WiTOPoli Weekly: Friday, November 14

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.

  • Canadians united on social media to protest the arrival of “pick-up artist”Julien Blanc and urge Canada’s immigration minister to block him from entering the country. Blanc, who sells “dating” seminars around the world for up to $2500 a class, teaches men how to violate women through physical and emotional abuse including choking, drugging their drinks, and “just grabbing” them. More than 2,300 Canadians have signed the petition, and the hashtag #KeepJulienBlancOutofCanada has been used by an additional 1,400 people. Canada’s Minister of Citizenship and Immigration responded to the social media campaign, saying that he is “looking at all options and will consider using every tool at our disposal to protect the rule of law on Canadian soil.”
  • Two very powerful Canadian women met for the first time on November 5 in Ottawa. Canada’s Health Minister Rona Ambrose met with 15-year-old activist RachelParent, who has been challenging Ms. Ambrose to discuss the labelling of genetically modified food for over a year. Despite warm sentiments expressed by both women, Ms. Ambrose subsequently stated that she will not be moving towards mandatory labelling as there is currently no scientific evidence that proves GMOs are unhealthy for Canadians. Meanwhile, Ms. Parent held her own press conference on Parliament Hill with MP Murray Rankin, who has introduced a motion for mandatory GMO labelling.
  • Torontonians are gearing up for this year’s What Makes A Man 2014: The White Ribbon Conference. The conference is a two-day discussion focused on redefining masculinity and creating a healthier idea of manhood. The conference will feature special guest Terry Crews, an actor, former NFL player, author of ‘Manhood’, and proud feminist, as well as talks related to Success, Mental Health, Start-Up Culture, Boyhood to Manhood, and Violence Against Women. Jian Ghomeshi, Julien Blanc, and the recent allegations of sexual harassment on Parliament Hill have together sparked a much-needed national conversation on rape culture; the What Makes A Man conference aims to translate this conversation into positive, widespread, and grassroots change.
  • Trigger Warning: Toronto women have been urged to stay safe and be cautious after an attempted abduction in Toronto’s Little Portugal neighbourhood. On Sunday November 9th, a 27-year-old woman was walking in the College Street and Brock Avenue area when a man grabbed her from behind and held a metal hacksaw to her neck. Fortunately two men nearby heard her screams and came to her aid, but police have yet to identify the suspect.
  • Toronto Life has released its annual list of Toronto’s 50 Most InfluentialPeople. There are 15 women included in the list of 50, which is a dismal 30%. Here’s hoping to at least a 50% representation next year, ladies.
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