fight collectively for serious social and political change with the same passion and uncompromising desire we bring to our bedrooms.

“Why “Sex-Positive” Feminism Is Negative For Me” by Kelly Rose Pflug- Back whose blog you really should read, here.

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We don’t know if you have been following the news story of a HSR [Hamilton Street Railway — Hamilton’s public transportation provider] employee who was fired for sexual harassment then hired with glowing references to Guelph Transit, so we thought that a round up of news articles was in order… HSR Sexual Harassment Round Up.

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Oh, and if you plan to speak out during a public action or demonstration of your dissent, you might want to check this sad story out:

You can still protest outside city hall, but expect to pay for the privilege. The Campaign for Adequate Welfare and Disability Benefits (CAWDB), a group representing the lowest income people in Hamilton, has been told it must have liability insurance to hold a rally in the forecourt of Hamilton’s civic centre. Similar rules appear to apply to the use of roads, sidewalks, parks and other city-owned areas.

— Pay to Protest from CATCH (Citizens at City Hall)

…So much for public space, huh? Be assured organized resistance to this nonsense is already in the works!

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Remember TLC? Sure y’do! There’s a biopic on it’s way!! Check on the BitchMedia piece for more: TLC’s “No Scrubs” Helped Make Me a Feminist.

— Compiled by Amelia

Just a Song? Misogyny in Music and Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines

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Robin Thicke’s song “Blurred Lines” has sparked outrage with many calling the song and video misogynistic and ‘rapey’.

If you haven’t seen the video or heard the song, you can see the ‘tame’ version here: http://www.vevo.com/watch/robin-thicke/blurred-lines/USUV71300454

Robin Thick has called criticisms of his song ridiculous. However, when the song and video were first released, he admitted in an interview with GQ that while writing the song, Pharrell Williams and Thicke pretended they were two old men on a porch harassing girls and women walking by.

Thicke continues on to say that the humour of the song and video is that all those involved are “happily married” and “respect women”, making them “…the perfect guys to make fun of this”. In response to those who called the video degrading to women, Thicke replies “Of course it is. What a pleasure it is to degrade a woman. I’ve never gotten to do that before. I’ve always respected women”.

So are we all just taking this song a little too seriously? It was meant to be a joke, after all. And Thicke insists that he respects women so isn’t he entitled to this one opportunity to degrade them?

Of course, many vehemently disagree.

Sezin Koehler provides a powerful analysis of why the lyrics to “Blurred Lines” are a problem, comparing these lyrics to actual words uttered by rapists.  You should absolutely read this amazing article that takes photos from Project Unbreakable and compares them to the lyrics in “Blurred Lines”.

Thicke sings “I know you want it,” a phrase that many sexual assault survivors report their rapists saying to justify their actions, as demonstrated over and over in the Project Unbreakable testimonials.

There have also been a number of parodies of the video which respond to the misogyny of the original. This feminist parody was originally removed from Youtube for including “inappropriate content”. The parody, created by a group of law students at the University of Auckland, features women treating the men in the video as objects. The lyrics to the song reject female objectification and sexual violence, declaring “If you want to get nasty/Just don’t harass me/You can’t just grab me/That’s a sex crime”.

From Halifax, J. Mary Burnet and Kaleigh Trace thought “we don’t want to have to listen to Robin Thicke tell us he knows we want it over such a damn catchy beat. We wanna dance to music that’s sexy and radical.”  So they made the fabulous parody “Ask First”!

So he is popular, played on the radio
Makes money in rape culture by degrading you
But we don’t have to take it
Hey, hey, hey
No we can recreate it
Hey, hey, hey
Just let me demonstrate it

Recently, the University of Edinburgh banned “Blurred Lines” from being played in any of the university’s student buildings. The song was banned in accordance with the students’ association’s ‘End Rape Culture and Lad Banter on Campus’ policy which was created to challenge rape myths and the sexual objectification of female students. Since then, four other universities in the UK have also banned the song.

Blurred Lines is certainly not the first example of misogyny in music but responses to it suggest a growing resistance to and rejection of this misogyny, objectification of women and normalization of rape culture.

What do you think? Do the lyrics to songs like Blurred Lines matter?

— Lisa

SACHA Broadcast — Feminist Links & Hijinks No. 14

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Whoop! I’m on vacation, but I whipped this little number up for you ahead of time so none of us would have to feel out-of-touch ❤

I saw Inch’Allah a little over a week ago during the AGH Film Fest. It was really good and certainly a challenge for me to watch at times. It passes The Bechdel Test with flying colours! Check out the trailer:

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Last month, The Atlantic Cities published an extremely inspiring piece about how Vienna, Austria has taken tangible, living, meaningful steps along the route of what has been called “gender mainstreaming”:

Gender mainstreaming has been in place in the Austrian capital since the early 1990s. In practice, this means city administrators create laws, rules and regulations that benefit men and women equally. The goal is to provide equal access to city resources. And so far, officials say it’s working.

Vienna has adopted gender mainstreaming in a number of areas of city administration, including education and health care policy. But nowhere has it had more of an impact than on the field of urban planning. More than sixty pilot projects have been carried out to date. As the size and scale of these projects increase, gender mainstreaming has become a force that is literally reshaping the city.

How to Design a City for Women (via SACHA)

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An inspiring interview with Kathy Iandoli, music journalist and freelance writer for outlets such as BillboardVICE and Rolling Stone. Iandoli is also the media editor of HipHopDX. She an Beyoncé are kinda one and the same 😉

Click the photo to read the interview!

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Differing punishment dolled out for killing an intimate partner is telling.  Vastly more men than women are in jail for murdering spouses, but women who kill abusive husbands serve disproportionately long sentences if found guilty.  According to the Michigan Women’s Justice and Clemency Project, men who kill their intimate partners get an average sentence of 2 to 6 years whereas women are sentenced, on average, to 15 years.  If you find yourself saying, as so many do, “why don’t women leave instead of committing murder,” it’s important to note that a woman is actually at 75% greater risk of harm from her abuser after she leaves.  As one of the Missouri Coalition lawyers says, that’s the wrong question — why not ask why the abuser doesn’t leave instead?

— “I’m an instrument that will avenge”: The stories of women who fight back, by Soraya Chemaly on SALON.com (via Margaret Shkimba)

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And for a really pretty bizarre pick-me-up, here’s some fun with a little country hit called Jolene. Props to BtichMedia for the playlist.

http://8tracks.com/bitchtapes/jolene-jolene-jolene-jolene

— Compiled by Amelia

How to Say You Are Sorry

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We adore Jay Smooth’s AMAZING video about how to tell someone that they sound racist:

But what do you do when someone let’s you know that you have hurt them?

Franchesca Leigh (@chescaleigh) made a really super awesome video about how to apologize.  This is stuff that every single human needs to watch:

Both videos talk about impact vs. intent.  Chesca’s video also covers good allyship, listening, how not to respond and what makes a good apology.

She also breaks it down into some steps:

  1. Acknowledge what you did wrong
  2. Avoid using ‘but’ or ‘if’
  3. Say thank you to the person who called you out.
  4. Don’t just say it, do it.