Defence lawyer pulls no punches in new memoir

Marie Henein is unapologetic and controversial, largely due to her defence of Jian Ghomeshi

Defence lawyer pulls no punches in new memoirIf you buy criminal defence lawyer Marie Henein’s new memoir hoping for the inside scoop on her high profile cases, you’ll be disappointed. Ethically, she considers those details off limits, confined there by the parameters of the lawyer-client relationship. However interesting the stories might be, Henein believes they aren’t hers to tell. They belong to…

Vandalizing Emily Murphy for no good reason

Was the icon of feminism really a racist?

Vandalizing Emily Murphy for no good reasonOh, dear, the statue-defacing vigilantes are at it again! One of the latest targets is erstwhile Canadian feminist icon Emily Murphy (no relation). Her Edmonton statue got the red paint treatment in mid-July. Predictably, the ‘racist’ epithet was deployed. Indeed, the National Post’s news story went beyond merely noting the racist allegation. It accepted it…

‘Invisible’ racism continues to haunt the world of academia

Undermining staff, students and faculty members who experience it

‘Invisible’ racism continues to haunt the world of academiaRacism is often too easily shrugged off as someone being “overly sensitive” or “misunderstanding” what was done or said. It’s that invisibility that makes systemic racism against Black people, Indigenous people and people of colour so difficult to dislodge at the institutional level in post-secondary schools – and so undermining of staff, students and faculty…

Canada’s divorce system discriminates against men

Federal Child Support Guidelines biased against men and need to be overhauled

Canada’s divorce system discriminates against menIf Christopher Sarlo is right, Canada’s Federal Child Support Guidelines are wrong. The economics professor at Nipissing University in North Bay, Ont., made an in-depth analysis of the guidelines and found them wanting. A 100-page examination leads him to one conclusion: the guidelines are biased against men and deserve an overhaul. Fights over money are…

Women bear the brunt of COVID-19 shutdowns

Women bear the brunt of COVID-19 shutdownsWomen across the world know a silent truth: they’re bearing the brunt of the pandemic’s economic fallout. These hectic months have placed an extra burden on women’s shoulders and persistent lockdowns threaten to erase decades of gender equality earned in the labour force. Although COVID-19 kills slightly more men than women, the labour market impact…

Domestic violence perpetrators, and victims, know no gender

Domestic violence, no matter the gender of the victim, is wrong

Domestic violence perpetrators, and victims, know no genderI remember being 12 years old when my stepfather scarred my face for the first time. He had graduated to his fists from his belt some time before, and while he usually confined himself to battering me between the waist and the shoulder blades, the non-visible portions of my anatomy, occasionally he lost control. This…

Time to stop feeling sorry for yourself

Victim stories negatively affect us and our attitude towards others and life, yet we all carry them around

Time to stop feeling sorry for yourselfAs much as we hate to admit it, we've probably all told victim stories. We've certainly had them told to us. It's time to banish them. The victim story is the one you auto-share that alerts everyone (including yourself) that you've been wronged by someone or some unfair situation. The telling (and retelling) confirms the need to feel…

In praise of all that masculinity has accomplished

We don't need to disparage masculinity in order to celebrate the qualities and contributions of women, or to encourage social equality of the genders

In praise of all that masculinity has accomplishedOne of brightest students in my university department was seriously intellectual and widely read, always taking an active and constructive part in seminars. The student was approached by two others who complained that the student took up too much space and time, and should step back. No professor ever advised such a thing to this…

Quebec bill shows a deep desire to push people around

Banning the wearing of religious clothing robs public servants of the right to make their own choices

Quebec bill shows a deep desire to push people aroundLegislative hearings on outlawing the wearing of religious clothing or symbols by specific Quebec public servants could easily be dismissed as proverbial lipstick on a pig.  In fact, they’re worse, much worse, than a skin-deep brush with porcine cosmetology. They are part of a calculated exploitation of the deep human spiritual need to push other…

Justin Trudeau has lost touch with the common Canadian

Canadians are concerned about jobs and the rising costs of combating climate change, not vague platitudes

Justin Trudeau has lost touch with the common Canadian“Hey buddy, your ‘sunny days’ Justin pal is looking pretty rough these days. I'm thinking we could see the Conservatives back in power come October.” My heart sank. I knew I was in for another heated dispute with my old friend Charlie, a diehard conservative if ever there was one. “First,” I replied, “Trudeau's not…

Wilson-Raybould’s next political home?

