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Female hip hop producers battle for their place

Battle of the Beatmakers is an annual competition in Toronto that showcases up-and-coming hip hop producers. Winners receive cash and prizes, as well as an opportunity to work with big names in the industry.

Thirty-two producers competed this year, including two women: LittleSister and EveKey.  This was the same number, and the same producers, who competed in last year’s Battle of the Beatmakers. After the show, Women’s Post caught up with the two producers to see how they felt about being the only women in the competition, and to talk about the gender disparity that continues to persist in the hip hop industry.

Both women emphasized the need to support each other in competition because of their status as female producers. “She is a very genuine soul and a good person,” LittleSister said of EveKey. “I want to give her support and show her I’ve got her back. There aren’t too many of us [females] in the industry. When it comes to relating to each other, it is more comfortable for girls to talk to each other so it’s nice.”

LittleSister did very well in the competition, making it to the semifinals before being eliminated by fellow contestant, C-Sharp. The judges were very supportive of both female producers and the crowd was immensely excited to see the women on stage.

By Kaeleigh Phillips
LittleSister Competing By Kaeleigh Phillips

At the same time, women are often marginalized in hip hop and it is challenging to climb the ladder to a position of power, such as the role of producer.

Despite the number of women within the music industry — artists, producers, engineers, songwriters, beat makers, managers, ect. — women are often still thought of as lesser than their male counterparts. “I think that across the board there are gender disparities in terms of the perception that the music industry and the hip hop industry is a ‘man’s world’ so women often have to work twice as hard to prove themselves,” says Priya Ramanujam, editor in chief of Urbanology, one of the lead sponsors of Battle of the Beatmakers.

Interestingly, both LittleSister and EveKey emphasized the positive support they receive in the industry as producers. “Working with male artists, they were more open to receiving female opinions,” EveKey said. “It seems they enjoy working with a female producer. It is a fresh perspective.” Oftentimes, being a producer puts a person in a position of power in hip hop and this dynamic helps to endow the two women with a sense of equality.

“Hip hop does marginalize, but it is changing,” LittleSister reiterated. “Women have power positions now. Women are on the forefront but behind the scenes as well. Other women like Wondergurl, Kid Sister, and Missy Elliot are helping to open up power positions. The business side is very different from the music side of the industry. If you want to make money, gender doesn’t matter.” She also noted there was one case where a male client made sexist remarks towards her, and let his pride get in the way or business.  She chose not to work with him again.

By Kaeleigh Phillips
EveKey at the Opera House By Kaeleigh Phillips

A study by Rana Emerson, a professor at the University of Texas, called “Where My Girls At?’ Negotiating Black Womanhood in Music Videos”* suggests that it is much easier for a woman to enter the industry into hip hop music when sponsored or associated with a man who is already established within it. Often, women have to choose whether to take the necessary partnership or to embark solo.

This was the choice that both EveKey and LittleSister faced—and they both decided to take their chances alone in the industry. “In general, it is difficult for a producer to come out on their own. It has to be built from the bottom up. Having male mentorship is a part of the way it is. It is about whether you want to choose to be on your own or not,” said LittleSister.

LittleSister in First Round By Kaeleigh Phillips
LittleSister in First Round By Kaeleigh Phillips

The choice to be an independent female producer in hip hop is a daunting one, but women like LittleSister and EveKey pave the way for others.

For young women trying to get into the industry, Ramanujam encourages them not to be afraid of the work. The more women who take the leap into hip hop and music production, the more others will be inspired to do so.

“Be prepared to be doubted and second guessed, to always have to prove yourself,” she says. “Again, this is not necessarily unique to hip-hop. But also remember that by taking the leap of faith and doing it, whether you know it or not, another young woman on the come up is watching, and may decide to follow in your footsteps because she sees another woman doing it. For me, that alone is worth what I go through.”

*With Files from hip hop enthusiast, Holly Jane

 

 

 

The women in cabinet: qualified and capable

The promise was kept: 15 of the 31 Members of Parliament (MP) chosen to serve on Justin Trudeau’s cabinet.

