Thursday, November 29, 2007

Misogynistic Hatred for Hillary...

If you dislike a male politician, then there is something wrong with that particular politician. If you dislike a female politician then you often find something lacking in the entire female sex. This article in the Seattle Times talks about misogynistic hatred for Hillary Rodham Clinton on the internet. I vomitted a little in my mouth reading this article.

Facebook, popular with high-school and college students, has dozens of anti-Hillary groups, many of which take great delight in heaping abuse on Clinton as a woman, imagining her reduced to a subservient role, and visiting violence upon her.

One is "Hillary Clinton: Stop Running for President and Make Me a Sandwich," with more than 23,000 members and 2,200 "wall posts."

Another Facebook group, more temperate in tone and with about 13,000 members, is "Life's a bitch, why vote for one? Anti-Hillary '08."

Is this merely some adolescent "guys gone wild" (most but by no means all Hillary haters are male)? The rank rituals of the rec room revealed for the whole world to see?

The proprietors of the Facebook group "Hillary Clinton Shouldn't Run for President, She Should Just Run the Dishes," with 2,159 members, offer a pre-emptive disclaimer to offended visitors.

Daniel Jussaume, a 20-year-old junior at the University of Southern Maine, was not among the creators of "Just Run the Dishes." After he joined, however, he volunteered to chair its "Feminist Liberal Complaint Dept."

Is it so surprising that this is being tolerated? Let's remember one of the most evocative moments in the presidential race so far...

At a campaign meeting in South Carolina, a woman of patrician bearing asked Arizona Sen. John McCain, "How do we beat the bitch?"

A surprised McCain laughed along with the rest of the small crowd.

"That's an excellent question," McCain said after regaining his stride. He proceeded to explain why he could beat Clinton.

Viewed nearly 1 million times on YouTube in the week afterward, "How Do We Beat the Bitch" has entered the lore of the 2008 campaign, but with barely a hint of soul-searching.

"Can you imagine if that woman had said, 'How do we beat the "n-word"?' " asked Debbie Walsh, director of the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University's Eagleton Institute of Politics.

For McCain, or at least for those who think the nation might have benefited by examining why that woman felt so free to say what she did so publicly, "it was a terrible missed opportunity," Walsh said.

Thoughts readers? How can we make people see their own misogyny in a culture that seems to have accepted it as normal and allowable?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Arab Women Face Barriers in Politics....

Women around the world face barriers to participate in politics but the percentage of female participation is particularly low in the Middle East. The Daily Star from Lebanon has an interesting article that examines what women in that region have to deal with when entering political life. Here are the statistics:

The results of the recent elections in Morocco brought the debate on female political representation back into the political arena there. Only 34 women won seats in the legislature's lower chamber, compared to 35 in the previous elections, a mere 5 percent of all representatives.

In Turkey, women won 50 out of 550 seats in the Turkish Parliament. Although this is still only 9 percent of the total, it is an encouraging sign since the number of elected women more than doubled from the last parliamentary elections. This percentage of female representation is the second largest in the region after Iraq, where there are 70 women in the 275-member Iraqi Parliament.

These statistics are obviously terrible, but I think that the article is particularly insightful in its analysis of why this is the case:

Women are also often seen as less experienced in public affairs, and as a result, voters - both male and female - are less likely to vote for them. Consequently, women either refrain from running for political office or drop out early from a lack of local support. This usually helps explain why only a small number of female candidates run for public office. For example, of the 800 candidates in the October 27 Omani elections, only 25 were women.

In addition, there are other factors that serve as obstacles for women to run for political office. These include varying and often unsatisfactory levels of democracy, freedom of expression, pluralism, respect for diversity and open dialogue.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

UN Works to Eliminate Violence Against Women....

Well, it's about time that someone make this a priority! UNIFEM is launching an online petition to get people's signatures so that they can show governments around the world that this is a political priority. Please go sigh the petition!

UNITED NATIONS, Nov 26 (Reuters) - The United Nations women's agency launched a campaign on Monday backed by actress Nicole Kidman to gather signatures on an Internet petition rejecting violence against women and urging action to stop it.The launch of the petition titled "Say NO to violence against women," (, is part of a 16-day U.N.-backed campaign to raise awareness about the issue and urge governments to make eliminating such violence a priority.

