SACHA BroadCAST – Feminist Links and Hijinks N0. 29

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Whoa!  It’s been a while since we broadcast anything…

Let’s get to it!

Actor Gina Torres had some amazing things to say about sexism and sci-fi:

Gina Torres awesomeness

I walk into a room, and for this industry, I’m impossibly tall.  When they find it hard to pair you up with the opposite sex, then what’s left for a woman?  Either you’re the tall ball-buster or the not-so-attractive girlfriend standing by the lead.  I mean, traditionally not-so-attractive.  Because you have your starlets and then you have their best friends who are these character actresses.  When you fall within the cracks, you thank God for sci-fi, because they’ll give you a gun and they’ll say, ‘Go over there and conquer that world.  You kick some ass, girl!’

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SACHA Broadcast — Feminist Links and Hijinks No. 28

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A whole bunch of feminist links this week!

It was Audre Lorde’s birthday last week.  Find out more about her all round general awesomeness here.

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Great opinion piece in Tuesday’s Hamilton Spectator about the myths of the ‘bogus’ refugee claimants in Canada:

Myth: All failed refugees are fraudsters looking to cheat our system.

Reality: Claims for refugee status fail for many reasons. Sometimes claims are made on the basis of real suffering that simply does not meet the strict definition for refugee status. Additionally, the new shortened timelines of the refugee claims process make it challenging for many to make a substantiated claim.

Despite a failed claim, some refugee claimants will not be removed from Canada if an officer decides there is still a risk of persecution. This demonstrates Canada’s acknowledgment that a ‘failed’ claim is not always the last word. While there are some who will be returned to their countries of origin, labelling all claimants as ‘bogus’ or fraudulent criminalizes those who are innocent in their journey to seek protection.

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Photo by Khristina

Photo by Khristina

Two years ago Montreal ‘zinester Amber Dearest wrote a blog post about folks who are not cis white guys daring to take up space at the front of a punk show and how it lead to them being banned from that space:

Tall dude tried to talk to me. He said, “This is a punk show, not a war.” Funny that – when we take up space, it is seen as a declaration of war, yet when men do the exact same thing, it’s just a punk show.

Just this week Amber went to a friend’s show at the same space and read her blog post from two years ago.  I highly suggest you read the entire post:

I had the mic and was louder than everyone else, and my friends kept cheering me on. I was reading with a huge smile on my face, and being continuously heckled by only three people.

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wawg_logo_webPrimaryThe Woman Abuse Working Group is a coalition of over twenty agencies in Hamilton working to end gender based violence.  WAWG just launched a new website on Friday and you should check it out!

— compiled by erin

SACHA Broadcast — Feminist Links & Hijinks No. 26

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Within the social work world, many members of the profession (especially supervisors) explicitly promote “self care.” That’s great, and appropriate. We should encourage professionals to put on their own oxygen masks before they help others with theirs.

In fact, some people conclude that the high rates of turnover within the profession are specifically connected to insufficient self-care. However, this conclusion is incorrect. The drop-out rates within the field of social work have less to do with individual social workers’ abilities to self-care, and more to do with agencies’ abilities to promote self-care as a culture.

— The Myth of “Self Care” and How Structural Inequality is the Real Culprit, from anachronistica

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After spending a week researching the ongoing Lululemon hoopla, some particularly observational friends guided me to a few excellent xojane articles about black bodies in yoga classes. The first article regarded one woman’s observations of a black woman in her yoga class (“It Happened to Me: There are No Black People in My Yoga Classes and I’m Suddenly Feeling Uncomfortable With It“). The second article was a response from a black woman who read the first article (“It Happened to Me: I Read an Essay About a White Woman’s Yoga Class/Black Woman Crisis and I Cannot“).  The third article came as a response to both, from the perspective of the assigning editor of the original piece:

As the assigning editor, I’d like to respond to some of the criticism.

Because there are a lot of things that I don’t give a fuck about — pageviews among them — but the one thing that I give a huge fuck about is race, and the conversations surrounding race.

Throughout my life as a person, a black woman, a writer and editor, author, mother, daughter, partner and friend, it has always been an integral part of my existence to listen and question, invite and engage in dialogs about race. How can we look at issues surrounding race, racism, cultural appropriation and race consciousness in nuanced, unprecedented ways that will help move not merely the conversation, but the actual systemic foothold of the segregationist, tribal thinking that hurts and hinders the growth and emotional health of both black and white Americans alike.
The same day, this yogi posted her favourite and least favourite poses.

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Jezebel.com shares more on a new Dutch feminist porn channel making its way to the U.S. Yes… THE U.S.A. Weird, I know.

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For stat collectors and others interested in the rampantly growing Prison Industrial Complex:

“In the U.S., where ninety-six percent of the reported perpetrators of rape are white, eighty percent of the men in prison for rape are black.”

