bringing up boys

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Everett Lewis (Ethan Hawke) and Maude Dowley/Lewis (Sally Hawkins) in Maudie

Men are in need of improvement. This opinion is surely shared by all women. How many times have I heard female friends speak – only half in jest – of their boyfriends, partners and husbands as if they were pets to be trained, or as another ‘child’ in the house, or as projects? Inherent in this approach is the idea that the man is currently not meeting (her) expectations. And how many times have I heard that the girlfriend/partner/wife is the best thing that’s happened to him, that she straightened him out, that she tamed and domesticated him? And how many times more have I myself wished for certain underdeveloped, socially inept men to find a partner who would teach him and improve him so that I no longer had to interact with a Neanderthal?Read More »

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do women play team sports differently than men?

I normally play mixed (co-ed) ultimate frisbee, but this weekend I played in a women’s tournament for the first time. The one noticeable difference was the slower tempo. This was partly due to us making fewer cuts, having less explosiveness, and simply sprinting slower.Read More »

checking privilege and the women’s march on washington

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“Defend Dignity” by Shepard Fairey

There are many privileges I enjoy at a cost borne by someone who doesn’t enjoy them. They include a financially stable childhood, two well-educated parents, being a native English speaker, being born and having grown up in stable, open and wealthy countries, and being able-bodied. These privileges I don’t think about even on a weekly basis, let alone daily; that, of course, is part of the privilege! And it’s all the more reason why it’s so important for me to “check my privilege.” This I take to mean being aware of and acknowledging the advantages I have over others based on factors outside my control and unrelated to any efforts that I made, understanding the historical roots of these advantages and their current impact on myself and others, and taking action to correct the unjust systems that perpetuate these inequalities.Read More »

women at the helm

Women are not pro-woman by nature of being women. The structures within which we navigate are intensely patriarchal and anti-feminist. Stronger women than you and I have tried and failed to break free of them. They have infiltrated our expectations and thoughts and behaviour and we have internalised the arbitrary boundaries of what is possible, feasible and achievable in gender equality. This does not change when one is in a position of power – especially political power. The political straitjacket is perhaps tighter still as she must prove that she belongs in this male-dominated sphere. God forbid the female leader be seen favouring her own kind – never mind that male leaders have been favouring their own for all history.Read More »

twice as hard

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one thing minorities have quickly learned is that nothing is given; all victories are earned. we’re always reminded that just to get half as much you must work twice as hard – and have a bit of luck.

i’ve been told that implicitly from a young age, and heard it more recently on the airwaves from larry wilmore, host of the nightly show; from jessica huang, on fresh off the boat; from viola davis, when accepting her prize; and from scandal’s rowan, with words both painful and wise.Read More »