Joanne Sandler, acting head of the U.N. Development Fund for Women, UNIFEM, said she hoped for hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of signatures to add weight to calls for concrete measures to be taken by governments.

Kidman, an Australian who is a goodwill ambassador for UNIFEM, did not attend the launch at U.N. headquarters but said in a statement she was among the first to sign, calling violence against women, "an appalling human rights violation."UNIFEM said statistics indicate that as many as one in three women will experience violence in her lifetime, whether it be domestic violence, genital mutilation, human trafficking or systematic rape in conflict zones. (Written by Claudia Parsons; editing by David Wiessler)

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Woman's weight becomes the isssue... agian

I was flipping through my guilty pleasure, People Magazine, which is usually my own one-way pass to completely turning off my mind. However, it wasn't the inane celebrity articles or fashion glorifications that stopped me short, but an ad for milk. Part of our generation like MTV and Rollerblades, the 'got milk?' campaign is a series of ads featuring well-known celebrities with milk mustaches. The theme is usually related to whatever the celebrity is well known for (i.e. milk helps the Williams sisters stay in top tennis form, and Sheryl Crow play music well). However, this particular ad has Grey's Anatomy star Sara Ramirez talking about how in "show business your figure, well, shows".

Poor Sara Ramirez. A talented actress and singer, she is known as the 'curvy one' on the hit show Grey's Anatomy. Recently, her character was dumped for the white, blond and thin Izzie (Katherine Heigel), during which much comparison of exterior was made throughout the story arc. This was not unexpected on the show, as we all know how Hollywood tends to treat its women. What bothered me is that the milk campaign decided to go the same route. The ad plays on the fact that Ms. Ramirez is on the the hit show, in which she plays a doctor, specifically a bone doctor. If I remember my grade two science correctly, milk may do something good for your bones. On relying heavily on fan's knowledge of the show (the tagline was 'Great anatomy') there was a chance here to play up the professional accomplishments of the character that Ms. Ramirez plays. Nope, this was a chance to showcase the fact that all eyes are on her weight at all times.

Friday, November 23, 2007

My Day at the Vancouver Sun...

I am incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity to job-shadow Valerie Casselton, Executive Editor of the Vancouver Sun on Thursday! As part of the Minerva Foundation's Follow a Leader Program, an initiative that pairs female 'emerging leaders' with female 'community leaders', I was able to be a fly on the wall at the Vancouver Sun's offices. The very gracious Ms. Casselton told me all about her job and included me in Sun editorial meetings where I got to see first hand how editorial decisions were made!

We also had an amazing 'power lunch' with national political columnist Barbara Yaffe, and Sports Editor Bev Wake, where we talked about women in the newsroom, discrimination that they experienced early in their careers, and feminism!

One of the most interesting experiences was talking to Sun Editor-in-Chief Patricia Graham, one of Canada's few female editor-in-chiefs, about feminism and the future and the history of the feminist movement. She had some fascinating stories to tell and we talked extensively about the biased coverage that female politicians sometimes receive.

Particularly interesting was a story that both Valerie and Patricia mentioned to me that truly put into context how I have felt about the need for women's voices in the media. Apparently, when a sexist headline was run accompanying the story of the success of a female politician, both took note of the sexism and proceeded, not only to point it out, but to insist that such an oversight not happen again. It is so incredibly gratifying to know that the people in power at the Sun are cognizant of such things and passionate about creating news free of the sexism that other news outlets are prone to.

I must say that I am deeply indebted to Ms. Casselton for her time and attentions, as well as, to Ms. Graham and all the other people at the Sun who showed me around and shared their time with me. I am also particularly grateful to the Minerva Foundation, who made this opportunity possible. I encourage you to look into the Minerva Foundation, which is a phenomenal organization and to consider applying for the Follow a Leader program in 2008!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

CONNECT Follow Up and Thank Yous!

Well, Antigone Magazine's CONNECT: A Woman's Networking Lunch was a great success! Thank you to everyone who participated, helped, attended, sponsored and supported our event!

