Diminishing legitimate 'male' issues: Gary Mason, the Men's Rights Movement and the myth of misandry

rabble news - Sat, 11/15/2014 - 12:47am
"There is the perspective that men oppress women. And there is the perspective that people are people, and we are all hurt by rigid sex roles.”…Both perspectives accurately describe our predicament. Men do oppress women. People are hurt by rigid sexist role patterns, These two realities coexist. Male oppression of women cannot be excused by the recognition that there are ways men are hurt by rigid sexist roles. Feminist activists should acknowledge that hurt, and work to change it—it exists.

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Women garment workers in Indonesia

rabble news - Fri, 11/14/2014 - 6:27pm

Labour news from the Asia Pacific region. Interview with Dian Trisnanti, about a documentary project on women garment workers in Indonesia. Asia Pacific Currents is produced at 3CR radio by Australia Asia Worker Links.

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Stop calling it my maiden name

rabble news - Fri, 11/14/2014 - 3:03pm

In my former life, back before I had a kid and became a yoga teacher and started a cuss-filled feminist blog, I worked in the financing department of a large international bank. A few months after I started working there (and, coincidentally, a few months after I got married), one of the higher-ups was chatting me and my coworkers up when, out of nowhere, he said:

"Anne, is Thériault your married name or your maiden name?"

Flustered, I replied, "It's just my regular name."

"What do you mean by that?" he asked, totally nonplussed.

"I mean...it's the name I was born with? I didn't change my name when I got married, if that's what you want to know."

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Most families lose out in Harper's new tax plan

rabble news - Fri, 11/14/2014 - 2:27pm
Monday, November 17, 2014 The fight for what's better for Canadian families continues. Will it be Harper's "family-focused" tax cuts or can the NDP sway people with their child care plan?

Heading into the 2015 election season, the Harper government recently unveiled a bundle of what have been referred to as "family-focused" tax cuts. However, with several figures and complex lingo to sift through, many families across Canada are wondering what types of families these policies are going to benefit and how.

The plans are worth approximately $4.6 billion annually and incorporate income-splitting for families with children under 18. Firstly, the Universal Child Care Benefit will increase from $60 per month to $160 per month for youth under six years old. If your child is aged 7-17 your benefit will be $60.

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Union vows to campaign against Harper

rabble news - Fri, 11/14/2014 - 2:26pm
Friday, November 14, 2014 The union that represents professional public sector employees announced that it will deviate from its long-held policy of neutrality to oppose Harper in the upcoming federal elections.

The union that represents professional public sector employees announced that it will deviate from its long-held policy of neutrality to oppose Harper in the upcoming federal elections.

In a special statement released last week, the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC) board of directors declared that Harper's policies have created "an exceptional circumstance that requires an exceptional response."

PIPSC represents most of the federal government's scientists as well as other professionals, who have been deeply affected by research cutbacks made by the Conservative government.

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Ils se souviennent: France and the Great War

rabble news - Fri, 11/14/2014 - 1:24pm

As much as we rightly mourned the murders of two young Canadian soldiers last month, this past Remembrance Day inevitably lost some of its focus on the carnage that started it all. World War One ended on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918, after four years of the most prolonged and terrible battlefield slaughter the world had ever known. That's why we wear our poppies and bow our heads on November 11.

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'Oh, my Syria!'

rabble news - Fri, 11/14/2014 - 12:31pm

In a different area of Lebanon, I meet another Syrian, this time from the Aleppo outskirts. He is wiry, with grey hair though not yet 50, and a bright face, his presence emanating peace and calm...in spite of what he has gone through and lost.

He and his wife and children have been here about a year, leaving behind their home and his work as a tailor. Here, he cleans the simple lodging where I'm staying.

He is a Kurd, from the Syrian village of Ifreen, and while he says he says he would like to have Kurdish taught in schools, he insists that his area was never supportive of the insurgents, nor with the west's manufactured "revolution". (An interesting aside, but Armenians in Syria have founded public institutions to teach their language.)

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What do you think of the Harper government's fiscal update?

rabble news - Fri, 11/14/2014 - 12:00pm

It's that time again: federal fiscal update time.

The Harper government is annoucing a surplus for the first time in seven years. Notably though, it was projected to be upwards of $7 billion, and will actually oly be $2 billion. Other than that, not much else was annouced.

So, what do you think of the Harper government's fiscal update?

Choices It was a joke! Nothing more than pre-campaign talk with very little actual plans. A surplus is a surplus is a surplus. I'm happy! What does it matter? The Cons are just going to waste all the money on this ridiculous income-splitting plan. I'm kind of bummed. This surplus makes Harper look good -- but what about all those public services he slashed? Huh! None of the above.
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Not Rex: Capitalism! Corporations! More war!

rabble news - Fri, 11/14/2014 - 11:26am
Is this show currently playing? November 14, 2014 After the fall of the Berlin Wall, capitalism became the, well, exploitative monopoly of choice. Where has this left us? YouTube screen_shot_2014-11-14_at_11.19.33_am.png

After the fall of the Berlin Wall, capitalism became the, well, exploitative monopoly of choice. And now we see public assests being privatized for the financial elite.

So where does this leave us? With the 1% grooming the 99% for more war.

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Why the economy sucks, in one chart

rabble news - Fri, 11/14/2014 - 9:45am

The following is something I've prepared for the next issue of CUPE's Economy at Work, a popular economics quarterly publication I produce.