— Joseph Weinberg & Michael Biernbaum, Conversations of Consent: Sexual Intimacy without Sexual Assault (via Kim Katrin Crosby)

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Const. Ludjero Café, courtesy COLIN MCCONNELL / TORONTO STAR

Const. Ludjero Café, courtesy COLIN MCCONNELL / TORONTO STAR

In today’s Star coverage, “a former tow truck driver says two police officers mounted ‘a ‘campaign’ of harassment’ that involved taunting him with dildos to get him off the road.”

$1.4 million lawsuit against OPP claims harassment, threats of sodomy

— by Jennifer Pagliaro of TheStar.com

Last I checked, that’s sexual harassment.

—  compiled by Amelia

SACHA Broadcast — Feminist Links & Hijinks No. 25

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It’s cold outside but we’ve got some hot feminist links to keep you warm!

Canadian tennis player Eugenie Bouchard made it to the semi finals in the Australian Open.  On the court directly after her win did the reporter choose to ask her about her training or her headspace?  Nope.  She was asked who in the whole world she would like to go on a date with.

bouchard

That’s what British sports reporter Samantha Smith, herself a former tennis player who really ought to know better, asked Bouchard seconds after the match ended. A lot of people are pissed off about what Smith asked, and rightly so – it completely disregarded Bouchard’s abilities and achievements as a tennis player

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Kiera Obbard wrote a great piece for the University of Ottawa’s paper, Fulcrum, about what sexual assaults get covered in the media and the tips that women are given to keep safe.

In addition to creating more inclusive spaces, Msosa would like to see a focus on community accountability and ways that people can help stop sexual assault, including practical strategies for intervening.

“In an ideal world, I want the community accountability to be there for survivors,” she said. “I would love to see the conversation shift from being, ‘This incident happened, women beware,’ to, ‘This incident happened, let’s all come together to figure out how we can keep our community safe.’”

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Longtime activist Beth E. Ritchie writes about her ‘journey as a Black feminist activist working to end gender violence for the past 20 years, during which the United States was engaged in building itself up as the world’s leading prison nation’ and how that lead her to question how we respond to violence in our culture.

It means investing in a new kind of community, especially within communities of color, where those who are most disadvantaged are in leadership of sustained, base-building activities for justice. Concerns about gender justice and sexuality liberation would necessarily be included. Strategies to address the harm caused by violence would be grounded in these stronger, more equitable communities. Safety would come from communities, and, therefore, prisons could eventually become obsolete. Here, in a feminist prison abolition project is where I find the best possibility of the kind of liberation that I have been working towards for so long.

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Media critic, anti-racist feminist, founder and executive director of Women In Media and News, Jenn Pozner (@jennpozner) has a simple tip for white progressives &male allies to ensure diversity in speaking events:
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Do you need a reason to come to SACHA’s Chocolate Fest on February 6th?  Here’s FIVE!

 

SACHA Broadcast — Feminist Links & Hijinks No. 24

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Sasheer Zamata has been hired by Saturday Night Live. She wrote the above video, a biting commentary called “Be Blacker” regarding Black representation in the media.

Feministing shares more of Zamata’s brilliant work here.

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Just because a film includes a scrap of conversation between two women about something other than a man does not necessarily mean that the film has any meaningful interest in women. … If there’s a single thing I’d like to see more films do, it would be to take female desire (sexual, sure, but also *every other kind*) seriously.

— film critic Karina Longworth, as reported by Katy Waldman in “The Bechdel Test Sets the Bar Too Low. Let’s Write a New One” at Slate.com. Read on for more about how movies can better represent the lives of real women.

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OKCupid: fun times. Here’s what Jezebel.com conjured up on the notion of The Worst Online Dating Profile.

…but the optimist in me wanted to believe that there was a limit. Maybe there was a woman so awful, so toxic, so irredeemably unlikeable that no one would message her, or if they did, at least they would realize they never, ever wanted to meet her.

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A very captivating Sarah Mowrey on Women’s Bodies in the Workplace. I bet I’m not the only one of us who can relate to that!

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BitchMag’s Food Issue recently won some love from fancy coffee blog Sprudge for Best Coffee Writing of 2013 in their annual Sprudge Awards:

The issue of gender in specialty coffee has long been a subject of debate, and in recent years people have become increasingly vocal about the need for change. But the conversation has still largely been on the back burner, and still unfortunately focused on male voices. Dr. Knisely takes an unflinching look at the industry’s sacred cows–from the masculinized valuation of the technical, to barista competitions, to customer interaction norms, to some of the industry’s stalwarts. What results is a picture with a lot of room for improvement.

— praise for Dr. Lisa Knisely’s piece,
Steamed Up: The slow-roasted sexism of specialty coffee
as featured in Bitch magazine, and now also online.

