April 2013


30 disturbing and disgusting tweets about Jason Collins coming out


Jason Collins shocked the world this week by becoming the first openly gay pro athlete (besides baseball player and inventor of the high-five Glenn Burke who was out to his teammates) and has been met with hate from ignorant people along with the praise he has received.

The hate being spewed at him is sadly not a surprise.

This collection is not intended to change any minds. The people who wrote these tweets think that what they are doing is okay and right, and it would take a lot more than simply holding up a mirror to them to get them to change their minds.

This collection of tweets is intended to open the eyes of anyone who is passively indifferent to gay causes or may be on the fence about vocalising their support for gay people in their lives.

Gay people wake up every day knowing that there are millions of people in the world who hate them for what they are. Gay people in other countries wake up every day unsure if they will be alive at the end of it. Kids here in Canada are bullied to death with words like these.

After reading these please do your part to let your friends and family know that you support gay people and gay rights. Send a positive tweet to Jason Collins, for example, or just do something simple as update your Facebook status to say that you love and care about the gay people in your life.

These are 30 disturbing and disgusting tweets about Jason Collins coming out.

Jason Collins should die

Jason Collins is a Faggot

Jason Collins is disgusting, certainly not a hero


Jason Collins will burn in hell

It is attitudes like these that make his coming out all the more important.

Hopefully someday soon a gay athlete, actor, politician, or person won’t require the fanfare, but until then every single gay person needs the reassurance of your love and support. Their life could depend on it.


Ontario Government demonstrates belief in science, research and innovation

The Government of Ontario has stepped in to help preserve the freshwater research station controversially closed by the federal government.

The scientific and research communities have proven to be a vital part of the Ontario economy, industry, academic excellence and international reputation. It is under this premise at the University of Toronto, alongside several of her ministers, Premier Kathleen Wynne announced her government will be stepping in to support the Experimental Lakes Area in northwest Ontario.

Going forward, the Governments of Ontario, Manitoba and Canada and the International Institute for Sustainable Development will work collaboratively to keep the area operational. For the time being, it is unknown what each party’s portion of the $2 million required to keep the facility open will be.

While it would have been preferable to see the federal government maintain funding, the Premier’s decision to pick up the ball is welcome news. The research done in the northwestern Ontario lakes gives Canadians a better understanding of pollution, climate change and other environmental changes that impact us all.

This announcement comes on the heels of announcements by Reza Moridi, Minister of Research and Innovation, which include $100 million in funding for the Ontario Brain Institute, $50 million towards the creation of a new Ontario Venture Capital Fund and $36 million for the Ontario Research Fund for research infrastructure. Support like this from the government will ensure discoveries being made in Ontario today will lead to the products and services that create the jobs of tomorrow.

This news was welcomed by Sarah Campbell, the NDP MPP from Kenora who represents the area, Mike Schreiner, leader of the Ontario Green Party, and Keith Ashfield, federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.

Savin Hill Little Baseball League honours Boston victim Martin Richard

A picture of Martin Richard, the youngest Boston bombing victim, hangs near the Boston Marathon finish line. He will be forever remembered not only on the baseball field but in the many hearts from around the world.

Looking at Martin Richard’s photo hanging at the memorial placed near the Boston Marathon finish line shows a cheerful boy holding a sign that read his name: Martin. The 8-year-old boy was waiting near the finish to see his dad, Bill, cross the finish line.

In a blink of an eye, the scene changed from a celebration of health and fitness to an act of terrorism. Among the three killed was Martin by a second explosive that went off near the finish. The explosives also seriously injured his 43-year-old mother Denise and his 7-year-old sister Jane.

Martin’s life was taken away by such a terrible tragic event, but his spirit lives on. Last Saturday, April 27, was opening day for  the Savin League Baseball team and paid tribute to Martin. What would have been a day of celebration for Martin’s first baseball game of the season with the Rangers was instead a celebration of his life. At McConnell field in Boston, family, friends, the Dorchester community and the Savin Hill Little League honoured this little boy who should have been either a pitcher or first baseman wearing his dark blue uniform hat, but instead his number 8 jersey was being remembered.

An open letter to Allan Hawco

Dear Allan,

I’m writing to congratulate you on the recent finish to season four of your hit TV series Republic of Doyle. What a treat it has been to tune in the last four years. We sure do love all the mysteries. Mysteries like when you will next be taking your shirt off, or mysteries like just how much camera time will be spent lingering on your sweet face, or perhaps the greatest mystery of all is when we will next be staring at your backside clad only in underwear as you run away from yet another wacky Doyle predicament.

