FFFF: Pap Smears at Walgreens

Standing up for Planned Parenthood, women challenge the FOX News assertion that people can just go get a Pap test at Walgreens


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“Hir”: Slam Poem about Trans Identity

Awesome and moving slam poem by Alysia Harris & Aysha El Shamayleh about trans identity


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The Round-Up: Apr. 19, 2011

What links do you suggest I check out this week?


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FFFF: Equal Pay Day Flashmob

Dancing meets feminism in this 2011 Equal Pay Day flashmob video at the Lincoln Memorial:


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Questions for your Candidates IV

We still have some big issues left to touch on: education, international relations, economy/jobs, and food security. If you think I’ve missed any or if you have suggestions for questions, please comment below!


1. What are your plans to make post-secondary education more affordable and accessible for Canadians?

2. How will you tackle the post-secondary education gap for First Nations people, people with disabilities, and low-income individuals?

International Relations

1. Unsafe abortion is a leading cause of maternal mortality in developing countries, yet the Conservative government refused to include safe abortion in their G8 maternal and child health initiative last year. If elected, will your government fund safe abortion in developing countries?

2. Canada has never met their UN commitment to put 0.7% of our GNI to official development assistance and foreign aid. That places us at a ranking of 18th out of 23 donor countries. Will you and your party commit to increasing foreign aid to meet the UN target of 0.7% of GNI? If so, what are your targets and timelines?

3. What is your vision for the role of Canada’s military forces in the world?

4. Last month, Parliament passed a bill to make it easier to export life-saving HIV/AIDS medication to developing nations, but this bill died when the election was called. When Parliament re-convenes will you support this bill upon its reintroduction?


1. How will you support individuals (mostly women) who are faced with caring for elderly relatives, sometimes at the same time as caring for children?

2. Older women on their own have one of the highest poverty rates in Canada. What are your party’s proposals for strengthening benefits for seniors?

3. In 2009 the Conservative government passed the Public Sector Equitable Compensation Act, which makes it more difficult for public sector workers to make challenges based on unfair pay, and by removing pay equity complaints from the jurisdiction of the Human Rights Tribunal, effectively means that pay equity is no longer a human right in Canada. Will you and your party support changes tothe Public Sector Equitable Compensation Act to ensure public sector workers are not subject to pay discrimination?

4. How will you make sure human rights, labour rights, and public social services are protected in future trade deals?

Food Security

1. Women are disproportionately affected by global food insecurity. What will you and your party do to support aid for agriculture and food security in developing nations without our exports jeopardizing the activities of local food producers in those nations?

2. According to Greenpeace, Canada and the US are the only industrialized countries that don’t mandate labelling of genetically engineered food. If elected, what steps will you and your party take to regulate genetically modified food. Will you support mandatory labelling of GE products?

3. How will you work to improve our system of local, environmentally sustainable food production?


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The Round-Up: Apr. 12, 2011

  • Students at York University are mobilizing to fight homophobia on campus after a recent gaybashing in a campus bar (via Xtra.ca).
  • The Toronto Star reports that Alberta transgender teacher Jan Buterman, who was fired by the Catholic school he worked at, has decided to pursue a human rights complaint rather than accepting an offer of a large cash settlement.
  • Equal Voice has started a new campaign called ICommit to encourage young women to participate in politics. Visit their site and make your commitment to run in an election, vote, and/or lead your friends to the polls!
  • Sociological Images dissects a sexist ad from a London, Ontario newspaper, which compares women who aren’t virgins to used cars.
  • Here in Canada, discriminatory regulations prevent gay men from donating blood. Towleroad reports that in the UK, due to complaints over a simliar ban, they’ve introduced new regulations to let gay men donate…as long as they haven’t had sex in 10 years. Not exactly what I’d call progress.
  • Melissa at Shakesville reminds us that prejudice doesn’t exist in a vacuum; sometimes it is necessary to sweat the small stuff.
  • Yay! After losing the fight to participate in 2010 in Vancouver, women ski jumpers have received the green light to ski in the 2014 Olympics (via Ms. Magazine Blog).
  • The American Library Association’s list of top banned books of 2010 is out, and Queerty reports that “And Tango Makes Three”, a children’s book about gay penguins, is at the top of the list.


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Questions for your Candidates III

Back with more questions to consider asking your candidates in the 2011 Canadian federal election. This time we’ll look at housing/poverty, the environment, and immigration.


1. Federal investments in housing and homelessness have been eroding since 1989, and persistent homelessness has serious negative social and economic implications in our communities. In the last Parliament, NDP MP Libby Davies’ Private Member’s Bill C-304 to create a comprehensive national housing plan passed second reading, but will now have to be re-introduced in a new session. Will  you and your party commit to supporting a bill like Bill C-304 to establish a national housing strategy?

2. The House’s Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills & Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities released its final report making recommendations for a national poverty reduction plan. Will your party support the HUMA committee’s recommendations, including investments in social housing, social programs, jobs at living wages, and childcare?


1. Climate change is one of the most pressing interntional issues we face, with the potential to become catastrophic if immediate action is not taken by governments. It is also an issue with racial, gender, intergenerational, and international dimensions. For example, a 2009 report from the UN Population Fund found that women in poor countries are disproportionately impacted by climate change and natural disasters. How will your party’s plans reduce global warming, and what are its timelines and targets?

2. The Suzuki Foundation has released a list of 12 chemicals to avoid in cosmetic products, many of which have been found to cause cancer or have negative environmental impacts. Products containing these harmful chemicals are disproportionately marketed towards women after undergoing only the most basic screening by Health Canada. The Suzuki Foundation and Canadian Cancer Society are calling for stricter labelling of potentially carcinogenic chemicals in cosmetics. Will you support stronger labelling requirements for chemicals in cosmetics and better regulations to enable Health Canada to keep dangerous products off store shelves?

3. In 2009 the Government of Canada committed, along with G20 leaders, to phasing out tax breaks and subsidies to oil, gas, and coal-producing companies, which are already some of the richest corporations in the country. Will your party commit to ending subsidies to the oil and gas sector, which would save Canadians approximately $1 billion/year?

4. Investments in developing clean energy technology can create jobs and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. The government can also support energy retrofits and public transit to help individuals reduce their emissions. What are your party’s plans to develop a clean energy economy for Canada?


1. Although the “points system” was ostensibly designed to get rid of racism in our immigration system, systemic issues mean that immigrants from European countries have shorter wait times than immigrants from other countries, notably countries in Africa. How will you and your party address the issue of delays in processing immigrant and refugee claims and family reunification applications, especially through Africa and other underserved areas?

2. How will you and your party ensure the rights of temporary foreign workers are respected while they are in Canada?

If you missed the past posts of suggested questions, here are the links:

1: Reproductive rights, LGBT rights, child care, Aboriginal justice

2: Health care, democracy/ethics, public safety


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