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Mid-Week Round Up: June 11

June 11th, 2015     by Caitlin Blennerhassett     Comments

Illustration: Erin McPhee

The Shameless Environmental Justice Issue is out! Check out Sheila’s editor’s letter here. and pick up a copy at your favourite local shop here.

We are happy to announce that our podcast, Shameless Talks, is now on iTunes! You can also listen to the first episode on our website here.

Upping the Anti and Shameless are at the Allied Media Conference in Detroit next week! Groups from the two publications will present on radical print media in the digital age, discussing the ways in which print media is still relevant while sharing practical tools of collective participation, radial research, editing, and sustaining a print publication for more than 10 years. Wish them luck!

Donna Anandakumar, a grade 12 student from Sir Wilfrid Laurier C.I. in Scarborough, Ont., has placed second in the Senior category of Passages Canada’s Imagine Culture Photo Contest. The contest encouraged youth aged 5-29 to explore issues of culture, identity, and immigration through photography. Passages Canada, a national storytelling program of Historica Canada invites newcomers and established Canadians to share their personal experiences of identity, heritage, and immigration, received more than 560 submissions. Anandakumar’s photo, “Divisions Destroyed” was inspired by a viewing of a dance show at a local festival says Donna, “Not only is Toronto home to countless ethnic groups, various religions and sexualities, but it proudly produces grand displays showcasing the identities of its citizens year-round.”

Andrea (Andy) Villaneuva, Kerin John, and Erin Dixon, three Toronto-area 18 year-olds have created Project Slut in an effort to change oppressive school-wide dress codes. The project was created in response to the ways in which they felt their local high school’s dress code policed young women’s bodies. Policies, enforced by faculty who would say things like “cover your bosom” and “it looks like you’re wearing lingerie” created an unsafe environment where peer-to-peer sexual harassment could be felt to be unwelcome and youth of colour, queer youth, and youth with larger bodies were disproportionately targeted. Project Slut has created a petition and an online campaign. Check out some of the critical points they raise in their petition:

“Dress codes impact many people. They have existed in schools since the colonial creation of Canada i.e. forcing Indigenous people to cut their hair and wear ‘civilized’ clothing.

We want to address the many ways that dress codes, and how they are interpreted, police diverse people.

  • Young women of color are told to dress respectfully aka. not ‘ghetto’ or ‘ratchet’.
  • Racialized male bodies are seen as automatic threats. Hat policies are disproportionately reinforced on young Black men who are stereotyped as ‘thugs’ and ‘criminals’.
  • ‘Fat’ bodies are told to cover up when wearing the same outfit that would pass as appropriate on a ‘thin’ body.
  • Trans and gender nonconforming folks are told to that their appearance makes others ‘uncomfortable’. They face comments that reinforce the gender binary ‘You should dress more like a boy’, ‘You’re confusing people’.

We want to end all forms of dress code policies so that everyone can learn in an inclusive environment.”

In April the Nova Scotia government changed the way it reimburses physicians for malpractice insurance. Although the fee for obstetricians to maintain insurance went up $30,000 the government has said it will only reimburse 2014 amounts, meaning doctors are on the hook for that increase. Of about 40 obstetricians in the province, nine are considering retirement, with several others thinking about leaving. Remaining physicians are working more shifts and taking on more clients from wider catchment areas. The cap on funding also makes it near impossible for the province to draw new hires or locums to cover gaps in care. This week there are no obstetricians to cover births at one hospital in the province and, with the government’s unwillingness to create more positions for midwives, Nova Scotians faces huge barriers to safe and effective maternity care.

Vicky Morinville, a Nova Scotia resident whose 14 year-old daughter was arrested this weekend while attempting to access help from the IWK Health Centre in Halifax in the midst of a mental health crisis, is speaking openly about mental health and barriers to care.

In honour of the fresh days of summer, here are five ways to practice yoga without giving in to the industry’s neo-colonialism.

Tags: activist report, body politics, gender, media savvy, mental health, news flash, recommended reading, youth

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