The swearing-in ceremony occurred Wednesday late morning, and was attended by over 3,500 members of the public. It was a historic affair, and not only because it was open to “regular” Canadians. It is the first time the Cabinet has been made up of an equal number of men and women.

During the election campaign, the newly sworn-in Prime Minister promised that half his cabinet will be formed of women. Since women make up over 50 per cent of the Canadian population, Trudeau argued they should be represented as such in government.

In 2015, it’s sad that a statement like this one had to be made into an election promise.

Over the last three days, there have been a number of columns written in the media arguing that the cabinet should be chosen as a meritocracy, and not by gender. It was enough to make me snort in my coffee. First of all, there are 50 female MPs to choose from in the Liberal Party, and all are qualified in some way seeming as they were elected by the people of Canada. Second of all, Cabinet appointments have always been political, and it’s naive to think of it any other way. The columns were, by the most part, written by male political pundits. The irony was not lost on me.

As of Wednesday, I firmly believe that these Cabinet positions were chosen based on merit, experience, and trust.

To prove it, here are the women chosen to represent the Liberal Government in the Cabinet and their qualifications:

Carolyn Bennett,
Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs

Carolyn_Bennett_at_podium-CropBennett was first elected to the House of Commons in the 1997 general election and  has been re-elected since. During the SARS outbreak, Bennett served as the first ever Minister of Public Health, where she set up the Public Health Agency of Canada. During the last four years, she has served as Critic for Aboriginal Affairs and Chair of the National Liberal Women’s Caucus.

 

Jody Wilson-Raybould,
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada.

Jody_Wilson-RaybouldAs a former crown prosecutor, treaty commissioner and Regional Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, Wilson-Raybould is more than qualified to hold this position. She has 10 years experience as an elected official, representing Indigenous people in British Columbia. Wilson-Raybould is the first Aboriginal person to hold this position.

 

Judy Foote,
Minister of Public Services & Procurement

downloadFoote has served as MP since 2008 and previously held the position of Liberal Whip and Deputy House Leader of the Opposition. She also spent 11 years in public service with the Newfoundland and Labrador House of Assembly, acting as Minister of Development and Rural Renewal, Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology, and Minister of Education.

 

Chrystia Freeland,
Minister of International Trade

200px-Chrystia_Freeland_-_India_Economic_Summit_2011Freeland is a former journalist who held editorial positions within the Financial Times, the Washington Post, The Economist, The Globe and Mail, and Thomson Reuters. She reported on business and global affairs from the United Kingdom, Eastern Europe, and Russia. Over the past year Freeland held the position of Liberal Critic for International Trade.

 

 

Jane Philpott,
Minister of Health

download (1)Before being elected into the House of Commons, Philpott served as Chief of the Department of Family Medicine at Markham Stouffville Hospital from 2008 to 2014. Before that she was a family physician. She was also an associate professor in the University of Toronto’s Department of Family and Community Medicine. Philpott is the founder of Give a Day to World Aids, which has raised over $4 million to help those affected by the disease in Africa.

 

Marie-Claude Bibeau,
Minister of International Development and La Francophonie

20151021KFI293_460A federal rookie, Bibeau has a lot of experience in community business and local politics. Before running for office, she worked at the Canadian International Development Agency in Ottawa, Montréal, Morocco and Benin, and in Africa. She is also a business owner of 15 years, has served on numerous museum boards, and held a position on the Compton revitalization committee.

 

Melanie Joly,
Minister of Canadian Heritage

10604730_10152619476411713_208595624510881686_oBefore getting into politics, Joly worked with two separate law firms in Montreal. She later moved to communications and founded of the party Le Vrai Changement pour Montréal. Joly is on a number of art and museum boards, including the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, the Governnor General’s Performing Arts Award and Business for the Arts.

 

 

Diane LeBouthillier,
Minister of National Revenue

4bQfs8VwLeBouthillier spent more then 23 years working with as a social worker at the Rocher Percé Health and Social Services Centre. She serves on the Board of Governors of Cégep de la Gaspésie et des Îles, and chairs the boards of directors of Réseau collectif Gaspésie Les Îles and Transport adapté et collectif des Anses.

