Let’s be feminist in public

Tell us how to empower the next generation of feminists

This is from our weekly Discourse newsletter. Make sure to share it and subscribe here.


The Girl Guides of Canada might consider creating a new badge after releasing a study this week that found girls are twice as likely than boys to say they’ve experienced sexism. Girls as young as 10 years old said they noticed gender inequality in their lives. Seems too young to be true?

Here’s what some of the girls surveyed had to say:

“Girls [are] forced to re-do things in school because [the] teacher didn’t believe they did it better/faster than the boys. [They] thought the girls had cheated because there was no way the girls could do better than the boys.”

“Boys who couldn’t play hockey as good as me got picked for better teams.”

“I do not have the same opportunity to attend competitive swimming meets as the boys on our swim team.”

But this quote said by 15-year-old Sophie Bezanson, a Girl Guides National Youth Council Member, really got me in the feelings:

“Although I advocate for women’s rights, I sometimes find it difficult to do this openly in a public setting because people will often make comments such as: ‘men matter too,’ etc. and give loads of backlash. I am afraid of being criticized for advocating for women’s rights or called names by men who believe in double standards and by boys who do not value girls. I hope to one day see the change in society where I will be comfortable calling myself a feminist in public.”

Are we creating a world where 15 year olds are afraid to be feminists?

I’m asking you: What do you want Sophie to know? Do you know of groups that help kids grow in spaces where it is safe to be any gender?

Email me and I’ll share your responses in our next newsletter so the next generation of feminists can hear us.

Let’s be feminists in public.

Did you hear?

Spotlight

Discourse CEO Erin Millar shares the stage with SheEO founder Vicki Saunders and other SheEO entrepreneurs on March 5, 2018, in in Toronto, Ont.

Here’s one way to empower the next generation of feminists: invest in feminist leaders in business. There’s one week left to become a SheEO Activator by investing $1,100 in women-led companies as an act of radical generosity. The Discourse was selected by the SheEO network of investors last year to receive funding and support, and we can’t say enough about the positive impact these powerful women have had on our company. Plus, SheEO is launching a program for entrepreneurial girls in grades 10-12 in Ontario high schools! Get involved.

Updates from our Scarborough team

#ScarboroughSoWhite? Only if you look at who was elected to Toronto city council to represent Scarborough in Monday’s municipal elections. In a community where people of colour make up 73 per cent of the population, reporter Aparita Bhandari looked at how changing the ward’s boundaries could have made it harder to bring diversity to city council.  

Not only does Toronto’s new city council lack representation, voters also handed a white nationalist — who ran on a platform that stoked racial tensions — third place the city’s mayoral race (she only got 25,667 votes, but still). Similar frustrations over a lack of diversity on city councils were raised this week in in Ottawa and Vancouver after their municipal elections.

Maybe the country should take a page from Peterborough, Ont. and Coquitlam, B.C.?

Updates from our Cowichan team

Our weed puns in last week’s newsletter inspired reader Rick Bryan to share some thoughts on Cowichan reporter Jacqueline Ronson’s coverage of their local water referendum: Jacqueline “doesn’t just go with the flow,” he wrote, “she leads the way with her current analysis of our need for sane water-resource management, channeling our thoughts as we drift toward the polls. I hope The Discourse continues to maintain this stream of quality reporting. And puns.”

Thanks Rick! 🙂

Jacqueline also took on the housing referendum in the Cowichan Valley through a thorough (if pun-free) fact-check of some of the claims being shared on social media.

If you want to follow more corny jokes and solid journalism sign up here.  [end]

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