As Mexico Appeases Trump, Migrants Bear the Brunt

United States (Conversation) – U.S. President Donald Trump’s politics of control and fear toward Mexico and other Latin American countries has resulted in serious consequences. In an effort to avoid a tariff of five percent that would rise gradually to 25 percent on all Mexican exports to the United States, Mexico agreed on the following measures to stop so-called illegal migration through its territory: 1) Secure the northern and southern borders with 21,500 soldiers from the newly established National Guard; 2) Strengthen efforts to deter, detain and deport “irregular migrants”;…

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The Long History of Gender Violence in Australia, and Why It Matters Today

Australia (Conversation) – In 2015, the Australian federal government proclaimed that violence against women had become a national crisis. Despite widespread social and economic advances in the status of women since the 1970s, including growing awareness and action around gender violence, its prevalence remains alarming. Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows that a third of all women in Australia have been assaulted physically and a fifth of all women have been assaulted sexually. In 2016, nearly a fifth of adult women also reported they had been sexually harassed in the…

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Mansplaining: New Solutions to a Tiresome Old Problem

World Wide (Conversation) – In 2008, author Rebecca Solnit’s now famous essay, Men Explain Things to Me, set off a firestorm. Though Solnit didn’t use the term “mansplaining,” the essay is credited with birthing the term that’s now part of regular parlance. Women (and other underrepresented groups such as people of colour and non-binary people) had finally found a way to articulate that phenomenon they routinely experienced, particularly at work. Men feel the need to explain something to a woman, even if the woman hasn’t asked for an explanation and…

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The Greening of Pot: Can Power-Hungry Cannabis Sector Turn Over a New Leaf?

North America (CK) – If you pass the goats grazing on the hillside, you’ve missed it. Up a long country driveway at a ranch-style farm house in Ancaster, Ontario, there’s no sign telling visitors they’ve arrived at Canada’s largest licensed producer of organic cannabis. Just a badminton net. “We’re trying to give it a Google-type feel,” says co-founder and VP of government affairs and social responsibility Ian Wilms on a tour of the grounds. “Employees keep asking if we’re going to start goat yoga soon.” Wilms, a former IBM exec and…

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The Question You Should Never Ask Women – Period

World Wide (Conversation) – Are you ever around women who seem frustrated, upset or irritated? Have you ever asked one of them if she was on her period or perhaps been tempted to inquire? Take it from me: Don’t. Presuming that female reproductive organs make women behave irrationally is rude and sexist. It also evokes the same unscientific beliefs that have always held women back. I’m a sociologist who researches the perils women experience on a daily basis simply for existing. In studying the systemic nature of sexism, I’ve learned…

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Getting Poorer While Working Harder: The ‘Cliff Effect’

United States (Conversation) – Forty percent of all working-age Americans sometimes struggle to pay their monthly bills. There is no place in the country where a family supported by one minimum-wage worker with a full-time job can live and afford a 2-bedroom apartment at the average fair-market rent. Given the pressure to earn enough to make ends meet, you would think that low-paid workers would be clamoring for raises. But this is not always the case. Because so many American jobs don’t earn enough to pay for food, housing and…

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Sexual Abuse Happens Online, Too – but Current Laws Leave Too Many Victims Unprotected

United Kingdom (Conversation) – People’s lives have been shattered by so-called “revenge porn”, upskirting, fake porn, sexual extortion and videos of sexual assaults and rape shared online. Victims and survivors can experience profound “social rupture” – a major devastation that drastically alters all aspects of their lives, as well as the lives of those who love and support them. And yet, despite greater public awareness and four new laws in the past five years, legislation is still failing to fully protect victims and provide access to justice. The law is…

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Majorities of Both US Veterans and Public Believe Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan ‘Not Worth Fighting’

United States (CD) – The majority of American veterans and members of the general public agreed in two new surveys that the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as the U.S. military campaign in Syria were all “not worth fighting.” The Pew Research Center, for the pair of polls published Wednesday, asked all respondents to consider the costs versus the benefits to the United States in their analysis of whether each conflict was worthwhile. Roughly two-thirds of both veterans and members of the public told Pew that the 2003 U.S. invasion…

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Jeffrey Epstein’s Arrest Is the Tip of the Iceberg: Human Trafficking Is the World’s Fastest Growing Crime

United States (Conversation) – Jeffrey Epstein, a powerfully connected American financier, is facing charges of sex trafficking, bringing underage girls as young as 14 years old into homes in various locations across the US. He reportedly had a network of more than 50 victims, and evidence against him included hundreds of lewd photographs of girls and young women. Accusations against high-profile people such as Epstein temporarily raise awareness of this significant human rights violation. But regardless of the outcome of this case, the ugly truth is this is just the…

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The Forgotten History of Segregated Swimming Pools and Amusement Parks

United States (Conversation) – Summers often bring a wave of childhood memories: lounging poolside, trips to the local amusement park, languid, steamy days at the beach. These nostalgic recollections, however, aren’t held by all Americans. Municipal swimming pools and urban amusement parks flourished in the 20th century. But too often, their success was based on the exclusion of African Americans. As a social historian who has written a book on segregated recreation, I have found that the history of recreational segregation is a largely forgotten one. But it has had…

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