 

 

Catherine McKenna,
Minister of Environment & Climate Change

027ce2bMcKenna is another rookie to the federal arena. She co-founded the executive director of Canadian Lawyers Abroad, a charitable organization based at the University of Ottawa, and was the executive director the Banff Forum, an organization that brings together young Canadians to discuss key public policy challenges. McKenna has also worked as a legal adviser for the UN in East Timor and in Indonesia.

 

MaryAnn Mihychuck,
Minister of Employment, Workforce Development & Labour.
CSa2-PfWcAECQWNMihychuck is a former member of the Manitoba Legislator and is the founder of both Women in Mining Canada and Women in Mining Manitoba. She was elected provincially in 1995, and has served for nine years, holding the positions of Minister of Industry, Trade, and Mines and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs. 

 

Maryam Monsef,
Minister for Democratic Institutions

-dCgAcvNMonsef has a truly colourful resume—she has worked for Trent University, Fleming College, Peterborough Economic Development, the Community Foundation of Greater Peterborough and the New Canadian Centre. She has represented Peterborough at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in New York City, and is a co-recipient of the YMCA’s Peace Medallion. Monsef is also the first Afghanistan-born MP appointed to the Cabinet.

 

Carla Qualtrough,
Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities
carla-qualtroughQualtrough is not only a successful lawyer, but a four-time world champion Paralympian. She chairs the BC Minister’s Council on Employment and Accessibility, and is an adjudicator with the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Tribunal. Qualtrough has also been President of the Canadian Paralympic Committee and Chair of the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada. She is on the Board of the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport, and Vice-Chair of the Delta Gymnastics Society.

 

Kirsty Duncan,
Minister of Science

DuncanKirsty_LibDuncan is a Canadian medical geographer. Until 2000, she taught meteorology, climatology, and climate change at the University of Windsor. She started studying influenza strains, an interest which led her to perform a ground survey in Longyearbyen, Norway. Duncan was also an adjunct professor teaching both medical geography at the University of Toronto and global environmental processes at Royal Roads University. She also served on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

 

Patty Hajdu,
Minister of Status of Women

Patty-Hajdu1-540x540New to politics, Hajdu was the executive director for Shelter House, Thunder Bay’s largest homeless shelter. For nine years, she worked with the Thunder Bay District Health Unit where she chaired the Drug Awareness Committee of Thunder Bay and authored the city’s Drug Strategy. In her free time, she volunteers as a board member with Alphacourt Mental Health Services and the Ontario Literacy Coalition.

 

Bardish Chagger,
Minister of Small Business & Tourism

BardishChagger-2-250x200Chagger has worked at the Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Centre, an organization that assists new Canadians as they transition into the community. In this role, she planned and coordinated events for the community, including the annual Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Festival. She was executive assistant to Hon. Andrew Telegdi, former MP. She was also a board member with the Workforce Planning Board of Waterloo, Wellington, Dufferin, and MT Space.

 

To all the naysayers and meritocracy-obsessed column writers, I see your point. How could any of these women be qualified for the positions they now hold?

All I have to say after today is this: Thank goodness our new Prime Minister rose above the commentary to create a cabinet that is actually representative of the population it works for. Thank goodness he saw the value and experience of the women who were elected into the House of Commons. And thank goodness he didn’t assume that men are more qualified than women to run this country.

And shame on those who thought anything different.

Tips for travelling alone as a woman

I spent the month of September travelling across Europe. I ate snails in Paris, rode a gondola in Venice, visited flower markets in Amsterdam, and walked through the colleges in Oxford. This was my first time travelling internationally, and I did so on my own.

There are a million articles out there about why travelling alone is something every woman should do. They cite the newfound confidence a woman can achieve and how much she’ll learn about herself.

At the same time, every article cites safety concerns—be careful when getting in a cab; don’t dress like a tourist (whatever that means); be aware of your handbag. Sometimes, its enough to frighten you. I know that before I left for my trip, my mother’s friends helpfully told us about all the times their daughters were pick-pocketed or attacked while abroad.

The Government of Canada even writes about how to safely travel as a woman. The page is called “Her Own Way” and begins by stating in a matter-of-fact manner that “Women travel for countless reasons, whether to discover new frontiers, pursue business opportunities, or simply to rest and relax – not unlike men.” Thanks for the clarification Ottawa.