The event specifically featured UBC groups that support women and we aspired to involve young women and men in these causes. Our goal was to get young women involved in political and social issues that affect them. We feel that it is crucial to facilitate connections between young women and groups that work for women. Approximately 100 students attended the lunch and were able to make important connections with women’s organizations and politicians in attendance. These connections will continue to make a difference for UBC women when CONNECT: A Women’s Online Network is launched in March.


Senator Jaffer
Deborah Meredith
Suzanne Anton (Vancouver City Councillor)
MP Don Bell (North Vancouver)
Kim Capri (Vancouver City Councillor)
Heather Deal (Vancouver City Councillor)
MP Suhk Dhaliwal (Newton-North Delta)
MP Ujjal Dosanjh (Vancouver South)
MP Hedy Fry (Vancouver Centre)
MLA Sue Hammell (Surrey-Green Timbers)
Judy Higginbotham (Surrey City Councillor)
MP Kevin Martin (Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca)
Joyce Murray. (Liberal Candidate)
Maxine Wilson (Coquitlam Mayor)
MLA Valerie Roddick

Women's Groups!

Canadian Women’s Voter’s Congress
Women’s and Gender Studies Undergraduate Association
BC Council for International Cooperation (BCCIC)
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)
Oxfam UBC
Grassroots Women
Womyn’s Centre
Vancouver Rape Relief
Pride UBC
The Safe Choices: Support and Education Program
Sexual Assault Support Centre
Vancouver Women’s Health Collective
Women Elders in Action (WE*ACT)
Women’s Enterprise Centre
Access & Diversity
Oxfam Vancouver


Women's and Gender Studies Undergraduate Association
Linda Reaume

Access and Diversity

Organizing Committee!

Kaitlin Blanchard Kristen Myres Sarina Rehal
Jillian Gordon Kat Sorfleet Kristina Welch
Kelly Lau April Tam
Amanda Reaume Joanna Chui

Thank you for your help and your support! If you're interested in subscribing ($12 for one year) or if you're interested in advertising in our magazine e-mail

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

CONNECT Lunch and Blog Hiatus

The CONNECT networking lunch was phenomenal! Thank you to all the fabulous people that attended and helped to organize the event! I will be doing a far more formal report from the event in the next week but I am currently back in Windsor to receive an award and taking advantage of this opportunity to spend quality time with the family... who I apparently love more than my loyal blog readers!

Apologies! It is not a matter of loving anyone more really, but I do get to communicate with them far less than with Antigone's readers. So, I guess this and the expected announcement of a super cool feminist art project will have to be put on hold until I get back to Vancouver... I'll give you a hint though... do you notice the new donate now button on the left? It may or may not have something to do with the cool feminist art project/fundraiser....

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

CONNECT Wrap-Up Party and Debriefing Announcement

Hello Antigone Readers!

The CONNECT wrap-up party and debriefing will be held Tuesday November 20th from 6-8 pm at Jillian's house. Address and directions will be emailed. To be included, please send a message to Thank you and see you Tuesday!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Antigone Magazine Featured in Windsor Paper...

Well, Antigone was featured in the below article printed in the Shoreline Week, a paper from my hometown in Windsor that I happened to have worked as a coop student for in high school! I'm going back home next week to accept and award and they were gracious enough to publish a little something about the work that I've been doing with Antigone.

For those who stumble upon this blog from that article, I wanted to include subscription information for the magazine if you are interested. If you e-mail I can also send you a sample copy of the magazine!

We hope that you will consider purchasing a subscription ($12 for one year). Thank you in advance for your support and your help in empowering young women politically. Please send questions about subscriptions to or cheques (made out to Antigone Magazine) and the below form to
Antigone Magazine
Box 61- 6138 SUB Boulevard
Vancouver, BC
V6T 1Z1

Please send in this info along with your subscription:
How you found out about Antigone Magazine or who referred you:

Reaume to receive Athena award
St. Anne grad founded magazine about women and politics in 2006

By Bill England

Amanda Reaume has enjoyed her Athena experience.The St. Anne High School graduate learned in March that she was one of three recipients of the Athena Scholarship Fund in Windsor.

