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Update and What We Missed January 22, 2010

Posted by Jarrah H in feminism, Politics.
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For those of you who’ve been following the blog from the early days you’ll notice the new look, name, and domain. I’m very excited to be making some changes, including bringing together a small group of bloggers from across Canada to contribute to the site, whom I’ll be introducing over the next few weeks.

The changes arose out of discussions with friends and came out of both practical and philosophical considerations. On the practical side, the amount of original content I’m able to generate as one person is limited and I’m pleased to have other people to bring forward new ideas and share their writing. On the philosophical side,  I’m aware that my identity as a straight, white woman limits my ability to comment on some key issues. I’m hoping having other writers with diverse experiences will help round out our coverage and give you a chance to hear from some very talented new voices.

I’d encourage you to comment below or email me at jarrahhodge@gmail.com to let me know what you think!

Since I’ve been doing site edits I haven’t had time to post much in the last week or so, so here’s a list of just a few of the news stories I missed:

  • The BC Liberal government recently announced they’re appointing former Surrey School trustee Heather Stilwell to the BC College of Social Workers. Stilwell’s appointment has sparked concern given her prominence in the fight to ban gay-friendly books in Surrey schools and her history of activism with anti-abortion groups like REAL Women and Alliance for Life.
  • Last week the Globe and Mail and the National Post’s editorial pages took opposing viewpoints on quotas for women candidates in political parties. The Globe came out for strong equity measures while the National Post came out against, arguing equity measures would prevent Canadians from electing who they want to elect, conveniently ignoring any power/structure issues that lead to underrepresentation of women.
  • Things went a bit awry on The Current last week as host Anna Maria Tremonti attempted to hold a debate on why many college and university Women’s Studies programs are changing their name to Gender Studies. Instead she ended up with one guest, National Post columnist Barbara Kay, co-opting the show and firing off heated and ignorant attacks on feminists and Women’s Studies in general. Now I thought Margaret Wente was bad but Barbara Kay makes her seem like a warrior for women’s equality. To Tremonti’s credit  in a later show she did the responsible thing and brought on Ann Braithwaite from the Canadian Women’s Studies Association to rebut some of Kay’s points.
  • This is getting dated but I wanted to make sure I posted this article from the CBC, which talks about Quebec blogger James Chartrand. Chartrand admitted she’d been writing under a man’s name in order to help her writing business – and it worked. This article prompted some to hail her as a feminist heroine for exposing the issue, while others argued she was just propping up the unequal system. What I really want to know is what structural factors are leading women freelance writers to have a harder time than men in the business?

-Jarrah


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