The Round-Up: Aug. 30, 2011


Posted on by Jarrah Hodge in Round-Ups Leave a comment

Edmonton Salon Ads Cross a Major Line

Even with the scores of sexist advertising out there, I was seriously disturbed to come across a series of ads using depictions of domestic violence to promote an Edmonton salon.

From the Edmonton Sun:

Fluid Salon, located near Whyte Avenue, launched the ad series “Look good in all you do” more than one year ago.

But on Monday, the series took a public lashing from local social media users after a New York advertising copywriter featured one of the ads – depicting apparent domestic violence – in a blog.

“I was appalled,” Kasia Gawlak said in an interview. She’s a blogger who saw the ad Monday morning. “It’s like saying ‘at least you have good looking hair when your boyfriend abuses you.’ The women who have been abused with real pain, heartbreak and suffering – it’s not something that should be trivialized to sell a hair salon.”

It’s disgusting, to say the least, to imply that a woman who was being beaten by her male partner would feel better knowing at least her hair looked good.

Unfortunately, it’s not even just the one ad. Another in the series of the “Look good in all you do” shows a woman wearing tights and a bra while smoking a cigarette sitting on a dirty mattress in an alley (implying she’s a prostitute). If you look closely, it gets even worse. On their Facebook page, someone pointed out another ad showing a woman’s being dragged from a hearse by her legs features the “corpse” wearing the same shoes as the woman in the alley ad. Yes, That Jill also found a picture of them doing the woman model’s makeup for the first ad, with the caption: “hottest battered woman I’ve ever laid my eyes upon.”

In their other campaigns there’s a racist ad for Brazilian blow-outs, featuring white women in pseudo-tribal makeup, and another ad showing a woman coated with oil and wearing feathers to promote a portion of hair cut proceeds going to oil spill relief. The women-as-animals in distress is a frequent tactic of other sexist ad offender PETA.

Fluid Hair owner Sarah Cameron, yet again proving that women can be their own gender’s worst enemies, says she sees no problem with the ads: “It might strike a chord, but as the way our society and community is getting, we keep tailoring everything because everyone is getting so sensitive…Anyone who has a connection or a story behind anything can be upset or have an opinion. We are not trying to attack anyone,” Cameron told the Sun.

Tell Cameron & Fluid that trivializing violence against women isn’t acceptable under any circumstances. You can post on the image gallery on Fluid’s Facebook page here: or use the contact form on their site here: You can also complain to Advertising Standards Canada here.



Posted on by Jarrah Hodge in Can-Con, Feminism, Pop Culture 16 Comments

Rental Discrimination Against Gay Couples in Metro Vancouver

A new study out of UBC shows that gay couples and single parents face significant rental discrimination in Metro Vancouver, and that that rate could be even higher in other places in Canada.

From the CBC:

The university says the research, by sociology Prof. Nathanael Lauster, is the first to explore how that kind of discrimination varies by region. It finds gay couples are nearly 25 per cent more likely to be rejected by Metro Vancouver landlords, while single parents are about 15 per cent more likely to be turned down for a suite. Lauster is concerned because Vancouver has a reputation for tolerance of diversity and strong housing laws to protect against discrimination.

“This means that housing discrimination levels may even be higher in other cities.”

Interestingly and thankfully, the researchers found no evidence of rental discrimination against same-sex lesbian couples compared to heterosexual couples.

With regards to discrimination against gay couples, it did seem to vary by neighbourhood, with less discrimination experienced in Vancouver’s West End, for example.

Qmunity Executive Director Jennifer Breakspear, quoted in Xtra West, said she was surprised by how high the numbers were in Lauster’s study:

“We’ve long been active with government [on housing issues] with LGBT youth and LGBT seniors, but now it looks like we have to throw into the mix gay men as well. We all know Vancouver is a tight place to find a place to live…Throw in landlord bias, and you make it almost impossible.”

The study’s findings are certainly disconcerting, and I’d be interested to see further research on rental discrimination against trans people, which doesn’t seem like it was part of this study.



Posted on by Jarrah Hodge in Can-Con, Feminism, LGBT 2 Comments

FFFF: Menstruation Animation

Basically this is what happens to a uterus each month, except in cartoon form with singing. A little odd and as the film says, don’t watch if you’re easily offended by bodily functions.


Posted on by Jarrah Hodge in Feminism, FFFF 2 Comments

The Round-Up: Aug. 23, 2011

Posted on by Jarrah Hodge in Round-Ups Leave a comment

Remembering Jack Layton

Me and Jack Layton at the 2007 Vancouver Pride Parade

I was incredibly saddened when I checked my Twitter this morning and saw that NDP Official Opposition Leader Jack Layton had passed away.

Jack Layton’s 2003 leadership campaign was the first campaign I worked on, back when I was in Grade 12. I supported Jack then and for the next 8 years of his leadership because he was an optimist, a fighter, and a true feminist.

Jack co-founded the White Ribbon Campaign in 1991, which organized men to take responsibility in the fight to end violence against women. Throughout his time on City Council and in the House of Commons, he understood how factors like poverty, racism, and colonialism interact with and exacerbate women’s inequality, and he fought to end all these things. He listened to the most vulnerable people and helped bring their stories to Ottawa.

Women’s representation soared in the NDP under Jack Layton. He took an active role in reaching out to recruit outstanding women candidates to run for office across the country, including my former boss, retired MP Penny Priddy. He truly believed that the House of Commons should reflect the diverse faces of Canada, and he worked tirelessly to make that happen.

He fought for LGBT rights, too. He was an early supporter of HIV/AIDS activism, and was the only Party leader to whip votes in favour of marriage equality in 2005.

Another outstanding thing about Jack was how he inspired young people. He didn’t do it by being patronizing or moaning about how the young people don’t appreciate everything his generation fought for. He did it by listening to them, showing faith in their leadership, inspiring them by speaking truth to power, and recruiting them as candidates. In his last letter to Canadians, he dedicated a special section to young people, saying:

There are great challenges before you, from the overwhelming nature of climate change to the unfairness of an economy that excludes so many from our collective wealth, and the changes necessary to build a more inclusive and generous Canada. I believe in you. Your energy, your vision, your passion for justice are exactly what this country needs today. You need to be at the heart of our economy, our political life, and our plans for the present and the future.

Today we lost a great fighter with a big heart.

His letter closes with these inspiring words:

My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.

All my very best,

Jack Layton

You can read his final letter to Canadians here:

You can send condolences to Olivia Chow and Layton’s children and grand-children through the NDP’s website at

Here are links to some tributes to Jack on other feminist/gender blogs:

Posted on by Jarrah Hodge in Can-Con, Feminism, Politics 1 Comment

FFFF: Straight Pride is for Queers

A funny yet angry rant from Britain’s Dick Coughlan on “Straight Pride” parades, anti-gay politicians who turn out to be gay, and shaming people for being gay. Language NSFW.


Posted on by Jarrah Hodge in Feminism, FFFF, LGBT Leave a comment