BLOG #2: Women in the Class Struggle

Often routinely ignored, the class struggle needs to be recognized as a feminist issue. In our capitalist society, the drawbacks of our current system, classism and sexism are interlinked. From the denial of basic human rights to all, to women and particularly women of colour facing higher rates of poverty than, of course, men but even white women, to “women’s work” being undervalued and underpaid (McKelle, 2014), feminism needs to address the consequences and setbacks capitalism and the oppression of the working classes have on everyone specially women, and women across every ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender expression, etc. However, due to various reasons, we are hesitant to take the necessary steps to ensure class AND women’s liberation.

For example, on a exclusively Marxist perspective, women’s battles come from capitalist oppression rather than male domination, which are obviously not mutually exclusive and actually work together to keep women in subordination. In mainstream feminist positions, middle class white women, who have seem to make themselves the face of the movement despite historical and current evidence of the major weightlifting by women of colour, working class women, etc.,   refuse to acknowledge classism as a pressing issue, or something to be addressed at all, for it upholds the status quo which middle and upper classes benefit from. I make the case that feminism and anti-capitalist movements (reformists and revolutionaries alike) need to consider the present issues, if they want to claim any semblance of a motivation for the liberation for all.

Freedom is not freedom until everyone is free, and this goal will ultimately only be achieved if we reach a consensus where classism, sexism, racism and all the other systems of oppression are addressed as problems with intersections that truly affect the lives of people at home and around the globe. In order to do so, we must organize communities, elect representatives (amongst other ways) and overall fight back against the systems that ignore us. Before we can do this, we need a firm basis of feminist theory that includes ALL INTERSECTIONS of the female and feminine experience, and make such theory accessible to all.











In the past, men were considered as the family providers leaving the women to take  responsibility over most household and domestic tasks. For the most part, women settled into their performative roles and did what society expected of them. They were expected to primarily take charge over chores such as cooking, cleaning and child care while the men went to work to financially support their family. For a long time, this reinforced the man’s traditional position as the head of the family. Recently, women have fought to earn better education as well as their place in the workforce opening doors to multiple fields for future generations of females to choose from. Although society has progressed to lessen segregation of women in certain occupations, there is still a clear gender gap of females and males in engineering to technology programs.

After doing some research, I found out that there were multiple reasons for the lack of female presence in engineering or technology programs. Despite the advances made in recent years, women are still less likely to choose a career in areas such as; engineering, mathematics and computer science. This stands in contrast to nearly all other fields of study, where women now represent the vast majority of graduates, for instance, in health and social science programs. One of the main reasons for the lack of female interest in these kinds of programs is the fact that society has been socially biased deeming these fields as masculine and underestimating the aptitudes and abilities of girls. Society has made a prejudice against women in science fields as less competent than men unless they exceed expectations. These stereotypes planted in our brains by societal norms are not only false but they also create a negative impact by putting limits of girl’s aspirations and by affecting the motivation and willingness of women to continue their education in technology or engineering programs since they tend to get discouraged quicker. Another reason women show a lack of interest in these fields ,because sexism is still heavily present in engineering or technology related jobs. Women work just as hard as men but get paid less , are often looked down upon and rarely get recognition for their achievements. All in all, science and technology fields are less appealing to women because professional success has been masculinized setting a tough standard for women to reach and because they aren’t treated with equity. 

Although the gender gap within technology and engineering programs is quite big, there are solutions that can encourage women to gain interest in these fields. For instance, in Montreal, Concordia University’s “Women In Engineering ” student group visits high schools and colleges to join engineering programs by talking about their fields or job and bringing awareness to younger women and encouraging them to join engineering programs. “Women In Engineering” gives younger generations of females a role model to look up to or aspire to become. Not only that but it also sends the message that women can do anything just as well as men can despite the common belief that girls are inferior to men when it comes to math and science related work fields. McGill University has a similar organization that also aims to bring awareness to younger women called “POWE”. ETS  even offers “ETS Scholarships for Women in Engineering ” to encourage women to continue their education in engineering. To sum it up, schools have been coming up with ways to gain for women in engineering and technology programs by exposing young women to the idea and by assuring that their education is paid for.


