50ft Feminist

Pop-feminism with a side of politics

Category: Politics

(In)visible Minorities

Canada prides itself on being a multicultural society and, in a proudly multicultural society, you’d expect to see positive representations of people of colour. There’s a trite little saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words” so what does this editorial cartoon which ran on September 7th in The Record say?

September 7

Maybe, one picture’s not enough? Here are the editorial cartoons that ran in The Record between September 7 and October 7, 2011 (I haven’t included cartoons that only represent current politicians). Read the rest of this entry »


Feminism Failure

Flavia Dzodan has written a moving article on the epic failure of feminism over the past week. It’s posted at Tiger Beatdown and is a must read for anyone who doesn’t want current feminism to be plagued by the same problems previous waves had.

Another article written by her, and referred to in the aforementioned post, is here. It may be a depressing read but it’s essential reading.

Thanks to Flavia for writing this! I hope all the yelling is being heard. I’m yelling  in your corner:


How do you fight back? Part 1: Apathy

I am both a feminist and a vegan and this makes people uncomfortable. Either they’re uncomfortable because they don’t want to acknowledge that some of the things we do are terrible, or they’re uncomfortable because they are generally protected by (or in some way identify with) the status quo and feel threatened that I (and others, of course) think there’s something wrong with it.

Despite being a feminist and a vegan for a significant portion of my life, I still don’t know how to deal with either types of reaction. Read the rest of this entry »


You’re Welcome addresses some problematic analogies which compare various forms of oppression here. This is a mistake I make so thanks and I’ll stop now!

Oh look! Only 82.4% of the models in this year’s New York Fashion Week are white.

Newsarama asks professionals in the comic book industry whether American comics are sexist. Sadly, some of them answer No!

An interesting comment on Bare Escentuals’ new beauty campaign which says that “Pretty is what you are. Beauty is what you do with it.”

An amazing project (which will probably also make you laugh) by Yolanda Dominguez which shows regular people posing the way models pose in magazines and illustrates just how bizarre those poses are. Covered here by Sociological Images.

A yummy looking vegan carrot pecan cornbread recipe which I haven’t tried yet but plan to as soon as I get this chapter of my dissertation finished. Also, see her article here on The New York Times recent horrendous, sexy-dead-chicken pictures.

More Absurd News . . .

Trigger warning: child sexual abuse

A missionary adopts two boys while doing international missionary work, brings them to Canada and sexually abuses them for years. He gets four months of jail time because, according to Justice Colin Westman, he is an otherwise good family man. !!?@$!?! He says:

I can’t ignore the fact that you and your wife have obviously been a tremendously caring couple

I don’t even know how to make sense of this unless I woke up in an alternate universe where sexually abusing your children just shows how much you care.

He also gets a commuted sentence because he has the support of his church which just goes to show how far from “equality before the law” we are. I mean, I don’t think having the atheists club behind you is really going to help you get a lesser sentence. I guess what he did was mitigated by being a loving Christian man while doing it.

Read about it here.

*Update* – I’ve been thinking about this Judge’s comment that the man convicted of sexually abusing his children is an otherwise good family man. I can’t imagine a judge saying to a woman who sexually abuses her children that she is otherwise a good family woman and I think the reason has to do with gender norms. Since women are supposed to be the primary care-givers to children, they can’t be good family women if they abuse their children. We don’t even use the phrase “good family woman” to describe women. Instead we use “mother” or “wife.” Since men are not expected to play an instrumental role in raising and caring for their children, it seems consistent by this standard to say that someone is a good family man even when he’s abusing his children. If anyone has any thoughts on this, feel free to share.

I am in the process of working out a comment policy but currently all comments are moderated and offensive comments will be deleted.

Stop using sex education to confuse me!

Some days I just want to stick my head under a pillow and keep it there until the world is a better place. Today is one of those days thanks to the “Institute of Canadian Values” who shall henceforth be named the “Institute of Canadian Bigotry, Homophobia, Transphobia And More Which Would Make This Name Too Long”  (ICBHTMWWMTNTL). Since we’re in the midst of an Ontario election campaign and Liberals wanted to update the sex education curriculum in schools the ICBHTMWWMTNTL put out this sweet and adorable video to petition against the changes (and presumably the Liberal Party).

The current sex education plans include addressing homophobia and teaching children that certain slang words such as “dyke,” and “fag” are hurtful and oppressive. The proposed changes that ICBHTMWWMTNTL talks about on their website are already being rewritten partly because special interest groups like ICBHTMWWMTNTL think that teaching children about homosexuality, masturbation and sex:

is really sexual exploitation of children. And yes that’s a strong term and a strong charge, but this is truly sexually violating little boys and girls.

I think the people at ICBHTMWWMTNTL are in need of a little sex education themselves.

*Update* – The National Post, which ran the ad earlier in the week, has posted an apology here. Just don’t read the comments below the apology. You have been warned.

The Dissemination of Misinformation

At the end of last week, CBC covered the final judgement handed down by the Edmonton Court of Queen’s Bench in the case against Katherine Effert. Katherine Effert was convicted of infanticide, a lesser charge than first or second degree murder, which requires that the woman charged be guilty of killing a newborn (under 12 months) and be psychologically unstable at the time that she killed the infant. The Crown argued against the ruling of infanticide by claiming that single fathers and grandparents are subject to the same stresses as single mothers. The Judge rejected this argument on the grounds that our abortion laws reflect our understanding that there are unique stresses which come with carrying a child and that the demands of pregnancy and childbirth can be onerous, particularly in cases where the woman carrying the child has no support. To be clear, Justice Joanne Veit appeared to be using this argument to reject the claim that a single father could then conceivably plead to a lesser charge of infanticide. I say appeared because the court documents have not been released yet.

All was silent for a few days then, on Monday, the right-wing anti-abortion propaganda machine began twisting this argument around. Read the rest of this entry »

Straw-womanning the abortion debate

The National Post recently published an article by Barbara Kay on the moral quandary that feminists face as a result of their belief that women should have a say in what happens to their bodies. Her argument goes something like this:

  1. Women in Canada are allowed to abort for any reason.
  2. In Asia, women selectively abort female fetuses.
  3. Therefore, feminism leads to the destruction of female fetuses. Gotcha!

Read the rest of this entry »