The former Liberal cabinet minister doesn't fit the Conservative mould, nor does she belong with the NDP. So how about the Green Party?

Wilson-Raybould’s next political home?On April 2, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tossed former cabinet ministers Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott from the Liberal caucus. Their cabinet resignations on principle and subsequent removal from caucus two months into the SNC-Lavalin controversy appear to be unprecedented in Canadian politics. Wilson-Raybould and Philpott haven’t determined what they’ll do next – or at…

What comes after multiculturalism?

Of all the alternatives that have been tried and rejected, nationalism seems like the best possibility

What comes after multiculturalism?You don’t have to be an anthropologist to understand that multiculturalism as the cohabitation of multiple distinct cultures is a non-starter. If ‘culture’ is understood in its simplest meaning, as a distinct way of life, then the idea of many distinct and mutually contradictory ways of life sharing the same space is obviously nonsensical. One…

Emotions and politics: the lessons of the Kavanaugh hearings

How are emotions mobilized in politics, for whom and by whom? And what normalizes the expression of these emotions?

Emotions and politics: the lessons of the Kavanaugh hearingsThe fallout from the confirmation of President Donald Trump’s U.S. Supreme Court pick, Brett Kavanaugh, riveted people on both sides of the border and provides ample evidence that feelings can become weaponized in politics to uphold white male privilege. In his blistering, scripted opening statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Kavanaugh performed the role of…

The gutter-low standards of academic journals

They don’t fact check. They don’t edit for clarity. They care nothing about meaning. And a trio of writers have exposed them

The gutter-low standards of academic journalsTo have somebody say you “write well in an academic context” is like being called the handsome one in an ugly contest. Academic writing has a bad reputation – a reputation it usually earns. Academic prose is dense, dry, formulaic, habitually bloated and often pretentious. By straining to look intelligent, the worst of it just…

Women hold 12% of company board positions in Alberta

That's up from 11 per cent in 2017 and eight per cent in 2014

Women hold 12% of company board positions in AlbertaA report by the Canadian Securities Administrators has found that women hold 12 per cent of board positions in Alberta, an increase from 11 per cent in 2017 and eight per cent in 2014. The CSA review included 143 TSX-listed Alberta-based companies. “We continue to highlight this information for issuers in the Alberta market as…

The right of women to choose their own futures

Saudi Arabia’s anti-women laws require a swift dose of economic freedom, and they’re not alone

The right of women to choose their own futuresThe Canada-Saudi Arabia diplomatic dispute appears to have calmed – for now – but the issue at the heart of the dispute remains. The dispute peaked in August after Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland tweeted her support for women’s rights activist Samar Badawi. That prompted Saudi Arabia to pull its students from Canadian colleges and universities…

Has feminism rejected fairness, truth and justice?

The feminist war against men isn't only against bad men. It’s a war is against all men

Has feminism rejected fairness, truth and justice?It’s become a regular experience in Canada and the United States for a man to be accused of sexual misconduct and for an almost immediate pile-on of haters adding every accusation the mind can imagine. Contemporary feminists have done a brilliant job in their war against men. Unsubstantiated accusations are treated as proven guilt. Due…

Worried about the alt-right? Be the anti-right

The best way to reduce the possibility of more alt-right-inspired violence is to confront its narratives head on

Worried about the alt-right? Be the anti-rightBy John Grant Western University and Fiona MacDonald University of the Fraser Valley One year since the violent alt-right rally in Charlottesville, Va., and months since the Toronto van attack, Canadians can legitimately worry about increased political violence. The images of angry white men marching openly in Nazi regalia loom large alongside the revelation that…

The rise of anti-male sexism and the corruption of feminism

Feminism today is simply a reversal of anti-female sexism. All males are reduced to a common set of evil characteristics

The rise of anti-male sexism and the corruption of feminismFeminism began as a challenge to male domination and female subordination. It could have become a champion of equality and the dignity of individuals. Unfortunately, contemporary feminism is not a liberation from sexism. It’s true that feminism rejects anti-female sexism. But in place of anti-female sexism, it doesn’t advocate gender-blind standards; it doesn’t advocate treating…

Time for #MeToo to shift to the #IRegret movement

The focus on consent has made men all over the world stop and think. Am I one of those men?