4 Main Reasons Why There Is a Lack of Women in STEM, Vitor Silva, 4/29/19,

Why are there so few women in STEM?, WGU, July 1 2019,

Female engineering students work to be the role models they didn’t have, CBC, Elysha Enos, March 8 2017,

Promoting Opportunities for Women in Engineering, McGill,


Blog 2: Women and pornography

Speaking upon the subject of porn may be a category not many are comfortable to talk about, especially when it comes to women. However, many of us frequently hold a gender bias when we ponder about porn. For instance, when we think about the actors in the “film” many of us automatically think about women. On the other hand, when we think about the “viewers” we are more likely to think about men. Many studies have shown, including Dr. Brenner Grant (FAPA) researches, that men view pornography more often than women, which is usually no surprise. Studies have also shown, that the age group of men who view porn the most are between the ages of 18-25 year old. However, it is sill fairly common that women report watching porn, sometimes it could be due to social standards that not many women are open to talk abut their use of porn.

It is often no surprise that porn exposes naked bodies to the viewers and especially for women the bodies of the porn stars can have an effect on how they feel about their own bodies. There is sort of a subconscious pressure on women to have such a “perfect body” in order to “please” the men. When it comes to porn women have always been regarded as sexual beings, which is quite frustrating to see a whole website based on the sexualizing of a women. Surely, when it comes to pornography women performers tend to be younger-looking, having larger breasts, perfectly groomed pubic hair, etc. Moreover, based on dozens of researches the most viewed categories on porn for men are large breasts, young, and MILF which stands for “Mother I’d like to f*” and a MILF’s are usually defined as sexually attractive older women.

In a society, that already puts a lot of pressure on women to be physically attractive based on the beauty standards of society, pornography plays a huge role in it as well that not many or aware of. The more concerning part would be that porn websites such as PornHub is 4th on the list of the most viewed websites, right after Wikipedia, Netflix and Amazon (excluding all social medias). Also, the fact that there are so many young viewers on pornography websites, can have a great effect on shaping the views of society when it comes to sexuality and relationships.


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Blog # 2: Puberty Shame

We all know and talk about how one of the worst things that can happen to a woman is slut-shaming. However, if we go back a little, it turns out, this is not the first time a woman will feel shame. Boys and girls pass through changes in their life that we call now “puberty”. Boys start to have deeper voices, their bodies grow more mature, they start to have a mustache and soon enough a beard. All a boy can think about is that “he is starting to become a man” and suddenly gain a lot of confidence in himself. On the other hand, girls start to have bigger breasts, their bodies start to shape more, they start to have their period and that is one of the first times a woman feels ashamed. Their confidence fades away and they feel ashamed about their body transformation.

We can see, in a woman’s journey, she has to go through a lot of shame. And the first one is “puberty shame”. Along with all the transition and development in their bodies, there comes an enormous humiliation. It happens around the age of 14, girls start to lose confidence, which can have a lot of negative effects on them. The absence of confidence can inhibit risk-taking, perseverance and certainly reaching their full potential. CLAIRE SHIPMAN, KATTY KAY and JILLELLYN RILEY ‘The Atlantic’ covers had a survey for their latest book and made it with the help of Ypulse. The girls surveyed were asked to rate their confidence on a scale of 0 to 10, and from the ages of 8 to 14, the average of girls’ responses fell from approximately 8.5 to 6, a drop-off of 30 percent.

It is really shocking how puberty hits differently for a male compared to a female. Boys start fooling around acting like men and describing themselves as strong and fearless however girls start questioning themselves ‘am I pretty enough?’, ‘am I smart enough?’, ‘will people accept and love me for who I truly am?” and many more things that induce shame about what is happening to them.

In my perspective, puberty is what defines a girl, a woman. It is the beauty of their transformation, it is what makes them who they have become. There is absolutely no reason to be ashamed, on the contrary they have to embrace it. 

In conclusion, not a lot of people know exactly how it feels to be a teenage girl and all the transformations that happen to them physically and mentally. It is one of the most important phases in a woman’s life. She most likely experiences a lot during this period of time, unfortunately, shame takes a big part. Not many people talk about “puberty shame” which makes it unknown. But it is certainly an important topic to discuss, and that is why I chose to do some research and write about it.