While I may mock some of the information presented on this website, they do make a few valid points. For example, always do research before you travel to ensure there are no cultural differences you should be aware of, especially when it comes to gender. Accept the cultural practices of the country you are visiting—if women dress more conservatively in that country, it is polite to do so as well. Be safe when travelling in dark and lowly-populated areas. Only use legal forms of transportation.

Actually, a lot of those tips apply regardless of gender.

Some of the information, however, is a bit over the top. The Overseas Romance section explains that “while abroad, a foreign affair with a fairytale ending may be more than a flight of the imagination, but it may also be fraught with danger and disappointment.” I wonder if this would ever appear in a travel tips page for men. By the way, there is no “His Own Way” page posted by the Canadian Government.

I agree that women can be more vulnerable when they travel. I noticed that many of the pedlars and vendors at the tourist destinations I visited flocked towards women—single women in particular. They would yell “Hey, Lady Gaga!” as I walked by and would follow me or grab at my hands. Usually people back off if you make your intentions clear. Essentially, as long as you were cautious and aware of your surroundings, you were fine. Be smart and your travel experience will be amazing.

Here are some of my travelling tips:

1. Pack light: Pack only what you need, which I know is easier said than done. It’s better to have the freedom to bring items back home with you. I packed two dresses and that was enough to keep me comfortable on my evenings out. It also allowed me to buy a few items without going over my weight limit.

2. Do what you want to do: The best part of travelling on your own, regardless of your gender, is that you get the opportunity to do what you want, without having to compromise with your friends or colleagues. Take advantage of that and do as much as possible!

3. Take chances: Always try something that you’ve never done before. I like to think I developed a “never say no” mantra. Sadly, this mantra cost me a pretty penny, but it was worth it!

4. At the same time, make sure you are safe: It’s great to take risks and try things you’ve never done before. In fact, I encourage it. However, if that risk puts you in harms way or makes you uncomfortable, feel free to say no.

5. My final tip is to save up enough money to travel comfortably—because staying in hostels and participating in the “backpacking experience” is only exciting for the first week. After that, you’ll dream of a clean bathtub and room service. If you are going to travel—go big or stay home.

And, in case you were wondering: My two favourite destinations were the French Riviera and Oxford. Stay tuned for a post about those fantastic experiences.

The Women of the House

The bar was crowded last night—and it wasn’t because the Jays were playing. Instead, everyone was watching Peter Mansbridge count down the moments until the polls officially closed. The question on everyone’s mind: who would be the next Prime Minister of Canada?

The event I attended was hosted by Women in Toronto Politics, a non-partisan group that promotes inclusive political discourse. It was held at the Handlebar, a woman-owned bar near the Kensington Market in downtown Toronto. Over 100 women—and some men—spent their evening drinking party-designated beverages and discussing Canada’s political future. Was it a bright one? Should we be concerned?

By 9:45 p.m. the CBC had called a majority government for the Liberal Party, led by Justin Trudeau. There were a few cheers from the crowd, but mostly everyone was mesmerized by the local riding results skimming across the screen.

One thing was blatant by the end of the night: there were a fair number of women elected Monday night, but not quite enough.

Of the 338 seats in the House of Commons, 88 women will be representing the people of Canada.

Most consider this progress. Fourteen more women were elected this year compared to the previous federal election. At the same time, it only equates to about 26 per cent of the seats available. See the party breakdown below:

The event at Handlebar was called “Women are Watching” and was meant to act as a safe space for women and allies to discuss politics without fear of persecution. A lot of the women present had worked for their local MP, but wanted to be surrounded by like-minded people on election night. As the results rolled in, I could hear conversations bubbling about what this new government would mean for health care, child care, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and Islamophobia. Many were disappointed that women’s issues such as pay equity and employment were hardly discussed during the extraordinarily long campaign.

I spoke with Abby Plener, Communications Co-Lead for Women in Toronto Politics, who explained the importance of diversity when it comes to Canada’s elected representatives.

