Posts by Anastasia Szakowski

  • In the Blog

    Before you vote, know what’s at stake

    April 21st, 2011     by Anastasia Szakowski     Comments

    Title inspired by this tweet from elsewise I wanted to write about the importance of voting with an open tone without any sneaky attempts to encourage people to vote a certain way, but I can’t. I can’t ask you just to get out and vote for whatever party you like because I am terribly afraid of what may happen to Canada if we elect a Conservative majority. Here are just a few reasons why: < ul> Well, the minority government … READ MORE

  • Web Features

    Choosing the Right Contraception For You

    March 30th, 2011     by Anastasia Szakowski     Comments

    Sexuality is an important part of human existence. It allows us to enjoy our bodies, interact with one another and, if we so choose, procreate. Sex is also present in our everyday realities and seems to “penetrate” every aspect of human life. However, like many things, sex comes with its own set of consequences and responsibilities. It can present you with outcomes which may seriously affect your well-being. Consequences, which can arise out of unprotected sex, … READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    Things that cause rape

    March 29th, 2011     by Anastasia Szakowski     Comments

    Today in signs I’d like to see more of, this gem from Buzzfeed: … READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    This Sunday: Wear your slut pride at SlutWalk

    March 29th, 2011     by Anastasia Szakowski     Comments

    Over the past few months, we’ve seen a victim-blaming renaissance in the pages and websites of many North American media outlets. From the New York Times blaming an 11-year-old girl for her gang rape to a Manitoba judge not jailing a rapist because the victim “wanted to party;” to punishing a school clerical worker for being in a porn film and disrespecting a young woman’s death by focusing on her being an escort—there is no … READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    First global report on the status of women in news media released

    March 24th, 2011     by Anastasia Szakowski     Comments

    The International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) has released their global report (found here) on the status of women in news media. Gathering information from 59 countries on women’s roles in decision-making and governing, the report found that women represent only a third (33.3%) of the full-time journalism workforce of the over 500 companies surveyed. Also from the report: …researchers found that 73% of the top management jobs are occupied by men compared to 27% occupied by women. … READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    It’s Misogyny Monday!

    March 21st, 2011     by Anastasia Szakowski     Comments

    It’s been a bad, bad Monday, rife with sex-worker hate and misrepresentation. (Credit to Norah .K. Murphy for coining Misogyny Monday). First, I read an extraordinary piece of bad journalism from the Toronto Star with the headline: “Body in Caledon identified as young escort.” In the story, the writer describes Kera Freeland, the victim, almost exclusively within the context of her being an escort—as if it was integral to reporting her death. In a most … READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    Recommended Reading: Raped in the U.S.A.

    March 11th, 2011     by Anastasia Szakowski     Comments

    I came across an excellent post by Amy Andronicus on the Texas gang-rape case that I think is a must-read in addition to the post on Shakesville. An excerpt: In what constitues a FOX-worthy example of editorializing “the news,” the journalist in question, James McKinley, chooses quotations only from those residents of the town who saw the victim as responsible for her own rape. The piece therefore emerges as an appallingly biased depiction of a rape … READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    Why International Women’s Day matters

    March 8th, 2011     by Anastasia Szakowski     Comments

    This morning I woke up to an unsurprisingly inaccurate column from Margaret Wente aimed at Western privileged women, in which she argues that “the war for women’s rights is over. And we won.” Right. She writes: People who persist in looking for systemic discrimination against women in (name your field here) seem more and more desperate. They might as well complain about discrimination against male kindergarten teachers. We are finally learning that equality can also mean … READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    No jail for rapist because victim “wanted to party”

    February 24th, 2011     by Anastasia Szakowski     Comments

    Yes. This is a real headline. A Manitoba judge ruled last week that a rapist won’t go to jail because “sex was in the air.” From The National Post: Rhodes and a friend met the 26-year-old woman and her girlfriend earlier that night outside of a bar under what the judge called “inviting circumstances.” Judge Dewar specifically noted the women were wearing tube tops with no bra, high heels and plenty of makeup. “They made their intentions … READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    Why I can’t ignore How to Raise a Boyfriend [Book Review]

