Friday, January 23, 2009

Excellent!! ** Sigh **

Obama lifts ban on abortion funds.

Funding Increased for Hiway of Tears

"An investigative police team probing the murders or disappearances of 18 young women in northern B.C. has increased it budget to $3.6 million this year, up from $2.1 million spent in previous years, police announced Thursday."


Yesterday morning an 18 year old woman was attacked and sexually assaulted in Northeast Calgary. Police warn us:

Calgarians are advised to exercise caution when out alone, to
stay in busy, well-lit areas and to avoid dark, deserted

If you are suspicious of someone, trust your instincts.
Scream or use a personal emergency alarm to attract

It’s also advised Calgarians wait for transit or public
transportation with other people in a well-lit area.

But the Herald also suggests that Staff Sgt.Curtis Olson of the Calgary Police Service's sex crimes unit says "the harrowing incident should serve as a reminder for women to be extra cautious when they are alone."

Extra cautious when we're alone. I agree, and feeling safe just gets worse when we're not surrounded by leering strangers. But I sense a little bit of blaming the victim going on here. It's between the lines but it's there. How about waging a war on violence commited by men like this? How about railing against society's blind eye tolerance of this shit? Like releasing high-risk men from prison when they have refused to be rehabilitated? Like how my company didn't want to contribute to "fear" by posting the City Police's sketch of the man who raped a woman next to our building last year (and still hasn't been caught)?

I hope this young woman is able to find strength, healing, sweet dreams and renewal. My heart breaks apart for her.

Written Word for Nerd

Natalie Angier writes an important article on the new USA Administration's potential impact on women in science, In ‘Geek Chic’ and Obama, New Hope for Lifting Women in Science. An excerpt:

Surveying outcomes for 160,000 Ph.D. recipients across the United States, the researchers determined that 70 percent of male tenured professors were married with children, compared with only 44 percent of their tenured female colleagues. Twelve years or more after receiving their doctorates, tenured women were more than twice as likely as tenured men to be single and significantly more likely to be divorced. And lest all of this look like “personal choice,” when the researchers asked 8,700 faculty members in the University of California system about family and work issues, nearly 40 percent of the women agreed with the statement, “I had fewer children than I wanted,” compared with less than 20 percent of the men. The take-home message, Dr. Mason said in a telephone interview, is, “Men can have it all, but women can’t.”
Check out the work the Rosalind Franklin Society is doing for women in science.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Just Because


Event Notice

Calgary's Alliance to End Violence is hosting a workshop on Friday, January 23:

Violence Knows No Boundaries

The Alliance to End Violence is pleased to invite you to the launch of “Violence Knows No Boundaries” a manual on diverse cultural perspectives, legal resources and safety information on domestic violence for service providers.

We will be offering a full-day workshop on the manual with presenters: Naaz Bhatia with Tran-sitions Counselling and Michelle Papero with Calgary Legal Guidance.

The entire manual will not be covered. Registrants are asked to rank the following topics from one to five (most interested to least interested) upon registration so that we can best accommodate your professional needs. Please e-mail Barb Hill with your ranked topics.

-What women can do legally to protect themselves
-How family law intersects with domestic violence remedies
-Domestic violence and immigration issues
-Moving on from domestic violence, e.g. separation, divorce
-How the criminal justice process works

Free printed copies of the guide along with removable safety plans in nine languages will be available at the workshop.

All professional development opportunities and events are for professionals, teachers and students in the family and sexual violence sector only unless stated otherwise.

Rest in Peace Sandra Casey

My thoughts are with Sandra Casey's wife and friends this morning. Casey was killed on the weekend crossing the street on 10th Avenue in Calgary.

The driver of the vehicle didn't stop.

I find the music of Sigur Ros to be both devastatingly beautiful but ultimately comforting. May Deb Boniface, Sandra's wife, find healing. My utmost sympathies.