“It’s important our diverse population feel represented by politics and its leadership – this applies not just to women, but LGBTQ folks, people of colour, and people of diverse faiths and cultural backgrounds. However, when we talk about diversity in politics, its important to discuss not only how diverse our representatives are, but also whether the policies our representatives put forth are serving diverse groups.”

Spirits were high at the end of the night as the Conservative Party was pushed out of office after nine years of power. But, no one was under the illusion that this new government would be a miracle worker. As one of the attendees said as she watched the Liberal seats pile up: “it could be worse.”

Brrr! 3 Tips For Staying Warm In Your Chilly Office

It’s hard enough getting dressed in the morning. Choosing the perfect outfit can be tough, but the added worry of getting frostbite in your air conditioned office can make the process even more difficult. Opting for a sundress under the scorching heat may seem like the liable option, but when your sitting in your office, suddenly all you can think about are the thermals packed away at the back of your closet. That silk blouse that feels so soft and light against your skin? Yeah, probably not a good idea in the drafty confinements of your cubicle.

Worry not, ladies. We have got you.. err, will get you covered in no time! Try these tips on how to stay warm and stylish in the office and still keep cool during those sweaty trips home.

1. Daze in a Blaze

Beautiful and sophisticated look, Well-tailored blazer makes such a huge impact. Remove the blazer and switch up the accessories to go from day to night.

A blazer, that is.  There’s nothing like the woolen goodness of a blazer to keep you warm. Throw it on over a sleeveless dress to prevent you from getting goosebumps down your arm. Wear a light colour, such as the white one (pictured above), to keep you cool when you step outside. Now you can concentrate more on getting that report done and focus less on how nice it would be to sit under a palm tree on a warm, sunny beach in Aruba. Mmm….coconut water would be a nice addition to the office.

2. Opt for pants 

Boho. Love the look.... If I can ever find a pair of these pants that fit me right!!

Sometimes, you just need some fabric around your legs. The extra layer can be all you need to keep you from shivering during your meetings. Wearing a dress may look cute, but is definitely not ideal when the air conditioner is positioned right across from you. Opt for a printed pair like these to look trendy. The material is light, the fit is lose – – it’s the closest you’ll get to wearing pj’s to work! Besides, it also allows you to skip your shaving session for an extra day… we won’t tell if you won’t.

3. Accessorize with a scarf 

Adorable, especially the rolled-up sleeves on the tee.  Via:  What I Wore: Cobalt and Mint, Jessica Quirk, whatiwore.tumblr.com/

 

They come in all shapes and sizes, materials and patterns, and look good with any outfit! A scarf is a great way to add a bit of flare to your outfit and also acts as a barrier against the cold artic wind of the air conditioner. Whether you choose to wrap it around your neck or use it as shawl when you’re extra chilly, a scarf is an excellent option to keep you warm. Who says you have to wait until fall to rock them?

There you have it ladies. Have any tips on how to stay warm in the office? Let us know in the comments!

Stay warm!

Featured 

5 Books Every Woman Needs To Read

A list compiled from The Huffington Post‘s favourite choices, these books by women are just a few of the incredible titles published. They are some of the most-discussed, thought-provoking and life-changing books from a diverse group of women writers. From lighthearted memoirs to lifestyle reads, there’s a genre here for everyone.

Here are the top 5 books that all women should read:

1. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me by Mindy Kahling 

“Perhaps you want to know what Mindy thinks makes a great best friend (someone who will fill your prescription in the middle of the night), or what makes a great guy (one who is aware of all elderly people in any room at any time and acts accordingly), or what is the perfect amount of fame (so famous you can never get convicted of murder in a court of law), or how to maintain a trim figure (you will not find that information in these pages). If so, you’ve come to the right book, mostly!” – Good Reads

2. Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

“In sharing the gritty, heartbreaking details of her own experiences and unrealized desires — in showing us how, exactly, she is a ‘bad feminist’ — Gay reminds us what feminism can and should be: A space where women can realize their difference and their nuances.”

