Mostrando postagens de Março, 2010

Why the debate over the niqab is like the debate over prostitution

This week, Quebec passed Bill 94, which mandates that any government employee dispensing public services, or any citizen attempting to receive those services, must have his or her face uncovered. This bill, though written in general language, was targeted specifically at Muslim women who wear the niqab, a veil that covers the entire face with only a small hole to see out of.
Ask 10 different people what the justification for passing the bill is and you are likely to get at least 5 different answers, but there are two basic categories that the justifications fall into.
- If a person's face is covered, her identity can't be verified, and this is a security risk.
- The niqab is a form of male, paternalistic oppression, and we shouldn't allow it in our society any more than we allow men to beat their wives.
The first argument is rather easy to dismiss. If that were truly the concern, minor tweaks to existing policy are all that would be required. Police officers, for example, a…

Going to Europe

It's a dream coming true! This fall, Jon and I are moving to Europe for at least two years. I got accepted to a Marter's program in Theatre with a scholarship from the European Commission.

The program is called Master Conjoint Erasmus Mundus en Étude du Spectacle Vivant. I presented a proposal to study the history of women's roles and contributions to performing arts in Brazil, culminating with a piece based on the findings of my research.

I am very excited to study more in depth the partitipation of women in the performing arts in my home country. The idea came from an experience I recently had, teaching theatre to kids there.

I am very curious to bring to light works by women and about women that portray us in a less stereotipical way. I feel an urgent need to contribute to changing the mainstream focus on sexual objectification of women's bodies that is present in Brazil today.

Brazil has a rich folklore. I hope to get inspired by characters and stories from such p…

Dan Savage is a pretty cool dude

Dan Savage is widely known as the author of the advice column Savage Love, but he's also a very funny and engaging speaker.  I came across this video today:

I think he makes some really good points: we all decide to tolerate the flaws in our loved ones.  We might nag them about them and hope they change, or we might just stay quiet and deal with it to spare their feelings. But when you start thinking about those little things you hate as just the price of admission to a beautiful relationship, you can take a measure of joy in them instead of treating them as a burden.

Girls drink tea, not scotch...

I often hear comments about how feminists misinterpret innocent action for misogyny. Sometimes, though, it is impossible not to see how much my own friends can be chauvinistic macho douche bags.

Jack, one of my neighbors upstairs, loves sports (especially hockey) and we often go to his house when there are important events to watch. This was the case with the Olympic gold medal game for men's hockey this Sunday. It is especially pleasant to attend such events at his place because he is a brewer and usually offers his guests some of the best home brew available in Montreal. But I digress: the problem this time was not with Jack (even though he can sometimes have his share of macho attitude). The problem - as I put it - was surprisingly, with Aaron.

Aaron is my roommate. He is a lot of fun, he loves to play sports, he cooks well, he likes good music (he introduced me to M.Ward, for example) but sometimes he can be so clueless.

For the first Canadian goal celebration, there was scotc…