WiTOpoli Weekly: Friday, September 26

A roundup of some of the latest news in women, Toronto, and/or politics this week. What stories did you read this week? Tell us in the comments.

  • This week, Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam tweeted a photo of a threatening letter she received containing racist and homophobic slurs. Wong-Tam, who is Toronto Council’s only openly gay member, explained that she shared the letter publicly because “it’s very important for us to name it and try to change it”. A copy has also been sent to the police.
  • In response to a Canada Public Safety Report released this week on the effect of human trafficking on Aboriginal communities, rabble.ca published this opinion piece which provides useful background for the report and suggestions for how such studies can be improved.
  • In a recent Toronto Star column, writer Heather Mallick posed the question “Why can’t Canada build a feminist?“, after attending a reading by British feminist and author Caitlin Moran. The Canadian Twitterverse was critical of Mallick’s suggestion that Canada does not have an active feminist community, while some were disappointed Moran was invited to speak at the Toronto Reference Library, given the transphobic, ableist and racist comments she’s made in the past.
  • In two separate instances, Olivia Chow was confronted by racist comments during this week’s mayoral debates. She was told to go “back to China” by one attendee and referred to as “creeping jihad” by another protestor. Chow said comments such as these “point to bigger issues the city faces, including racial profiling”.
  • After groundbreaking Black female showrunner Shonda Rhimes was called an “angry black woman” in a recent New York Times piece, activist Janet Mock responded with this essay in honour of her favourite TV feminist, Claire Huxtable.
  • In response to Emma Watson’s UN speech on gender equality, some were impressed, some were inspired, and some folks had a few suggestions.
  • Oh, and you might’ve heard we launched a new election resource called the Position Primer, which provides issue-by-issue comparisons of council candidates’ views in each of Toronto’s 44 wards. Read all about it in the Toronto Star and CityNews, and help us spread the word!
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