In his annual Economic and Fiscal Update (EFU), finance minister Joe Oliver told Canadians that while the federal government will finally record a surplus next year after seven years of deficits, we can't expect the economy to grow much faster than the slow growth we've experienced since the financial crisis, with economic growth expected to average just 2.4 per cent over the next four years.

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The right-to-water struggle continues in El Salvador

rabble news - Fri, 11/14/2014 - 9:36am

The Blue Planet Project has supported the call for the right to water to be recognized in El Salvador.

Unfortunately, IPS reports, "On October 30, right-wing lawmakers blocked the single-chamber legislature from ratifying a previously approved reform to article 69 of the constitution, which granted the right to water and food the status of a human right, thus forcing the state to guarantee universal access."

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Challenging our worldviews, from Cuba to Israel

rabble news - Fri, 11/14/2014 - 9:22am

Imagine you could turn back the clock to before 9/11, I suggest to American audiences when I read from my most recent book, What Lies Across the Water: The Real Story of the Cuban Five.

What if the United States had had its own intelligence agents inside Al Qaeda? What if those agents had uncovered the plot to attack the U.S.? What if, as a result, 9/11 hadn't happened?

How would Americans feel about those agents? They'd be heroes.

But if they'd been successful, of course, most Americans would never have heard of them. That's the nature of the clandestine intelligence world.

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Do no harm, Canada

rabble news - Fri, 11/14/2014 - 9:14am

The Inter American Human Rights Commission -- an independent office of the Organization of American States -- has added its voice to a growing list of human rights bodies calling on Canada to prevent mining abuses and hold Canadian companies and state agencies responsible to account.

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Remembrance Day is about the past, not the present

rabble news - Fri, 11/14/2014 - 8:25am
Friday, November 14, 2014

Remembrance Days grow clearer in retrospect. They remember past wars after all, not wars happening now or about to happen. Those are contentious; they involve arguments and disagreements about whether they should proceed. Past wars are simply past. The remembrance focuses on those who suffered or died in them and didn't deserve to, which is the vast majority in all wars.

Remembrance Days grow clearer in retrospect. They remember past wars after all, not wars happening now or about to happen. Those are contentious; they involve arguments and disagreements.

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Can men be allies in the fight to end violence against women?

rabble news - Fri, 11/14/2014 - 3:08am

What role can men play in the fight to end violence against women? Whether or not men can or should be involved has always been a controversial debate within the feminist movement. Can they be trusted? Does their socialization and male privilege make allyship impossible? Do we even need men in a woman-led movement?

It's a question the feminists have struggled with and continue to struggle with. Often men who claim to be allies end up replicating the very gendered hierarchies feminists fight against, perpetrating abuse, or are simply unwilling or incapable of seeing the space they take up in the movement.

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Why libraries -- and library users -- need librarians and other library workers to be union members

rabble news - Fri, 11/14/2014 - 1:29am

Doug Ford? Doug Ford? Who is Doug Ford again?

I think he's Rob Ford’s brother?

OK. Who is Rob Ford?

Didn't I say back in the summer of 2011 that Margaret Atwood -- and, by contrast, we all know who Atwood is -- was the best thing that ever happened to Doug Ford?

Ford, in case you've forgotten already, was the former Toronto city councillor and sometime candidate for mayor of that city, younger brother of the frequently stupefied and nationally embarrassing mayor of the same last name.

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Ten years after the Arar Inquiry, what has changed?

rabble news - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 4:40pm
Friday, November 14, 2014

This column is adapted from a speech delivered by Monia Mazigh at the conference "Arar+10: National Security and Human Rights a Decade Later" on October 29, 2014.

Let me start with a quote from George Bernard Shaw. The Irish playwright once said:

"Success does not consist in never making mistakes but in never making the same one a second time."

The Arar+10 conference is important for three main reasons.

A decade ago the Arar Inquiry started, and light was about to be shed on some of the darkest chapters of Canadian history. What has really changed since then and what has remained the same?

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Feel Good Friday roundup: Feel good edition

rabble news - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 3:43pm
Friday, November 14, 2014 Happy Feel Good Friday! There's puppies, anti-comedy, sandwiches and Margaret Atwood!

Hey there!

Here's what has been making me laugh, smile, feel proud and a whole host of other feelings I didn't even know I had this week.

Who doesn't smile when Margaret Atwood chats about libraries? (Well, Doug Ford, but that's beside the point.)

There's lots of other goodies in there for you, so read on and get ready to feel GREAT!

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The 'Sonic' boom: How Alberta became an 'Offshore Business' in the pathology market

rabble news - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 3:27pm

Why does Stephen Mandel, the newly minted Minister of Health, think it's a good idea for Alberta taxpayers to support the lifestyles of wealthy Australian businessmen who earn more than $13 million a year; their executive teams who get ridiculous bonuses and stock options; and the Australian economy as a whole with corporate tax contributions?

This is the bizarre consequence of the Health Minister's decision to award a $3 billion, 15-year lab services contract to a single service provider: Sonic Healthcare Limited.

Sonic who?

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Canada's wealth gap: Why is it off the political agenda?

rabble news - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 3:21pm
The wealth gap continue to grow in Canada. Rapidly. Why does it continue to be left out of the political conversation? Canada's rapidly growing wealth gap remains off the political agenda. Why?
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