-The 4 Times A Woman Is Mostly Likely To Experience Shame In Her Life

-How Puberty Kills Girls’ Confidence

-puberty for girls is difficult enough without added shame

Blog 2: Pro-Choice or Pro-Life

Generally, people who identify as pro-choice believe that everyone has the basic human right to decide when and whether to have children. When you say you’re pro-choice you’re telling people that you believe it’s ok for them to have the right to choose to abort the child as an option for an unplanned pregnancy although you wouldn’t choose abortion for yourself. The majority of people who are pro-choice believe that the are no babies being killed during this procedure which tends to occur during the first trimester of pregnancy. 

Contrarly to pro-choice, some people do not believe in giving pregnant women a option. Those who oppose abortion often call themselves pro-life. However, the only life many of them are concerned with is the life of the fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus. They are much less concerned about the life of women who have unintended pregnancies or the welfare of children after they’re born. They believe that every child should be born without taking into consideration the opinion of the bearer. The majority of pro-life arguments consist of believing that people are aborting fully formed children.

No woman should be forced to carry out an unwanted pregnancy. People are forced into late-term abortions because of the delays imposed on them by the pro-life crowd. A big majority of the time, making abortions illegal does little to no effect on reducing abortions it only makes them deadlier, with over 68000 female deaths per year and over 5,000,000 women permanently disabled annually due to back-alley abortions(2009, Haddad).



   Haddad, L. B., & Nour, N. M. (2009). Unsafe abortion: unnecessary maternal mortality. Reviews in obstetrics & gynecology2(2), 122–126.

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Blog 2: Gender and Sexuality Double Standards

In today’s society, certain rules and principles have been unfairly placed on different groups of people. We call these double standards (Salazar, 2018, para 2). They have shaped our society’s ideas on what is acceptable and what is not as well as created the expectations we have on certain people simply based on the group they belong to. Double standards can have numerous negative effects on society as numerous people end up accepting them even though they can be harmful to a group of people (Salazar, 2018, para 3). One of the most common types of double standards we encounter in today’s society is based on gender and sexuality. These standards have existed for a long time and it is now that people are trying to no longer follow them (Jasmine, 2015, para 1). There has been a lot of debate around the topic of double standards, some people wondering which sex had it rougher. Others wondered if moving forward our society will be able to drop these double standards or if they are too fundamental to the survival of the society as they are built into the core of it (Jasmine, 2015, para 1). 

Sexual conduct for men and women are perceived very differently, which is a great example of double standards. In fact, men are praised and rewarded for having sex with a female. As opposed to women who are shamed and stigmatized for having sex with a male. Also, women who have many sexual partners are shamed and stigmatized, whereas men who have many sexual partners are praised (Kreager & Staff, 2009, para 1). Men will be seen as champions and women as sluts for having the same sexual behavior (Lakrits, 2019, para 6). Women still do not have equal pay for equal work, which is a big problem and a double standard saying that men are better workers than women (Lakrits, 2019, para 3). In the workplace, women are treated very differently than men. Women will often be perceived as a secretary of some sort. Assertive women will be considered as being “bossy” and “mean”, whereas if a man is being assertive, he will not be considered as such (Lakrits, 2019, para 8). For parenting, fathers will often be praised for being a good dad and taking care of their kids. On the other hand, women will receive the same amount of praise as they are expected to take care of their kids by society. In fact, a 1998 study, showed that fathers received more praised than mothers for parenting (Lakrits, 2019, para 16). Unfortunately, there are multiple more double standards on women that can lead them to be perceived negatively and to be treated unequally compared to men.

There are also double standards of men that affect both men and women. Women that want to cuddle are perceived as affectionate because they are often stereotyped as delicate and sweet individuals. However, if men want to cuddle, they will be perceived as needy as they are stereotyped as being strong and unemotional (Greene, 2015, para 6). A married woman without a job will be considered as a caretaker and a homemaker, whereas a man without a job will be considered as a failure because he is not “providing” for his family financially, which is what he is expected to do stereotypically by the society (Greene, 2015, para 7). A male who cries will be perceived as being weak and fragile. As opposed to a woman that cries. She will be perceived as being sad and close to her feelings (Greene, 2015, para 11). Many other double standards on men negatively affect both men and women.

