Tag Archives: sexual harassment

3 Things About Valentine’s Day That Are Less Fun to Criticize Than 50 Shades of Grey

My Facebook feed has been peppered with articles about 50 Shades of Grey in the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day, and the discussion doesn’t seem to be stopping any time soon. I certainly do agree that the books and movie sound like they have some super abusive content, and that they might just signal a larger cultural problem that we aren’t deal with, but I also feel like they’re just a little too easy to criticize.

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Instead of preaching to the choir about the 50 Shades series, I plan to make us all feel guilty about the part of Valentine’s Day that is much harder to address: consumerism. This post will focus specifically on the three most common gifts associated with the holiday: flowers, chocolate, and jewelry.

1. Flowers

Did I ever tell you about the job I had picking flowers? It wasn’t actually as easy as it sounds.

The organization I worked for paid by the bundle. If you didn’t cut the stems long enough, or if you included any flowers that had already started to bloom, that bunch was thrown out and you wouldn’t get paid for it. At first, I kind of enjoyed the work. It was monotonous, so I had lots of time for thinking, and I loved being outside in the sun. Unfortunately, it wasn’t always sunny. When it rained my shoes would be sucked deep into the mud. Not to mention how being constantly bent-over made my back hurt. Often, at the end of the day, I would suddenly
realize that the money I made didn’t even equal out to minimum wage. As soon as I was able to get another job, I quit.

That experience was probably the first time I started to think about the history of flowers. Where did they come from? Who picked them? How far were they being shipped? Continue reading

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A Visual Reminder of What Sexual Harassment in the Workplace (Still) Looks Like

We’ve discussed sexual harassment a lot on this blog. My last post was on the hacked photos of Jennifer Lawrence, a public event that easily qualifies as sexual harassment. In the past I’ve discussed other forms of internet harassment, as well as the problem of sexual harassment in the work environment of female RCMP officers. Evan also touched on this issue in his article about how it’s being combatted at conventions, while Gordon recently wrote on the“Yes Means Yes” Bill meant to address sexual harassment on college campuses.

Obviously it’s an issue we all consider very important. That’s why it was so cool when we were recently contacted by a woman whose colleague had been doing research in the area of sexual harassment, specifically harassment in the workplace. She also offered us this infographic, the result of said research, to share with our readers. I hope you all will appreciate it as much as we do.

Courtesy of Frank Nicholas. Click the image itself to link to their site and a full article accompanying the infographic.

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Shame Day: Sexual Harassment, Corruption and Bullying in the RCMP

Before I begin this post, I want to be clear that I have the utmost respect for the individuals who put their lives on the line to protect their fellow Canadians. As we know from the recent Moncton shootings, working for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) can be dangerous and, sometimes, devastating work.

Unfortunately, the RCMP is also a fallible organization. No matter how great intentions may be, things are bound to go wrong when there isn’t enough accountability. Lately the media and the RCMP itself have been looking into just what can and has been going wrong. It’s pretty disconcerting, and I’ve outlined three of the major issues for you below. Continue reading

Culture War Correspondence: 4th Wave Feminism

GORDON: Ladies and gentlemen, last week, I kinda volunteered a discussion topic which Kat has graciously decided to roll with. Today, we’re going to be talking about feminism- where we stand now, and with an increasing number of people claiming that feminism’s work is done- what we’d like to see next on the agenda.

KAT: So perhaps we should start be establishing what the first three waves of feminism have accomplished.

You are probably all familiar with the fact that the first wave fought for (and won) the right for the vote.

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Shame Day: Taylor Swift, Charles Z., and The Internet

Exactly one week ago I was browsing imgur and saw that 4chan was up to its old tricks again. To break this down and provide some context as quickly as possible, 4chan, as defined by Urban Dictionary:

you have just entered the very heart, soul, and life force of the internet. this is a place beyond sanity, wild and untamed. there is nothing new here. “new” content on 4chan is not found; it is created from old material. every interesting, offensive, shocking, or debate inspiring topic youve seen elsewhere has been posted here ad infinitum. we are the reason for “not safe for work”. we are the anonymous army. cross us and you will fail. anonymous is everywhere. you depend on us every day. we bag your groceries, we fix your computers. anonymous sees you before you see him. sitting at desks around the world right now is a nameless, faceless, unforgiving mafia composed of the best of the best.

For anyone who doubts the ability of the users of this site to get things done, allow me to direct you to the winner of TIME Magazine‘s  2009 Most Influential Person of the Year, Christopher Poole, a.k.a. moot, a.k.a. the founder of 4chan. As a little icing on the cake, you can check out what happened to nominees 2 to 21. Continue reading

Fame Day: CONvergence and Generally Respecting Others

This may shock you, but I’ve only ever been to one “comic-con.” I’m not counting the three or so times I attended the Toronto Comic and Arts Festival, since it doesn’t really adhere as much to the stereotype of what such conventions typically are [or at the very least what people imagine them to be]. Namely: cosplayers as far as the eye can see.

cosplay [October 31, 2006 Urban Word of the Day]: Literally “Costume Play.” Dressing up and pretending to be a fictional character (usually a sci-fi, comic book, or anime character).

And people are going to dress up like whatever characters they want, like Power Girl and Lady Deadpool, seen below:

The girl on the left is cosplayer Ardella, and this image was taken from her Facebook page.

