Quick Hits: Where I’ve disappeared, Suggested Reading and Reteaching Gender and Sexuality

I. Where did I go and some suggested reading from other amazing people

    So, it’s been over a month since I posted. As it turns out, taking seven courses at a time is a BAD idea. Someone should tell this to the people who designed first year law school and require this rather nasty course load. In any case, my time at law school has been… interesting. I have a lot of thoughts to share about being a social justice activist in such a conservative institution and how law school is designed to be all but insurmountable to all but the most privileged, but this will all have to wait until I manage to get through exams and when my brain feels less like a melted pile of goo.

    Until then, I have been collecting some really great articles and posts online that have helped me recover from law zombism, and that I wanted to share. There is a new page alongside my Blogroll and Profile that I will update whenever I have a new batch of thought-provoking writing from others that I think everyone needs to read. I hope everyone enjoys and finds some great new writers to frequent!

    II. Put This on the Map: Reteaching Gender and Sexuality

      http://www.putthisonthemap.org/

      This is a brilliant, amazing, fantastic group that everyone should love and watch. All though I have appreciated the “It gets better” videos that have been made, I also think that this video really sums up where we as a society should be going. It demands action, rather than passivity, and will stand silent in the face of ignorance, bigotry and hate. I am looking forward to seeing their documentary and any other work that they produce.

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      Quick Hit: The Need to Grow, Grow, Grow… Then What?

      One of the very common and very annoying arguments against gay marriage/parenting or voluntary non-parenthood is that, without children, our society will be doomed. (Western) culture will crumble and our society will fall into disaster, just as the Romans once did. While I agree with the idea that children are a necessary part of the propagation of the human species (hard to get past biological fact and all), I question the idea that without constant growth, we will all perish.

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      Quick Hit: On Being Female and the Presumption of Pregnancy

      Last week, I turned 24 years old. I had assumed that this was a fairly unimportant milestone. I was past 21, but not quite at a quarter century. I like these types of birthdays because no one is harassing you to throw age specific parties that involve things that I dislike immensely. Well, I have discovered that I was terribly wrong. Turning 24 has placed me in the “legitimate” age range for having lots and lots of babies.

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      Quick Hits: The Cat and the Census Wars: Two Totally Unrelated Topics

      I. My Adopted Kitty

      As a favour to a friend, I am now the current temporary owner of a big black tom cat. A big black tom cat that never wants to let me sleep again. Ever. Said kitty likes to yowl starting at about four in the morning. He doesn’t want food (he has it), water (has that too), or even attention. He just wants my partner and I to be awake so he can talk to us because his favourite thing in the world is talking. And by talking, I mean yowling. Hence, my goal of getting out a post a day for a week got derailed due to severe kitty induced sleep deprivation. We’ve now engaged in a seemingly endless war of annoyance. He wakes me up and paws at my head; I squirt him with a spray bottle or forcefully cuddle him. Someone has to break soon! (And it will probably be me) In any case, enjoy a photo of an adorably cranky kitty that is wrapped up in a blanket.

      II. Census 2011: Today’s Events and What they Mean for Canada

      My last post about was about the Canadian census and my comments still stand. Thus far Statistics Canada has come out saying that the Conservative government twisted their words and that they never claimed that a voluntary long-form census could be an acceptable replacement for the mandatory long-form census. They counselled against such a change, however, we all know how well that turned out. Earlier this evening, the head statistician, Munir Sheikh, resigned. This was a statement to the effect that he felt that he could no longer carry out his duties in light of the current changes.

      The Globe and Mail released a rather good article on ten ways the changing of the census can affect the average Canadian. From public transport to hospitals to housing developments, the reformatting of the census will damage the information decisions about countless endeavours in Canada are based upon. Sheikh knew this, so did the other top statisticians and researchers in the country. Our government did not listen.

      However, what I fear the most is not the dearth of accurate information Canada will suddenly have on all manner of issues, even though I myself am a researcher. I fear that this is yet another example of Conservative bullying tactics which are slowly eating away at Canadian government. For the past several years, the Conservatives have been unilaterally pushing through legislation and major policy changes in Parliament. From crime bills to environmental regulations, the census and much much more, once the government has decided upon a course of action, it goes forth, regardless of what effects their choices may have on the country. Even if experts and Canadians rise up in anger, the Conservatives shove their decisions forward, threatening elections and deriding the anti-democratic House or the anti-Democratic Senate as the enemies of the nation and obstacles in the way of good governance. Evidence does not matter. Popular opinion does not matter. All that does matter is that their decisions and plans are followed through with. Getting rid of an effective census will help them continue with this behaviour. It means that their decisions can no longer be held to a set of non-biased national information. This move will delegitimise statistics and evidence-based research overall. It is a bad move for Canada and for the effectiveness of our governments at all levels of the nation, most of which have not even had a voice in this decision. The mandatory long-form census must remain intact and Canadians need to use their voices to announce that they will not put up with this type of bullying governance any longer.

      Quick Hits: Mother’s Day Musings, Toronto Pride Defunding and The Girl Effect

      I. Changes and Goals

      I am a content consumer. Possibly to the excess. Being a producer is rather hard for me, but it’s been a consistent goal of mine over the past while to alter this behaviour. I tend to write long, critical essays, but I think I need to start mixing it up if I ever hope to update more than every several months. Consequently, this post starts a series of “Quick Hits” which will feature news articles and short musings on whatever I happen to think needs attention in a given week. Hopefully this new format will help me achieve my goal of weekly updates.

      See below the cut for information and thoughts on Mother’s Day for non-traditional families, the recent defunding of Toronto Pride by the Conservative government, and a link to The Girl Effect, an amazing organisation dedicated to changing the world!

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