In conclusion, these gender and sexuality double standards are based on stereotypes and expectations that society has on sex.


Greene, M. (2015, May 18). 7 Double Standards that Hurt Men (and Women). The Good Men Project. Retrieved from

Jasmine, S. (2015, December 14). Gender Double Standards The College Perspective. odyssey. Retrieved from

Kreager, D. A., & Staff, J. (2009). THE SEXUAL DOUBLE STANDARD AND ADOLESCENT PEER ACCEPTANCE. Social psychology quarterly, 72(2), 143–164. doi:10.1177/019027250907200205

Lakritz, T. (2019, January 18). 11 surprising double standards that still exist for women in the US. INSIDER. Retrieved from

Salazar, D. (2018, May 21). Double Standards Are Plaguing Our Society What and how are double standards hurting our society?. odyssey. Retrieved from

Written by William Romero-Muskus

Blog 2 : Abortion for Women

We all know that abortion is a sensitive subject to discuss. Some people are against the act and some would do it without hesitation. It is often a debate because many people reject the act . For them , the act of ending a pregnancy is inhuman even if rape occurred.A young lady that decides to have sex with a boy needs to accept her consequences and go through the whole pregnancy because aborting is killing . On the opposite , these people think about the women getting rape and having to deal with a baby or just it being an accident. Abortion is not a criminal act in Canada like in other countries.As it is a right that every women have ,it is also a very controversial political issue in our country . Although , some think that just because it is easy to be accessed .

Abortion has been legal in Canada since 1998, which hasn’t been that long . Even today , some politicians still try to remove this legal right that women should be able to do .  Our health care system failed to give women the easy access to abortion . If you don’t live outside of big urban centers like Toronto , Montreal and Vancouver , accessing the procedure can be really hard. In Canada , abortion services are insured in all provinces but some provinces have placed limits on funding it .  For example ,  Ontario does not fund abortions at every clinic .This should not be the case . Everyone that takes the decision of wanting to get an abortion , should not struggle to get it .

In conclusion, abortion   is a right that every women should  be able to do if they want to because it is their choice , as well as their body . No law should ever ban abortion or make it harder to access . Abortion should be easy to get for every women .It is a problem in our society that keeps being judged because  so many are against it.

***I’m not judging people who are pro-life”****


Kaposy,C . ” Improving abortion access In Canada”.Journal Article – research.Retrieved from : 

Cummins , C. “Decades later , abortions in Canada are still hard to get”. Policy Opinions.2019 .Retrieved from

Blog 2: Colonization and Global Homophobia

Homophobia is a global issue that is still widely prevalent around the world. Many places criminalize homosexuality due to the fear, intolerance, and hatred surrounding this marginalized group. But how has homophobia become such a wide spread and global issue, and has it always been this way? There is no singular answer to this complex topic but homophobia become a commonly adopted global conception largely because of colonization. 

Pre-colonization, many indigenous communities and African and Asian countries generally accepted homosexuality in ancient times, with some proof going back at least 4000 years in Egypt. In pre-colonial Africa, same-sex relationships can be shown in ethnographic evidence. Later, the European Penal Code system was forcefully implemented and this code criminalized homosexuality. There is also proof of openness towards same sex relations in ancient China within the history of the most famous dynasties dating back thousands of years. Mainstream homophobia made rise in the early Republic of China because of Westernization efforts.

Today, in 71 countries, there and regulations that deem same-sex relations illegal and over half of these countries have been under British colonial rule. British rule is the reason that almost all of these countries have inherited the outlawing of same-sex relations and around 49 of these former British colonies criminalize homosexuality today.

All this being said, it is important to recognize that homophobia was not an inherit or global trait and many post-colonial indigenous communities had functioning progressive societies that were inclusive towards homosexuality and different genders. It is also interesting to see how many of the countries around the world that still have serious homophobic issues are the ones that have been inclusive of same-sex relations post-colonialism.