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2 Broke Girls, S2E19 “And the Temporary Distraction”: A TV Review

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I’m not going to lie, I’ve been infinitely grateful for the two week break CBS decided to give the show; working had made it hard to write these on Monday nights. It couldn’t have come at a better time, either, since last episode worked great as a sort of midseason finale, the opportunity for the show to head in vastly different and mysterious directions.

Open up on the diner, Max cracking wise about Han’s sexuality. Enter the character who is making the diner’s manager feel strange things in the downstairs department, the androgynous-looking lesbian Max has dubbed “Tina the Turner” due to her penchant for converting straight girls. Caroline scoffs at her co-waitress’ warnings and teenage boys the world over hold their breath.

Then they let out a sigh of disappointment, because all Caroline does is unconsciously give up her number before we cut to opening credits.

The next morning both girls wake up and Max lets her roommate know that her old temp agency calls. This elicits Caroline lamenting their fall from being small business owners,  but we all know where this is headed. Some inconsequential Sophie-and-Oleg-burst-into-their-apartment shenanigans later and the two are in an office talking to a delightfully deadpan office drudge. The way she answers questions with “Lemme give you a f’instance” is pretty darn funny.

They watch a sexual harassment video which will be a key plot point later.

As you may have guessed, the conflict of the episode presents itself when Caroline turns out to be a person who actually does her work instead of watching funny cat videos, and is legitimately interested in advancing at the company, filling out an application for a Junior Executive Position. This worries Max, who has been baking cupcakes to make a little extra cash at the diner, and clearly hasn’t completely given up on their dream.

Caroline nabs the position in a really quick back and forth of “YES’s” and “NO’s” between Max, Caroline, Office Manager Eli Green, and some dude named Ryan [I mean Leon]. For some reason her promotion is reason for champagne, which leads me to believe that this is a company with money to spare. Caroline talks to the boss and gets Max the position of Junior Executive’s Executive Assistant.

Max ultimately declines, pretty upset that Caroline quite the cupcake biz. After hearing her excuse that their dream blew up in their face, she asserts that “Lots of things blow up in your face, that’s part of being a woman.” I felt like this was somehow weirdly sexist, until Max continued on and I realized it was an ejaculation joke. Then I knew it was weirdly sexist. End on emotional note with them talking about whether or not cupcakes were the actual temp job, and that maybe it’s good not to have a dream.

Then Max gets Caroline fired by claiming that she sexually harassed her, which puts her on my list of horrible television characters. The scene leads to some laughs, such as Caroline’s explanation that “[they] were drinking and [she] was pretending to be a man,” but ultimately left me wondering why Max was being awful. Her excuse ends up being that Caroline forgot her dream, and that even if she’s not down with starting up the business again she should at least wait before jumping at the first opportunity that comes along.

We end with Caroline declaring [to cupcake-withdrawal sufferer Sophie] that they are back in business. Max declares that they’re doing things differently this time, but doesn’t explain how.

I guess it’s time for a plot hole paragraph. To begin with, how has Caroline not gotten a job in an office prior to this? Yes, her father was convicted of embezzling, but she still went to Wharton, “the most comprehensive source of business knowledge in the world.” She’s got the qualifications to land far better than a temp job, and we have to wonder why, before chasing the dream of Max’s Homemade Cupcakes became a thing, she wasn’t scouring offices all over NYC for a business position. It’s something that she clearly has a passion for, and it made me really think about how what Max did was a pretty big dick-move.

To end with, the final tally lies at $5.00, which I suppose we’re supposed to assume is from the cupcakes they’re selling at the diner. It’s also a 500% increase in funds, the largest financial jump the show has ever had, considering the last episode left them with a single dollar. The fact that the show has decided to have the two girls continue pursuing their cupcake shop dream was a pretty big letdown for me; the last episode set them up to do anything and this episode informed us we’re be back to more of the same. I understand that they don’t want to be waiting tables forever, but how about trying something new?

I was genuinely excited for 2 Broke Girls to come back, even if I wasn’t relishing writing these reviews [my Monday nights have been so free!]. Max and Caroline have returned to pursuing a dream I though they’d shelved when a car crashed into their storefront, and I guess the last five episodes of the season will reveal whether or not this new-old direction was the right one.

Stray Observations:

  • Max keeps her Temping Blazer in a big red bucket.
  • Caroline’s really embracing the “Broke Girl” lifestyle, talking about turning her underwear inside out instead of washing it and drinking way-too-old iced coffee.
  • Audience continues to mistake Sophie for Kramer.
  • Han is rapidly becoming one of my favourite characters on the show, with a fairly long speech addressing Caroline’s comment about wanting a workplace where her skills are valued and supported:

“Oh, are you not feeling supported here? I’m sorry, I’m a boss, not a bra. Should I praise you more? ‘Really killing it with the leaning on the counter doing nothing.’ Kudos, Caroline! Huzzah!”

  • Office Manager Eli Green displays some fairly obvious gay mannerisms, but is apparently straight judging by his admission to being accused of sexual harassment coupled with his desire to obtain one of Max’s butt photocopies.
  • 2 Broke Girls Cheesecake Menu: Got some skimpy morning wear on the nubile Ms. Channing; Caroline rubs at Max’s breasts after she spills some champagne on her good bucket blazer.