Know Your Enemy

In the continuous struggle against gender based oppression, the media likes to present a black and white version of a story. It is far simpler, not to mention more comforting, when we can label good and evil and pit set heroes against set villains. Yet reality is far more complicated than the two warring camps of the enlightened…

Making Monsters

Silvio Berlusconi’s trial plays like a melodramatic soap opera. A powerful politician, lavish sex-fuelled parties, and an exotic foreigner with a shady past – the media couldn’t ask for a more sellable story. Indeed, Berlusconi’s trial has been splashed over newspapers and grabbed headlines worldwide since the scandal broke. Yet several aspects of the Berlusconi…

See No Evil – Why the Justice System Ignores Rape

Much has been said about the rape culture that exists in today’s society, without a full definition of what rape culture is. To many, it refers to the general acceptance of trivializing sexual violence, from the popular use of rape as a term of competitive jest (for example, “I totally raped that exam,”) or the…

Why We All Need to Stop Talking about Miley Cyrus

By now, everyone has seen – or heard so much about they might as well have seen – Miley Cyrus’ performance at the MTV Video Music Awards. While it would be easy to dismiss the flurry of subsequent outrage as an overreaction to a largely inconsequential matter, there are deeper implications at play. Miley’s performance has…

Violence Against Female Migrants

In a time of global upheaval, from economic catastrophes to devastating civil wars, the issue of immigration is gaining importance the world over. The UN reports that last year, there were an estimated 232 million migrants worldwide, a sharp increase from previous years. Additionally, the face of migration has morphed. While the typical image of a…

Suicide is Not a Story

The recent tragic Germanwings crash has, like many of spectacular suicides before it, hurtled the subjects of suicide and mental illness into the limelight. The horror we all feel for Andreas Lubitz and the 150 onboard is justified. Our repeated shock when confronted with suicide is less warranted. Suicide is an epidemic. Though we only…

The Truth about Ending Poverty

Over the past two decades, sweeping statements about our ability to end poverty have been common. Lyndon Johnson declared it in 1964. Thabo Mbeki in 2002. Tony Blair in 2005. More recently, Obama and U2 frontman Bono have attempted to inspire action by reiterating our capacity to make an impact and in April press conference,…

Satire is a Dangerous Business in Venezuela

With national elections looming, the health of Venezuelan democracy may depend on the freedom of opinion in the media—including the political cartoonists. A year ago, Rayma Suprani found herself facing up to 30 years imprisonment for threatening to undermine the Venezuelan government, and labelled one of a group of terrorists whose subversive activity was harmful…

What 40 Days of Dating Got Right about Millennial Relationships

Chances are you’ve heard of the social experiment 40 Days of Dating. Twentysomething friends Timothy Goodman and Jessica Walsh decided to spend 40 days attempting to create a functional relationship with each other, even though they were coming from opposite backgrounds: she’s a serial monogamist who’s continually rushed into love, and he’s a commitment-phobe who’s bounced from woman to woman. The two attended relationship counselling and set out clear…

Maternal Mortality: When Numbers Speak Volumes

The clinical nature of the term ‘maternal mortality’ makes the importance – and the humanity behind the concept – hard to fully grasp. It evokes images of statistics, of numbers and of distant percentage rankings that seem to have little to do with the women we know and meet. Yet, the issue of maternal health…

Mental Health and Women’s Health

Mental health has attracted little attention considering the huge size of the problem. Ranging from mild depression to major psychosis, it is estimated that one in four people suffer from a mental illness, and estimates from the World Health Organization state that around 400-500 million people worldwide are affected. Among sufferers, many go undiagnosed and…

Breast Cancer Outside the U.S.

During the month of October, the United States takes on a pink tinge — from magazines to college sororities to the NFL, it’s clear that there is little need to worry about breast cancer awareness. Thanks to the efforts of multiple organizations, public knowledge of the disease, which affects 1 in 8 American women, is…