Kalende, Val. “Africa: Homophobia Is a Legacy of Colonialism.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 30 Apr. 2014,

Kang, Wenqing. Obsession: male same-sex relations in China, 1900-1950, Hong Kong University Press. Page 3 (

Westcott, Ben. “The Homophobic Legacy of the British Empire.” CNN, Cable News Network, 12 Sept. 2018,

Blog 2: The Construction of Gender

Remember when we were in kindergarten having fun and playing with toys. The little girls would play with a baby doll or a kitchen set. On the other hand, the boys played together with their toy trucks and Lego. We can see that from a really small age we learned that men and women are separated. In other words, we learned it because gender is socially and culturally constructed. Everyone has their roles and different expectation according to their gender because of society. For instance, if a woman plays with a toy truck it would be seen as not right or she is “not girly enough”. The same thing goes for men. Why is it wrong for a boy to play with a toy doll? It was not our choice to assign different roles according to our gender. Our parents, family members, friends, religious beliefs and traditions are the ones who taught and constructed it in our minds (Macalo, 2019, para. 3).

In addition, there is a difference between gender and sex. Our sex is biological, it is what we are born with, but gender is what is the psychological, social or cultural (Adam, 2001, para. 5). This means a person can be whomever they want, but our gender is what is stopping us to do so. Many cultures around the world have their way of how they perceive gender. For example, the Mohave Natives of the United States of America have not only two genders, but four. They have male, female, alyha (male who lives as a woman) and hawme (female who lives as a man) (Blackwood, 1984, p. 28). In their culture, it is normal for a man to live as women and vice versa, but for the western culture is still a little hard to accept the peoples who are different from being men or woman. The idea of gender is passed down by generations and they become the norm. In our society, the LGBTQ people are struggling to settle or be seen as normal in society because we haven’t seen anything more than two basic genders.

Furthermore, social media has a big impact on our lives. Social media is a new tool to portray directly or indirectly those gendered ideas. In other words, with this tool, it has become easier to distribute and display views on gender, especially in western societies. For instance, in many of the superhero movies, we often see the men saving a hopeless and weak woman (2). Social media is in a way reinforcing the men and female qualities that are stereotypical (Wood, n.d, p. 232). The men are strong, providing, rational, active and protector. On the other hand, the women are weak, caring, emotional, passive and protected. Young children are highly influenced by social media and when they see these indirect, stereotypical and constructed characteristics they combine them into their reality. However, there has been a recent change in social media. More and more celebrities are coming out as part of being from the LGBTQ community. This is because we are breaking those socially constructed gendered ideas that are pass down to us from our childhood, but we still have a long way to go to fully socially deconstruct gender.


Adams, Alexia Jo. “The Social Construction of Gender.” The Social Construction of Gender – Applied Social Psychology, 3 Oct. 2001,  

Blackwood, Evelyn. “Sexuality and Gender in Certain Native American Tribes: The Case of Cross-Gender Females.” Signs, vol. 10, no. 1, 1984, pp. 27–42. JSTOR, Accessed 7 Feb. 2020. 

Macolo, Micheal. “Time to Move Beyond ‘Gender Is Socially Constructed.’” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 31 July 2019, 

Wood, Julia T. “Gendered Media: The Influence of Media on Views of Gender.” Department of Communication, University of North Carolina at Chapel, pp. 231–244. 

Written by Hassan Waheed

Blog #2: Sexuality and Asian Culture

My topic of research is sexuality in the asian culture, more precisely: homosexuality in China.

“Ancien China had a rich literature of strong male homosocial culture” (Louie,
2002) Indeed, people were acceptant towards men with a preference for other men. This is because masculinity was considered more as a “social obligation”. Therefore, as long as the man fulfill his duties, which were to get married to a woman and to have children in order to carry on the bloodline, people overlooked men’s sexuality. As Travis S. K. Kong states in his work The sexual in Chinese sociology: homosexuality studies in contemporary china: “In other words, masculinity was understood less as sexual identity or orientation and more as a familial and social role […]” Homosexuality was then seen as a “side hobby”. In the early 20th century, many Chinese intellectuals brought Western ideology into China, agreeing more with it than traditional Chinese schools of thought. Sexuality was still seen as a disease and few was interested in this topic, but more and more intellectuals started to study Western studies and tried to understand why some people are attracted towards people of the same sex. The surge of interest towards sexuality created many debate about this topic; the population tried to categorize homosexuality into right or wrong, socially acceptable or taboo and if homosexuals could be cured from it (it was seen as a disease, therefore was maybe possible to cure it).

