50 (more) reasons we need International Women's Day

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      March 8 is International Women's Day, a celebration of women's achievements and a day wherein I reflect on how many hurdles women still face in society.
      Last year I put together a list of 50 reasons we need the day; this year, I bring you 50 more. 

      1. Because 17-year-old Retaeh Parsons hanged herself—and subsequently died—after being tormented in the wake of an alleged gang rape in 2011
      2. Because Christie Blatchford defended Parsons’ rapists
      3. Because one in five Canadians still believes drunk women are asking for it
      4. Because men are more likely to be sexually aggressive toward women if the woman is drunk
      5. Because the entire University of Ottawa men's hockey team was suspended over allegations that multiple members of the team raped a woman from Thunder Bay
      6. Because U of Ottawa student leader Anne-Marie Roy had to call out the rape culture on campus after receiving screenshots of a conversation between five men detailing how they’d like to sexually assault her
      7. Because of the rape chants at St. Mary’s University in Halifax
      8. Because of UBC’s rape chant
      9. Because there’s a man sexually assaulting women on UBC’s campus
      10. Because UBC’s serial sexual predator has been assaulting women since at least April 2013, but the public wasn’t warned until months later
      11. Because UBC’s serial sexual predator has yet to be caught
      12. Because “rape culture” is prevalent at many universities
      13. Because when you talk about “rape culture”, some people don’t believe it exists
      14. Because women are routinely harassed and assaulted on public transit in Vancouver, so much so that SFU students Alexa Dredge and Katie Nordgren set up a blog to record people’s experiences (Harassment on Transit blog)
      15. Because Avery Edison, a transgender woman from the U.K., was denied entry into Canada, detained in Toronto, and sent to a men’s prison
      16. Because 132 sexual assaults were reported in 2013, a 21 percent increase from 2012 (and remember: generally only one in 10 assaults is reported at all)
      17. Because pregnant women are still discriminated against in the workforce
      18. Because TED doesn’t want to talk about abortion
      19. Because there is still nowhere to obtain a surgical abortion in Prince Edward Island
      20. Because Saskatchewan ProLife and the Association for Reformed Political Actio) would like to bring parental consent regulations to Saskatchewan, requiring any female under the age of 18 seeking an abortion to get her parents’ approval before the procedure
      21. Because too many white feminists routinely lessen, negate, belittle, ignore, and erase the experiences of women of colour
      22. Because solidarity is for white women
      23. Because during a news scrum, Toronto mayor Rob Ford said he never wanted to eat former policy adviser Olivia Gondek's pussy and he has "more than enough to eat at home"
      24. Because after Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond were convicted of raping a 16-year-old girl in Steubenville, Ohio, the media rushed to defend them—for example, after the verdict was delivered, CNN correspondent Candy Crowley said, “Those poor boys’ lives are ruined.”
      25. Because Georgia Appeals Court Judge Christopher J. McFadden ordered a new trial for a convict rapist because the victim— a 24-year-old woman with Downs Syndrome—didn’t act enough like a victim
      26. Because of the GOP’s War on Women
      27. Because, despite Texas senator Wendy Davis’s successful 10-hour filibuster of a controversial omnibus bill that would severely restrict abortions and women’s access to them in that state, Governor Rick Perry called a special session of the senate so he could rubber stamp it anyway
      28. Because Texas Tribune editor-in-chief Evan Smith thought it was totally appropriate to ask Davis, who’s now running for governor of Texas, if she plans on playing the "gender card" in the race
      29. Because the last reproductive health clinic in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley had to close its doors last month
      30. Because activist Sarah Slamen was forcibly removed from the Texas Senate's Health and Human Services committee for criticizing anti-choice lawmakers
      31. Because Alaskan senator Fred Dyson thinks that low-income women are too cheap to buy birth control
      32. Because Bill O’Reilly and Michele Bachmann still don’t think women are qualified to be president.
      33. Because, during the Screen Actors Guild awards in February, a red carpet host asked Mayim Bialik how many people assumed she could “solve calculus” because she plays a scientist on The Big Bang Theory, oblivious of the fact that Bialik is also a neuroscientist
      34. Because advertisers still rely on hoary, outdated stereotyping to sell products to women—obviously we only use computers to plan our weddings, right Microsoft?
      35. Because leaning in is considered the epitome of feminist thought by too many people
      36. Because only 20 percent of computer programmers are women.
      37. Because women are less likely than men to have an employer-provided pension, and those pensions are generally worth less than those of a male employee
      38. Because Massachusetts’s Supreme Judicial Court just ruled that it’s absolutely legal to take upskirt photos of women
      39. Because the members of Pussy Riot were whipped by Cossack militia members during the Sochi Olympics
      40. Because former Pussy Riot members Nadya Tolokonnikova and Masha Alyokhina were again attacked on March 6 by a group of men in Nizhny Novgorod, one of whom carried a sign saying “Dirty whores out of our town”
      41. Because: pick-up artists
      42. Because: The Red Pill
      43. Because only 23 percent of Oscar voters are women
      44. Because exactly one woman, Kathryn Bigelow, has won an Oscar for Best Director, and only four women (including Bigelow) have even been nominated for the award
      45. Because of how many films utterly fail the Bechdel Test
      46. Because only 36 percent of newsroom staffers are women
      47. Because an online study conducted by the International Women’s Media Foundation and the International News Safety Institute found that 64 percent of female journalists have experienced “intimidation, threats, or abuse” in the office or in the field, and 46 percent reported they’ve been sexually harassed at work
      48. Because a man writing for the Columbia Journalism Review decried the results of the above study because it didn’t survey men, too
      49. Because when I search for stock images of “International Women’s Day”, I am bombarded with pink pictures of shoes, silhouettes of women dancing, cupcakes, flowers, and lipstick
      50. Because last year when I made this list I was told to take a Midol