Bitch magazine Food Issue + Francis Perkins mug + Coffee ^_^

Bitch magazine Food Issue + Francis Perkins mug + Coffee ^_^

—  compiled by Amelia Stop-Telling-Us-We’re-Not-Good-Enough Widdershins

SACHA Broadcast — Feminist Links & Hijinks No. 23

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Wow.  So much feminist internets to share!

It’s hard to unlearn all of the ‘don’t get raped’ messages that we send young women.  Jen Zoratti confronts the idea that rape is caused by women choosing to drink in the Winnipeg Free Press article Rapists, Not Drinking, Cause Rape:

Anti-rape efforts continue to target women instead of rapists — the leading cause of rape, so I’m told. High-profile cases, such as Steubenville and Maryville, continue to be mishandled by media. The victim’s choices are still made the focus, with TV pundits asking, “Well, what did she expect?” (I think it a very reasonable expectation to go out and even — gasp! — have some drinks and not to get raped). Commenters on news stories liken sexual assault to stolen property (sorry, I can’t leave my vagina at home). People wring their hands over the “promising futures” of rapists who happen to be star football players.

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Wish that sexual assault was covered better in mainstream media?  The femifesto collective is doing something about it.  Anyone who cares about the issue of sexual assault should read Reporting on Sexual Assault: A Toolkit for Canadian Media.

reporting on sexual assault

(also there’s otters…)

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At the end of December, Statistics Canada released a study about gender differences in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and computer science (STEM) programs at university:

52% of boys who had mathematics marks in the 80% to 89% range in high school chose a STEM program, compared with 22% of girls in the same category and 41% of girls who had marks in the 90% to 100% range.

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The Guelph Resource Centre for Gender Empowerment and Diversity is offering a Wen Do course on January 25th.  From Wen Do’s website:

We recognize that women and girls already have a wealth of experience in protecting their own safety. We believe that women can use their bodies effectively, as they are — older or younger, athletic or not, disabled or non-disabled — to resist or defuse violent situations. We aim to build on participants’ prior knowledge and increase their self-confidence by teaching a variety of awareness, avoidance and verbal self-defence strategies, and simple, practical physical techniques that are designed to be effective even against a larger and stronger attacker.

We aim to increase the choices available to women, and to provide suggestions and ideas, not a list of do’s and don’ts. We emphatically reject any approach that tries to blame women and girls for having “provoked” or “failed to prevent” violent attempts to dominate and control them. We believe that ultimately each woman must make her own decision about how to respond to a particular situation.

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A shelter in Spokane, Washington considers how survivors’ privacy and needs while healing from trauma in how we design women’s shelters (via Can You Relate).

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Volunteers and staff continue to be busy busy busy getting ready for SACHA’s 10th Anniversary Chocolate Fest on Thursday, February 6th.  Tickets are available online or by calling 905.525.4573.

CF_postcard_2014_front

— compiled by erin

SACHA Broadcast — Feminist Links & Hijinks No. 22

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Source: Jen Mussari

I remember that at my sister’s wedding, the groom – who happened to be white – changed midway through the ceremony along with my sister into modern, but fairly traditional, Nigerian clothes.

Even though some family members found it amusing, there was never any undertone of the clothes being treated as a costume or “experience” for a white person to enjoy for a little bit and discard later. He was invited – both as a new family member and a guest – to engage our culture in this way.

If he had been obnoxious about it – treated it as exotic or weird or pretended he now understood what it means to be Nigerian and refused to wear Western clothes ever again – the experience would have been more appropriative.

But instead, he wore them from a place of respect.

That’s what cultural exchange can look like – engaging with a culture as a respectful and humble guest, invitation only.

The Difference Between Cultural Exchange and Cultural Appropriation, by Jarune Urujaren

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Relatedly:

The Harlem Shake is a syncopated dance form that first appeared on the New York hip-hop scene in the early 1980s.  Here is what it looks like:

— THE PROBLEMATICS OF THE FAKE HARLEM SHAKE, by Sezin Koehler (via Racialicious)

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Rather than merely petition for the inclusion of each excluded group on a one-by-one basis (as I did in Whipping Girl, and as many others before me have done), I wanted to try to get at the root of why we tend to create double standards and hierarchies, and how we can learn to recognize and challenge them in a more general sense. And I wanted to offer possible solutions that will help to reduce exclusion and marginalization in all cases, whether in the straight-male-centric mainstream or within our own queer and feminist communities and movements.

Julia Serano, from their interview with Persephone Magazon, via autostraddle.com, Top 10 Queer/Feminist Books of 2013

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Finally, here’s a spoken word piece about using PC (politically correct) language, by a fella named Guante:

The thing about political correctness is that it’s not about being perfect or censoring your emotions or always being nice to everyone. It’s just about not being a jackass.

And I know, you may not have anything against people with disabilities, or women, or the LGBTQ community or anyone, but using language like this—even if you don’t mean it to be offensive, directly contributes to a culture, that hurts people.

This rant’s entire transcript can be found here.
(via Feministing)

—  Amelia