Time for #MeToo to shift to the #IRegret movementStrangely, this weird moment in history is a good time to be alive. I've been a feminist most of my adult life, at least since I realized power imbalances were rampant in present and past societies. After dedicating most of the 1990s and 2000s to fighting the good fight in the trenches, I burned out and left…

Movie musical Grease turns 40 this summer

Forty years after its release, the movie poses a conundrum for those disposed to view everything through an ideologically-tinted lens

Movie musical Grease turns 40 this summerBelieve it or not, the movie musical Grease turns 40 this summer. It’s no exaggeration to say that it took the 1978 box office by storm. Indeed, the radio-ubiquitous title song caught the mood of the moment perfectly: Grease is the word. Alas, the simple joys can never stay simple. In the fraught temper of…

The double standards of social justice ideology

Allocating and denying benefits on the basis of race undermines the integrity and the autonomy of individuals

The double standards of social justice ideologyWhat would the death of six million people look like in the Canadian population? A loss of that number would be equivalent to the annihilation of every person in Vancouver, Calgary, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, London and Halifax. Or the death of every person in British Columbia and Manitoba. For Canadians, such numbers are impossible to imagine.…

Pay equity laws alone won’t close the gap

Canadian families need affordable, accessible child care to effectively address gender equity issues

Pay equity laws alone won’t close the gapThere were a lot of old ghosts haunting the Liberal government when it tabled its budget on Feb. 27. But have these spectres brought change to women’s lives in the wake of the recent International Women’s Day? Not likely. The budget announced proactive pay equity for workers in federally regulated sectors (banking, communication, transportation, Crown…

Canada falling into the anti-Trump trap

As Canadians try desperately to prove we’re not Trump’s America, we make grievous social and political errors

Canada falling into the anti-Trump trapThe election of President Donald Trump in the United States is changing the political world in Canada. To his critics, Trump’s the worst of everything a human being can be. His detractors call him names that would have been considered extreme even for a president as divisive as Richard Nixon. According to his supporters, he…

Feel-good budget is fine, but don’t forget economic essentials

There are limits on what removing discrimination can do: fair taxation, fewer regulations and infrastructure should be the focus of the next federal budget

Feel-good budget is fine, but don’t forget economic essentialsI am a woman and I have faced discrimination. After I got my first degree, leading my university class in economics, I was told that a woman could never be considered for a man’s job. The job was market research. Quietly, confidentially, one on one, I was reminded that I was a married woman with…

Let’s stop gratuitously thrashing historical reputations

Emily Murphy should be celebrated for her accomplishments and how they changed Canadian society for the better, not reviled for her shortcomings

Let’s stop gratuitously thrashing historical reputationsDecades ago, I remember my father complaining about “the new fashion for debunking.” But imbued with the certainty of a university freshman, I wasn’t particularly sympathetic. In retrospect, though, he had a point. I was reminded of this the other day when I came across my research notes for a decade-old historical journal essay on…

The end of the sexual revolution, the start of a new awakening?

Justin Trudeau must set a new standard for sexual propriety in great part because his father dismantled traditional values

The end of the sexual revolution, the start of a new awakening?It feels like good fortune to watch this full circle moment when the son must grapple with what the father wrought. Mere weeks ago, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke emphatically about his insistence on proper conduct between the sexes on Parliament Hill and, by extension, among Canadians generally. While North America grapples with the newest…

Are women’s marches a step back?

Focusing on what’s right with gender dynamics rather than what’s wrong might produce better outcomes for women and girls

Are women’s marches a step back?Women’s marches were held around the world recently, with more than one million people taking to the streets to highlight the gap in gender equality. Their stated purpose is to get more people politically engaged. To that end, they’re no doubt working. But what if that goal comes at too high a cost? One that…

Dispelling the myth of rape culture on campus

The concept of rape culture was invented by feminists to tar all men with the brush of the worst of them

Dispelling the myth of rape culture on campusAccusations of rape made by students against other students or staff members have caused great concern in universities and beyond. Female students at McGill University, according to individual and in-class conversations, frame rape as a result of “rape culture.” But their definition of “rape culture” doesn’t fit with what’s usually meant by “culture.” In order…