The honour, which included a trip to Chicago to attend the 2007 Athena International Conference in April, will culminate on Nov. 16 when Reaume will be honoured at the eighth annual Athena Scholarship Luncheon.

“I’m really honoured to have been chosen,” she told Shoreline Week in a telephone interview from Vancouver on Monday. “It’s very exciting to be recognized for the work I have done in my community.”

Reaume will share the local award with University of Windsor student Catharine Dishke Hondzel and St. Clair College’s Antonietta Verardi. Selection criteria for the Athena scholarships, valued at $3,000 each, include community involvement, potential for leadership, demonstrated excellence, and academic standing.

Reaume, who completed her high school co-op program in journalism at Shoreline Week, founded Antigone Magazine in November 2006. Antigone is a semi-annual magazine focusing on women and politics. As founder and editor, Reaume has interviewed the likes of former Canadian prime minister Kim Campbell as well as federal Green Party leader Elizabeth May.

Although it was initially intended for students at University of British Columbia, where Reaume attends, the publication has expanded in its first year to include subscriptions from across Canada. Her work with Antigone has led to various activities and events in her community, including a networking luncheon this Friday at UBC.

“(It’s) all about connecting young women’s groups and causes,” she explained.“Because of funding cuts, women need to work together.”

Having graduated from the University of British Columbia with an English Honours degree, she is currently working on her Masters in English Literature. Her thesis, “Canadian Women’s Political Biographies”, will focus on the likes of Campbell, former Liberal MP Sheila Copps, and former federal NDP leader Audrey McLaughlin.

The local Athena Scholarship Luncheon will be held next Friday, Nov. 16 at St. Clair College for the Arts. A reception will begin at 11:30 a.m. The guest speaker will be former Michigan First Lady Paula Blanchard Stone.

If you are interested in attending, please call the Windsor & District Chamber of Commerce at 519-966-3696 or visit

Monday, November 5, 2007

CONNECT: A Woman's Networking Lunch - THIS FRIDAY!

Well, the blog will be on a bit of a hiatus this week as we prepare for our big event this Friday and for the release of the Fall edition of the magazine! We hope to see you at the CONNECT event!

Stay tuned next week for the announcement of a really cool feminist art project!

Dear Friend,

Please forward the information about this event to your networks and listservs! The women of Vancouver (and their allies) unite! We want to invite you to Antigone Magazine's and WILLA UBC's (Women Involved in Legislative Leadership Association)...

CONNECT: A Woman's Networking Lunch
Friday, November 9th, 2007
UBC's SUB Ballroom
FREE for UBC students and $7 for the public

The event will feature women's groups from UBC and across Vancouver, as well as, politicians who support women's issues. In attendence will be Adrienne Carr, MP Don Bell, MP Hedy Fry, Vancouver City Councillors Heather Deal and Kim Capri, Coquitlam Mayor Maxine Wilson and Liberal Candidate Joyce Murray. Members of the public can reserve their tickets today by e-mailing or calling 604-730-0264!

Celebrate Antigone Magazine's First Anniversary at the event and get the Fall issue of Antigone Magazine entitled 'Women World Leaders'. Antigone Magazine is a non-profit, non-partisan magazine about women and politics that started at UBC with the help of WILLA, but whihc has since expanded nationally. For more information about Antigone check out our blog at


Amanda Reaume
Antigone Magazine

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Apply for a Bursary for the Women's Campaign School!

This is a great opportunity! That I hope some of you will take up! The Canadian Women Voters Congress is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization, dedicated to encouraging all Canadian women to become strong, effective voices at all levels of government. Their purpose is to:
  • educate women about political and organizational systems
  • encourage women of all backgrounds and political persuasions to participate in the political process
  • encourage and inspire women to assume leadership roles

The Canadian Women Voters Congress is holding the Women's Campaign School, November 16-18, 2007. There are several bursaries available for women interesting in learning more about politics and ways to get involved. The bursary committee will be meeting on Saturday, November 3, so get your applications in!

For more information on the CWVC and the campaign school, visit: contact by e-mail: