Love, the admiration of others. The human expression of affection. The warm fuzzies you get when looking into the eyes of someone you care for.
These concepts are present in every part of the world. But the way we handle them changes along with the social and political landscape.
With the emergence of the gender wars started by second wave feminism, it’s more difficult than ever to know how to govern these feelings and interactions with others. With the rise of the “new woman,” and the fall of male protectors and providers, we’re all left wondering, What can be done to bridge the divide?
Kasari Govender, executive director of the Vancouver-based West Coast Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF), claims that cyberbullying has a “hugely disproportionate impact on women and girls” and should be called cyber misogyny.
LEAF claims that the female experience of cyberbullying differs in that women and girls are targeted “solely because of their gender.” The organization is lobbying for Canadian legislation barring the distribution of intimate images without the subject’s consent.
However, according to Daniel Therrien, Canada’s privacy commissioner, other provisions of the bill may expand police powers to an unconstitutional degree. In a statement from the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada regarding Bill C-13, Therrien stated that the commissioner’s office “was not consulted on the bill” and cited questions regarding the following issues:
• new investigative powers (including preservation orders) proposed by the bill and the thresholds for their use;
• the potentially large number of “public officers” who would be able to use these significant new powers; and
• a lack of accountability and reporting mechanisms to shed light on the use of new investigative powers.
The commissioner’s statement included the assertion that “We recognize that law enforcement authorities need up-to-date tools to fight online crime at a time of when technologies are changing rapidly, but this must be done in a way that respects Canadians’ fundamental right to privacy.”
LEAF’s statements infer that gender-targeted harassment does not happen to men and boys, yet the group goes on to describe homophobic and transphobic attacks on men, bullying that relies on gender for its substance. Also included in LEAF’s claim is the assertion that women and girls are more vulnerable to stalking and harassment online. That assertion is made without offering any evidence of protections men and boys have that women and girls don’t, or any specific vulnerability on the Internet for women and girls that is absent for men and boys. Instead, the group discusses revenge porn as a thing that happens only to women and girls.
There are revenge porn sites targeting both sexes. Sites like myex.com invite men and women alike to “submit your ex,” with the stipulation that there is zero tolerance for underage images, but records are not kept of the people who post: no emails, IP addresses, or other information.
There are also sites dedicated to women slandering their ex-boyfriends. It’s free to post a “review” of your ex-boyfriend by name on these sites. There is no vetting process for the information. Reportyourex.com, for instance, states in its FAQ that they do not verify the truth or accuracy of any user content. Some sites charge men named in their pages a fee to remove unverified, slanderous information. Others, like Reportyourex.com, do not charge but will not remove the information without a court order or a decision from an arbitrator.
LEAF’s assertion is also contradicted by boys’ reported experience of cyberbullying. There are numerous news articles about boys who have committed suicide over online humiliation or school bullying that included significant online attacks. Harassment leading to these boys’ suicides included ridicule targeting characteristics such as a handicap or sexuality to make them feel unaccepted, false inference or accusations of characteristics or behaviors to humiliate and shame them, statements of social rejection and exclusion, threats, hate speech, and suggestions of self-harm. In many cases the harassment came from classmates of both sexes, and in some it was initiated and led by girls.
Female perpetration is a factor completely overlooked in LEAF’s assertions. Online harassment is committed by girls and women against victims of both sexes, and in the U.S. there has even been an incident of a girl committing suicide due to bullying by a classmate’s mother. As with other forms of relational aggression, female bullies target the victim’s reputation, self-image, close relationships, and sense of belonging, often over slights or disagreements that are disproportionately small in comparison to the cruelty of their attacks.
The reasoning offered by LEAF is typical of the feminist habit of treating the same problem with the same impact and the same consequences as if it is more meaningful when it happens to women and girls than to men and boys. This is done by applying different modifiers or assertions to frame the same issues differently, depending on the sex of the victim or the perpetrator. Their support for Bill C-13 is support for infringing on the privacy of one impacted group for the purported defense of another.
Framing cyberbullying as a gendered problem is an irresponsible oversimplification of the phenomenon. LEAF does a great disservice to victims with that assertion, and Canadian lawmakers would do better for their constituents to opt for a more well-rounded, unbiased investigation before considering any legislation in response to their claims.
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Are you good enough to date Miley Cyrus?
It turns out that popstar Miley Cyrus has a heavy screening process in place for the men she dates. One that puts the actions of overprotective parents to shame.
“The men have to sign confidentiality agreements and allow a background check to be done before they even get to go on a first date. And they have to leave their cameras and phones at home,” a source told British magazine Heat.
“They then speak to one of her assistants, who runs through a pre-date briefing. They’re told not to bring gifts – especially not flowers – what colour to wear so it doesn’t clash with her outfit and what subjects are off-limits. They’re even given a list of things that would be good to speak about.”
But if that isn’t the height of insanity, you can be assured that it gets worse. Because not only is Miley Cyrus a control freak, but she’s also about as shallow as you’d expect. She reportedly has a thing for men with model good looks and six-packs.
“It’s putting everyone off, though. Guys rarely come back for a second date – one almost bailed before the first as he said it was like applying for a job,” the source claimed.
Though who could blame the guys that run away screaming? If these are the requirements for a first date, imagine going steady, or marriage for that matter. With these kinds of unrealistic expectations, one can expect her to be single for a very, very long time.
The death of Robin Williams
On August 11, 2014, Robin Williams was found dead in his home in Paradise Cay, near Tiburon, California. The circumstances surrounding his death has laid bare the very real problems of depression, addiction, and suicide. Despite this tragedy, he will be best remembered by the ways in which he made an impact on our lives.
He brought a smile to everyone he encountered. He devoted himself fully to whatever he did, be it acting or charity work. His death is a massive blow to those that grew up during the height of his career. But beneath his jovial facade was a man who was deeply troubled,
After two failed marriages, he was deep in debt and found himself in and out of rehab. Upon his death, he was in the early stages of Parkinson’s disease, and he frequently battled depression. Perhaps this is what is so painful for us. That a man who gave so much was so often in agony. When we’re honest, anytime would have been far too soon to lose such a talent. A man who brought others joy while battling his demons inside.
Kat’s guide to a healthy relationship
What makes a good relationship? This remains a puzzle that has confounded couples, psychologists, and daytime TV program shows for generations. And though many people have different ideas on what goes into a good relationship, I have a few based on personal experience and the experience of those around me.
1. Be Honest
Be honest with your partner in all things. Be tactful, but don’t demote your own feelings because you don’t want to hurt theirs. If you are truly unhappy with something, your partner needs to know. Your partner also needs to know when you are happy with the relationship.
2. Listen and Communicate
Always listen to your partner. You don’t have to agree with them, but listening and acknowledging them when they are being honest is important for healthy communication in a relationship. And you need to communicate back as well, and be honest.
3. Don’t try to change your partner.
You chose this person for who they are. You accepted them with all of their flaws. Don’t try to change them once the vows have been said. Bad habits like leaving the lights on or not hanging up the bath towel are minor things that everybody needs adjustment on. But don’t try to force your partner to like or dislike something just because you do, or limit their hobbies and ways of expression. Compromises can be made through listening/communication and being honest.
4. Never stop growing as a person
Too many people become lazy when they find a long-term partner. They think they don’t have to try any more. They become stagnant in their ways, stop trying to put their best foot forward, and forget about things like courtesy, basic nutrition, exercise, and hygiene. Always try to improve yourself as a person through education or experiences. Always try to look your best. Always try to impress your partner as if you two are still dating. Learn more about the other person’s hobbies, tastes, and interests, and be mindful of their need and feelings.
You need a healthy sex life with your partner in order to have a healthy relationship. Be honest about what your needs are and listen to your partner’s needs. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Toys and accessories can make it adventurous, and there is nothing wrong with a good porno if both of you are into it. Relax and have fun. It’s just the two of you in the bedroom … unless you mutually decide otherwise.
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