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      Mar 7, 2014 at 2:22pm

      Good post.

      Cue the haters. "That's sexism in reverse...."


      Mar 7, 2014 at 4:13pm

      Just wanted to say thanks for this post.

      Jason M Bryan

      Mar 7, 2014 at 4:59pm

      Men are much more likely to kill themselves because men are much more disposable and inherently less valuable than women

      Don't forget "Women and children first" when abandoning a sinking ship!


      Mar 8, 2014 at 6:46am

      I don't think you've been out in the world recently because it's women who are seen as less valuable....and you're seriously quoting Titanic to get sympathy on a feminist blog? Please.

      Paper Plate

      Mar 8, 2014 at 8:27am

      Men are more likely to be physically assaulted
      Men are more likely to be murdered
      Men are more likely to commit suicide
      Men represent 90% of the homeless
      Men represent 98% of work place deaths
      Men, if we include those that are incarcerated, are more likely to be raped and sexually assaulted.

      @Jason M Bryan

      Mar 8, 2014 at 9:34am

      Too true---men are treated like cattle, coercively taxed, all to provide a Gravy Train for feminists.

      End the income tax! End the Gravy Train for fascists!

      The law

      Mar 8, 2014 at 10:22am

      Because the comments on an article about feminism justify feminism. *looking at you Mr. Jason M Bryan*


      Mar 8, 2014 at 10:26am

      Some of these points are really dubious. e.g: #2, there's a difference between "defending rapists" and criticizing the rush to judgment based on incomplete and/or unreliable information. And how can you definitively call them "rapists"? I didn't realize we replaced the criminal justice system with trial and conviction by social media.


      Mar 8, 2014 at 10:38am

      Bravo! Just remember many societies and cultures moving from a tradition of inequality to one of equality will become more conservative and intolerant (and thus increase inequality, violence, etc.) and do so for an unknown period of time before social mores in those societies begin to shift.

      While I would generally support protest and gender equality wise gender revolutionaries should put their money on the fact that violence against women (viewed from a global perspective) will get worse before it gets better. Rich countries, and ones with long traditions of equality are far and away the best places for women's rights.

      And while we're at it, please remember that for many young men, the failure to find good jobs and their dire economic circumstances means that no woman will be their girlfriend or wife. Their anger and disappointment at this situation causes them to lash out, unfairly, at women as in some way the cause of their perceived failure.

      A woman truly committed to reducing violence and discrimination against women would be preoccupied with finding ways for young men to find better jobs, get married and start families, because ON AVERAGE, husbands and fathers with secure incomes are less likely to commit violence against women and more likely to be amenable to gender equality arguments.