By: Reenita V Here, there, everywhere! These are the exact places where you can find microaggressions. While microaggressions are perhaps not always intentional, they are out there and masking blatant racism. Essentially, microaggressions are racism covered in glitter, wrapped in a gold ribbon and are […]
By: Reenita V September has arrived, lunches are packed and backpacks are filled with new stationary. It is time for us to get our brains in gear for learning. But education doesn’t just revolve around reading, writing and arithmetic there is another incredibly important subject […]
By: Saipriya V
“Unpaid internships” a promising term, is now turning into an area of concern in Canada. Though the labor standards can vary from province to province, the unpaid internships often fall between the cracks in the system. People who are in a desperate position to find a job are more vulnerable for the ‘no pay’ jobs (2). According to the recent statistics, it was shocking to know that 100,000-300,000 Canadians work for no pay (1).
It was estimated that approximately 100,000 people in Ontario, mostly women, are working in “illegal” unpaid work every year (1). Similarly, young adults who struggle to find an entry level job and due to their financial instability and lack of protection for unpaid work, they often get caught into an unscrupulous working environment (3). Employers on the other hand use unpaid labor as a means to reduce labor costs.
New immigrant to Canada, in spite of their education and work experience are being told that they need Canadian experience (1). It is often an advantage for some employers who ask new immigrants to work for free to get their foot in the employment ladder (4). New immigrants work for a few months with no pay and then the employer gets rid of them and brings on another newcomer to work for free. This becomes an unethical revolving cycle of free labor (4).
New immigrants are exploited by some employers in Canada who are ignoring their accountability under the Employment Standards Act or are not aware of them (1). There are too many new immigrants working as unpaid interns in Canada who are desperate for any kinds of work experience that can strengthen their resume to step in to the employment ladder and are also fearful of lodging a complaint against the exploitation (1).
The true purpose of the unpaid internships is supposedly offered for the benefit of those who take them, and in some cases it is offered as a valuable learning experience and opportunity to develop the skills (5). Hence it is important to educate our peers about the Ontario’s Employment Standard’s Act, which claims that, for an unpaid internship to be deemed legal it must be part of a vocational or post-secondary program. Further, the internship must be beneficial for the individual—those providing training must “derive little, if any, benefit from the activity of the individual,” and the intern must not “displace employees of the person providing the training” (5).
- 1. OHRC- Ontario Human Rights Commission., Policy on Removing the “Canadian experience” barrier. http://www.ohrc.on.ca/en/policy-removing-%E2%80%9Ccanadian-experience%E2%80%9D-barrier.
- 2. Black. D., Unpaid interns — the new Canadian underclass. http://ipolitics.ca/2013/09/16/unpaid-interns-the-new-canadian-underclass/.
- 3. Pacheco. A.L., If you are an unpaid worker, you’re not alone. http://www.thirdquarter.ca/news/read,347/148/if-you-are-an-unpaid-worker-you-re-not-alone.
- 4. Brennan. R.J., Interns, vulnerable workers, target of Ontario private member’s bill. http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2014/07/23/interns_vulnerable_workers_target_of_ontario_private_members_bill.html.
- 5. Reid. M., Who’s afraid of an unpaid internship?. http://jpress.journalism.ryerson.ca/jsource/whos-afraid-of-an-unpaid-internship/.
By: Saipriya V
In recent years the definition of ‘beauty’ and an ‘ideal body’ has changed among women. Looking thinner is considered to be beautiful. This is due to the harsh critiques of our society which consider women being ‘thin’ as beautiful, hard working and successful, on the other hand being ‘fat’ is considered as ugly, weak and lazy.
Globally, mainstream media’s especially women’s magazines and commercials portray beautiful and glamorous women to be very slender with thin long legs. Similarly, clothing companies often use size zero models in their advertisements, creating a very narrow definition of beauty. This trend about ‘perfect body’ has slowly seduced women and made them hate themselves. This idealization of the ‘perfect body’ made the weight loss industry more profitable, because they sell their products promising that their products helps to lose weight or helps to buy a certain brand of clothing.
Due to the strong desire for a ‘perfect body’, women are not completely satisfied with their body image, which leaves them stressed and anxious to obtain a ‘thin’ body. Due to this continuous ‘perfect body’ pressure women suffering from anorexia (eating disorder) has increased.
Eating disorders are more than just a problem with food, often it is associated with psychological problems. Women who are not satisfied with their body image often punish themselves by starving in order to have control of their life and to ease their anxiety and tension. Recent reports show that due to this obsession to look ‘skinny’ more young women are now malnourished. Just like eating disorders, due to the societal pressures to look thin can also push women to exercise too much. Over-exercising and unhealthy /under nourished eating patterns leaves women with severe health problems.
It is also important to understand that these trends partially uprooted as a result of capitalism, where the beauty and weight loss industries in order to sell their products made people to feel low and ugly about themselves. The “Mantra” of these industries are if you want to look beautiful, confident and stay happy then start using our products. This is how these companies make money and rule over us. “If tomorrow women all over the world looked in the mirror and if they liked what they saw reflected back at them, then we would have to reshape capitalism as we know it,” says professor Gail Dines.
Understanding the risk associated with eating disorders and focusing on health and well-being, no matter what size you are, is key to living a healthy lifestyle. Let us stop hating our bodies, thinking too much about our weight, because ‘beauty is only a state of mind, not a state of your body’.