We understand that you studied at the prestigious National Theatre School in Montreal, no doubt brushing up on a few phrases in the language of love, and would gladly accompany you on a stroll down rue Sainte-Catherine. Or do you prefer going around the bay to nan’s place for some jigg’s dinner? We could do that too.

Perhaps we could roll out the gym mats and you could show us a few moves in Taekwon Do? You are a red-belt, after all. Granted, no belt would be preferred. Or pants, for that matter.

More than anything though Allan (can we call you just Allan? Al? AlHawk?) we are dying to know when we can expect to see you grace our TV screens once again. In the meantime, here are some story ideas you are free to use for any upcoming episodes.

Jake goes undercover to crack an illegal gambling ring at a speedo fashion show.

Jake goes undercover to crack an illegal smuggling ring at shirtless baby oil factory.

Jake goes undercover to crack an illegal dog racing ring and carries around various puppies for 45 minutes.

Jake goes undercover to crack an illegal something-or-other ring and winds up in his underwear.


The Staff of Women’s Post.

UPDATE: He thinks we’re cheeky. We can all die happy now.


Win a Wilbe Bloomin bouquet of flowers

Women’s Post and Wilbe Bloomin want to ensure that your Mother’s Day is blooming. This stunning hand tied bouquet of flowers will be delivered to the winner (or the winner’s mother) in the GTA, just in time for Mother’s Day. Take time to smell the roses, then enter today!


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Contest closes on Friday, May 10th, at 4 p.m.



Owner of shelter for abused men and children commits suicide after financial ruin, ridicule

Erin Pizzey took to internet community Reddit this past weekend to answer questions from users. She is known for her integral hand and tireless efforts in exposing domestic violence to the public consciousness throughout the 1970s by setting up one of the first battered women’s shelters and writing the groundbreaking book on the subject of domestic assault: Scream Quietly or the Neighbours Will Hear. In more recent years she has taken on neglect and abuse of men and boys as her cause and this is where the majority of her questions and answers focused.

Looking at it from a perspective of abuse and neglect, would you say that there is
a general attitude of neglect towards men today?

[…] My problem is that it’s men who’ve been victims of domestic violence, which is
largely ignored by society… and not only ignored, but ridiculed. Billions are spent
– billions I say – across the world for women’s refuges and virtually nothing for men.
And the one men’s refuge in Canada was so denigrated and despised by the Canadian
government, as you will see from our introduction, Earl committed suicide after he
was forced to sell his home and he lost everything.

The Earl she is referring to is Earl Silverman, a Canadian man who spent 20 years of his life crusading for better access to victim and emergency services for men and boys who are victims of abuse. Earl was a victim of abuse at the hands of a former spouse and dedicated his time, energy, and money towards creating a shelter specifically for male victims fleeing abusive situations.

For three years Silverman ran the Men’s Alternative Safe House out of his own home, taking in about 20 men and children over that period. Earl spent the entirety of his own savings to keep MASH running while trying, unsuccessfully, to convince the government to allocate funds for his and other projects directed at male victims. MASH was the only refuge of its kind in Canada.

After years of being unable to keep the shelter through his own funds and meagre private donations he was driven to financial ruin and forced to sell his home and, by association, give up his hopes for helping other victims. After selling his house he committed suicide on Friday, April 26, by hanging himself in the garage.

Silverman’s death appears to be caused entirely by what he and Prizzy have been fighting. He was a victim of abuse whose inability to find services eventually killed him.

Suicide is a predominantly male problem with rates in Canada making it the seventh highest cause of death for men here. In Canada just under one in every 5,000 men will kill themselves. In Yukon, Quebec, and Northwest Territories it is one in every 4,000 men. In Nunavut one in every 1,000 men will commit suicide.

There are many who would argue that men are incapable of experiencing abuse, physical or otherwise. Police statistics, for example, seem to tell a different story where only 20 percent of victims from domestic calls are male.

In fact, according to Statistics Canada, men are almost exactly as likely as women to be victims of domestic abuse:

“A similar proportion of men and women reported experiencing spousal violence
during the five years prior to the survey. Among men, 6.0% or about 585,000,
encountered spousal violence during this period, compared with 6.4% or
601,000 women.”

Perhaps the low rate of police calls for men in distress is not indicative of low rates of abused males but rather indicative of men being afraid to coming forward to police or attempt to escape their situation.

Male victims are being told from all sides that they are not victims; that statistics are so low they don’t matter; that if they were a real man they would just suck it up and take it; that women aren’t capable of delivering the same kinds of abuse that men can; that what they are experiencing is normal.

After hearing enough of that, it is no surprise that men would be afraid to step forward.

Even if they did manage to overcome everything they’ve ever been told, now that Canada’s only shelter for men is gone, where would they even go?

Ed Note: This story has been updated to include more reliable figures on suicide in Canada.

“You deserve rape” sign sparks outrage on Arizona campus

Outrage was sparked on campus and online this week when a University of Arizona student protested a sexual assault awareness event by brandishing a sign that read “You deserve rape” to passing students on Tuesday.

The student, Dean Saxton or Brother Dean Samuel, told the UA newspaper Daily Wildcat that  “if you dress like a whore, act like a whore, you’re probably going to get raped.”

“I think that girls that dress and act like it,” Saxton said, “they should realize that they do have partial responsibility, because I believe that they’re pretty much asking for it.”

Saxton is known for delivering fire-and-brimstone style sermons on campus, although his sermon in advance of the UA campus Take Back The Night march left many students feeling as though he’d gone too far, including one student who is currently facing police action for attempting to forcibly take the offending sign from Saxton’s hands.

The UA dean of students admitted that although she disagrees with his sentiments his views are protected as free speech and there is currently nothing the school can do to reprimand him, although they have sought legal advice on the matter.

The photo associated with this story was posted to Reddit on Thursday morning and ignited a flurry of responses from users around the globe, including many wishing rape and violence upon Saxton, and also some rape apologists (something of a Reddit hallmark) who agreed with Saxton’s sentiments, but not the way he went about delivering his message.

For more information on this story check out the Daily Wildcat‘s story here, their editorial on running the story here, and the Reddit thread here.

Boston strong

Last Sunday at the London Marathon and Vancouver Sun Run, which is Canada’s largest 10km road race, thousands of runners participated to honour the three who died, as well as the scores who were injured at the Boston Marathon bombings.

In Vancouver there were over 48,000 participants, despite rain which didn’t dampen the runners’ spirits.

I was at the Sun Run and witnessed many dressed in blue and yellow, Boston colours, with others wearing Boston Red Sox caps. I found comfort among the crowds while wearing my singlet from the 2005 Boston Marathon in support.

On May 5 The BMO Vancouver Marathon will hold a minute of silence at the marathon, half and 8km events. This is to pay tribute to those affected by the bombings at the Boston Marathon, including the victims, first responders and spectators.

SEWA and Indian businesswomen

The impact of the Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) is visible in villages across the country. Women who can’t read or write and have basically no real rights learn how to sign their names, read a document, open a bank account, start a business, commit to a loan and secure something quite unthinkable: a home in their names. No sorcery, just empowerment and an infrastructure to support and sustain it. SEWA does it with full permission of the men in the villages. SEWA’s organic, vertically-integrated structure lets it be an academy for teaching, a bank, an insurer, a housing developer and a trade co-operative for hundreds of thousands of women textile workers.

As a Canadian woman entrepreneur, the opportunity to watch SEWA in action and to meet with women participating in SEWA programs in small villages outside of Ahmedabad, in the western state of Gujarat, is a privilege with some irony. A 2012 Reuters TrustLaw survey of G20 countries identifies Canada as the best place for a woman and India as the worst.

What makes India the worst? Child marriage, feticide and infanticide, sexual trafficking, domestic slave labour, domestic violence and high maternal mortality are the reasons India wins the title as worst of the G20 countries for women. But another 2012 study, this one conducted by DELL, ranks India as the best place in the world to be a woman entrepreneur. There’s the clash again. That’s the essence of the two-world reality for Indian women.

Forbes recently profiled India’s top 10 women and the role they play in India’s economy, from high-tech and banking to newspapers and hotels. These are Indian women with degrees from Harvard and Yale. SEWA can share the profiles of women who in less than three years go from illiteracy to employing the majority of the women in their village, having hard assets in their own name and starting a pension plan for when they can no longer be self-employed. These are socio-economic bookends from the two extreme ends of the spectrum: extreme wealth and extreme poverty. These are the women who are stopping child marriage. These are the women who are changing the balance of power in their homes and communities. These are the women who will no longer be silent about gender related violence and injustice.

Women’s work as entrepreneurs is a UN-recognized tool for sustainable development. India is at the forefront of this seismic shift. A study of gender-related development (GRD) has created a GRD Index linked to a nation’s Gross Domestic Product. It clearly captures that in nations where women are advancing through entrepreneurship economic growth is steady and in countries without women’s economic participation economic growth is stagnant. India’s prime minister and government will respond swiftly to this latest incident of violence against women because the world demands it, but also because women are no longer invisible since becoming economic drivers, helping drag India into the 21st century.

The magic of women’s work in India is that while it has always involved heavy lifting, it’s been made to look effortless because of women’s resilience, resourcefulness and resolve.