 

3. How Should A Person Be? By Sheila Heti 

“A raw, startling, genre-defying novel of friendship, sex, and love in the new millennium—a compulsive read that’s like ‘spending a day with your new best friend.'” — Bookforum

4. Bossy Pants by Tina Fey 

“Chapter after chapter, in a voice consistently recognizable as her own, Fey simply tells stories of her life: How a nerdy but self-confident half-Greek girl entered theatrical life (a wonderful community theater, lots of gay and lesbian friends), what Second City was like “back in the day” (cultish, hard, unbelievably fun), how ‘Saturday Night Live’ works (a chemical compound of Harvard grads and Improv people), what it’s like to be a woman in comedy (harder than you think but not as hard as coal mining) or to run your own show or to satirize a vice presidential candidate when she’s standing right backstage.”

5. The Beauty Myth: How Images Of Beauty Are Used Against Women By Naomi Wolf 

“If you have wasted even a minute of today worrying about the way your hair, breasts or thighs look, or about the wrinkles around your eyes, or whether your winter “wardrobe” is working for you … this book is for you.” – The Guardian

Feature Image

6 Looks to Try At Work This Summer

The sun is shining, the grass is growing, and the temperature is rising. Summer is here, ladies. So you may be finding it a little warm under that blazer for the next couple of months. Follow these quick tips on how to stay cool and still look fashionable for work this summer.

Sun’s Out, Gun’s Out
White sleeveless button-up and trousers. The perfect professional summer outfit.

 

After all those bicep curl ups at the gym during the long winter months, it’s finally time to show off those results. A sleeveless button up top like this one is professional yet comfortable for the summer heat. Pair it with nice, structured dress pants and take on a day at the office looking chic and tailored. Dress up the look with simple accessories or keep it effortlessly fabulous with a sleeked back up-do.

Maxi, Maybe? 

blue silk shirt and maxi skirtWho says maxi skirts are only for a day at the beach? With button down top, a stylish blouse, and a structured bag, you can bring street style into the office with some easy accessories. Be ladylike and powerful with this flowy piece. Play with different colour schemes and try out different looks as a maxi skirt is probably the most versatile item to look forward to this summer.

Pop Star 

black-women-in-fashion

 

Bring out the colour! Black blazers and grey sweaters are behind us now. Whether it’s a coral pink or a vibrant orange, a pop of colour can be all you need to transition your wardrobe from winter to summer. Don’t be afraid to wear bold shades and mix and match with prints and patterns. Why should you sacrifice fun summer fashion during your day at the office?

 

Classy and Sassy 

Love it- would add tights and a blazer for winter!

 

Channel your upper east side persona with this girly look. A bright coloured skirt and a neutral top is sophisticated and feminine. Have fun with your accessories and jazz up your outfit with some fun flats or heels. The trick to looking like you walked off the runway into the office is to wear your outfit with confidence.

 

Less is More 

7 plus size work clothes combinations you can copy - Page 6 of 7 - women-outfits.com

 

Dresses. They’re light, they’re airy, they’re effortless. Choose a structured dress or rock this flowy number with ease. Finish your look off with a statement necklace or a belt and strut your way down the halls in comfort. Dresses have a way of creating a stylish, feminine look with minimal effort. The best part; they can take your outfit from day to night with a quick change of shoes. (Don’t forget to leave your work at the office!)

 

Pretty in Palazzos 

BCBG pants, Aritzia Top, Zara Shoes - Spring 2013 www.minkandivory.com

Ladies, whatever you add to your summer wardrobe this year, make sure it includes palazzo pants! Here’s a little secret: they’re a little more comfortable than pajamas. Not only do they add some texture to your outfit, but they’re also incredible fashionable at the moment. Hot off the runways this season, palazzo pants can be worn with a simple button down top or a tshirt and blazer. The look will turn heads and you’ll be the most comfy you’ve ever been. Ever.

Work wear doesn’t have to be boring. With these tips, you can make be the powerhouse of your office in style. Be a top employer and fashion icon this summer! Good luck!

 

*All photos have been taken from Pinterest*

What if he were a she?

The media response to Leonardo Di Caprio recent appearance would have been much worse if he were a woman

Recently the trash tabloids reported that Leonardo Di Caprio was seen leaving a night club with 20 women in tow. Most of the reports pointed out how surrounding himself with vacuous faces was pathetic, but all seemed to take glee in his exploits. Imagine how much harsher the reports would be if  he  had been a she.

Take the statement below for example and replace his name with a woman the public sees as sweet and innocent – Anne Hathaway — and try to imagine the tabloid reaction.

Leonardo DiCaprio Anne Hathaway reportedly left a nightclub in Miami last night with 20 women in tow. The tone of the coverage of this mass exodus from the VIP room has been gleeful, fist pumping, and congratulatory.

anne-hathaway-ebola-fear

Had he been a she the tone of reporting would have been much harsher. If a woman were seen leaving a night club with 20 men in tow the narrative reporters would use would include words like, slutty, a tramp, or a woman desperate for attention. They might also throw that she was crazy, or not operating with a full deck

Why is it that we are still bogged down by these archaic social customs?

The answer is simply that the media has become little more than a microphone to broadcast our crudest and most spiteful responses to those who break with social customs. To expect more from these reporters is naïve and ignores the fact that our individual responses and standards are what should be questioned.

So the next time you read a gossip column telling you that a woman is slutty, crazy or both question the very notion of the words they have used to describe her and then shut down your computer, pick up a copy of Vagina by Naomi Wolf and read it.

LOVE & SEX: This guy made a documentary to find out if size really does matter

One thing is clear, Patrick Moote doesn’t have a lot of embarrassment left. After proposing to his girlfriend on a jumbotron at a sporting event and being turned down, being the subject of a documentary about small penises wouldn’t seem all that mortifying. The trailer for the film, Unhung Hero, follows protagonist Moote as he speaks to women, experts, and medical professionals about penis size.

His girlfriend turned him down apparently because he was lacking in the pants. While this is an awful reason to break up with someone, it has gotten under his skin to the point where he and film maker Brian Spitz traveled the world to find out the answer to the age old question: does size really matter?

 

 

Follow Women’s Post on Twitter at @WomensPost.

A year later

Tomorrow is our anniversary and I can’t help my desire to scream, “We made it!” at the top of my lungs. This is my first anniversary since the Big Ex in 2009 and the differences between then and now are staggering: four years ago I was afraid to tell the Big Ex that I loved him, four years ago on our anniversary the Big Ex was on a date with another woman and four years ago I couldn’t have told you that I was happy even if I thought I might have been.

Tomorrow Boyfriend and I are going for dinner and a movie, we’ll exchange gifts and we’ll fall asleep in what I can only assume will be a sweaty tangled mess. But the biggest difference of all is that I’m not afraid; I’m not afraid that making a big deal out of an anniversary will scare him off, I’m not afraid to tell him how much I love him and I’m not afraid to enjoy myself on a day that is meant to be enjoyed.

We’ve been through a lot this year: my mum’s illness, my work issues, the loss of his grandfather and six months of trying to figure out why I can barely keep food down. At this point we’ve been through some of the worst parts of life together and we’ve managed to come out smiling. I have never known the kind of support that I get from Boyfriend. As an adult child of divorce I’ve barely seen this kind of support outside of movies and TV shows; to be honest I didn’t even know that this kind of love was real, I just assumed that writers and directors were just really talented at creating loving worlds on paper and screen.

But after a year of experiencing love first hand I’ve come to realize that it isn’t all a fantasy, it takes a lot of work, a lot of practice and a lot of honesty. You have to be ready to share yourself fully, your fears, hopes, dreams and even (especially) the things you hate about yourself. Relationships aren’t easy, that was the part the writers got wrong, a big gesture won’t fix everything, there is no quick fix when things go wrong and you’ve got to really love yourself before anyone can love you. Some days I think it would be easier to walk through the world alone, as it’s a lot easier to lie to myself when the days get tough than it is to lie to Boyfriend.

But in the end finding someone who loves and appreciates you because of, not in spite of, your weird little quirks is the best feeling in the world. So what if I never wear matching socks or if I set my alarm clock in intervals of three or if I insist on calling penguins “pengins”? It’s all part of who I am and he loves me.

I couldn’t ask for a better partner in life and I hope that this is just the first of many more anniversaries.