Ok, after the brief overview on the history of homosexuality in china, I want to talk more about the stigma gay men often experience in China and its consequences. In the conservative China, people are often pressured to get married and to have children by their parents and relatives. According to Bill Powell’s CHINA’S BIG CLOSET, “That pressure is only intensified by the country’s controversial one-child policy, in place since 1979.” The pressure makes gay men and women in China hide their sexuality, since being a homosexual is still considered as shameful and is contrary to what the elders’ expectation. According to the China’s LGBT Community Survey by Community and Marketing Insights, there is “only 3 percent of gay men are ‘completely out.'” This research shows how hard it is for people to come out in China. Another example I found to illustrate how gay men is treated is the case of Xiao Jun, a 30 year old gay man. His mother called him after having suspicions about him being gay and after Jun told her about his preference for men, she hung up on him. Fearing being laughed by their relatives, his parents then let them to introduce women to him and said to him that his homosexuality was a disease and that it was “curable”. What surprized (or didn’t) me was that most stigma that homosexual people face in China come directly from their family. An interview with Chinese MSM (men who have sex with other men) from Charting a Moral Life: The Influence of Stigma and Filial Duties on Marital Decisions among Chinese Men who Have Sex with Men illustartes the inequity these people face:

“Interviewer: Where would discrimination occur?
Participant: Well, for example…family members. Of course I think that in the end, family is tolerant. But despite that, it [knowing a person is MSM] would change how they perceive you. Let’s say there were some coworkers or neighbors that I wasn’t especially close with. If they found out my identity, I think they would look at me as if I were a freak. –Participant 21 (37 years old, college education, originally
from Beijing, currently unmarried)”

Indeed, the pressure for homosexual people to get married and to have children mostly comes from parents and relatives, and it makes harder for them to come out since they know that tradition is important and they don’t want their parents to be worried by the fact that they would grow old alone or to embarass their parents in front of aquantance and relatives. Homosexual men are often torn beween their own happiness or to live according to their parents’ wish and to be a good son. Some men chose to sacrifice their private life and to get married to a woman in order to appear “normal”, but other men refuses to conform to those norms and traditions:

“My viewpoint is very extreme in terms of marriage between MSM and heterosexuals. I resolutely condemn it, do you understand? […] There are people who say it’s in order to protect oneself because of the so-called environment, so they have to get married to a woman. This I resolutely condemn, I object to these kinds of things. I feel that it’s not ethical. […] To sacrifice a woman in exchange for oneself, to protect oneself, I feel like this is an extremely unethical thing. –Participant 9 (52 years old, college education, originally from Beijing, currently unmarried)”

I do agree with this man’s point of view and I also do think that it is unfair for both parties in this kind of marriage, since the man would never love his wife the way he loves another man. In my opinion, all parties is on the loosing side: the man is married to someone he cannot love, and the parents are living in a lie, thinking that their child have found happiness.

To finish, I would like to state that what I wrote is the result from my reasearches and it is not a criticism about China or the Chinese culture or its people.


Kong, Travis S. K. “The sexual in Chinese sociology: homosexuality studies in contemporary china.” Sociological Review, vol. 64, no. 3, August 2016, p.495-514. EBSCO,

Powell, Bill. “CHINA’S BIG CLOSET.” Newsweek Global, vol. 163, no. 12, September 24 2014, p.18-20. EBSCO,

Steward, Wayne T. “Charting a Moral Life: The Influence of Stigma and Filial Duties on Marital Decisions among Chinese Men who Have Sex with Men.” PLoS ONE, vol. 8, no. 8, August 2013, p.1-9. EBSCO,