    February 22nd, 2011     by Anastasia Szakowski     Comments

    If there is a book that can be accurately judged by its cover, it is How to Raise a Boyfriend by Rebecca Eckler. It’s a “humour/non-fiction” book offering “sound” relationship advice based on the idea that men are just like children, desperately in need of raising by women. If not the cover or its premise, surely we can judge it by its marketing. (An earnest quote from this video: “You have to disguise the nagging.”) Not … READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    On rape culture & the importance of staying angry

    February 17th, 2011     by Anastasia Szakowski     Comments

    Warning: This post is a minefield of triggers and anger-inducing facts, ideas, and links. I get told to shut up a lot. It isn’t always said with the words “shut up.” Sometimes it’s said in statements like “You’re too negative” or “You’re too passionate” or “You should just stop thinking about that.” I most often get told to shut up, in one way or another, when I’m “on about the rape culture.” I’ve coped with this … READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    On the anonymity of sex-crime accusers and Naomi Wolf

    January 5th, 2011     by Anastasia Szakowski     Comments

    The last time I wrote about the Assange case, I addressed media’s inability to separate the allegations against him and the work of WikiLeaks. I argued that while Assange has done good things (WikiLeaks), it is entirely possible that he is capable of not-so-good things (like rape). It was this reductionist thinking - and of course, the endless victim-blaming and fanatical apologism - that was bothering me the most about how the allegations are being … READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    WikiLeaks is important, but so is investigating rape

    December 16th, 2010     by Anastasia Szakowski     Comments

    Julian Assange, founder of whistle-blowing WikiLeaks, has been the subject of global controversy after his website released 1500 secret U.S. diplomatic cables to the public, igniting the rage of U.S. government, and media and earning praise from progressives arguing for transparency and truth. After the cables were released, it was reported that Assange had been accused of sexual assault by two different women. On August 31, Mashable reported that Swedish authorities had withdrawn their warrant for … READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    Too little, too late for the women of Zanzibar Tavern

    December 1st, 2010     by Anastasia Szakowski     Comments

    On November 24, Torontoist published “Meanwhile, Up on Zanzibar’s Roof,” a “history piece” by Edward Brown featuring 10 photos of female strippers taking their breaks on Zanzibar’s roof. (It is with reluctance that I link to this story, as I no longer want to drive traffic to Torontoist, but reading it may be necessary for context.) The faces of these women were visible and most of them were wearing lingerie. My initial reaction to these photos … READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    The Russell Williams trial reporting problem

    October 21st, 2010     by Anastasia Szakowski     Comments

    Warning: This post contains some of the graphic tweets I’ve been condemning to make a number of points. Be warned: they are terrible. Links may also be disturbing and/or not safe for work/school. This past week has been a horrible one for Canadian media. And when I say media, I mean all of it. The trial of serial rapist/murderer Russell Williams has finally come to a close. According to The Globe and Mail: Judge Scott sentenced Col. Williams … READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    On the “I like it” Facebook meme and breast cancer awareness

    October 6th, 2010     by Anastasia Szakowski     Comments

    A few weeks ago a message was forwarded to me on Facebook. It encouraged me to update my status with where I like to set my purse. The result would be “I like it on my kitchen table” or “I like it on the dresser.” Suggestive. But why would I do it? To put dirty thoughts into the heads of all my Facebook friends? Duh, to raise breast cancer awareness! Of course! Straight up, this meme … READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    In defence of the Bic “legs that beckon” razor ad

    September 21st, 2010     by Anastasia Szakowski     Comments

    I received a blog tip last week from Jenni Sager, who encouraged Shameless to shed some light on the Bic razor ad that was running in many Canadian cities. In the ad, a leggy 50s-pinup-style woman is bending over and shooting us a confident smile with the overarching slogan: “For legs that beckon.” Sager, upset by what she viewed as the objectification of women, launched a petition called “Women Aren’t Objects,” writing: When I saw these advertisements … READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    Gang-rape photos being shared on Facebook

    September 17th, 2010     by Anastasia Szakowski     Comments

    As I was writing an introductory post about how thrilled I am to be blogging for Shameless, I was overwhelmed with terrible news of gang-rape photos “going viral” on Facebook. According to the Globe and Mail, onlookers took photos of a drugged 16-year-old girl being raped by several men and boys at an outdoor rave east of Vancouver. The girl, who was conscious at the time, didn’t remember what happened until days later when she saw … READ MORE