Tag: Women

Raising Children in a Foreign Land

Raising Children in a Foreign Land

By: Saipriya V Canada is a multicultural country, receiving a lot of new immigrants every year. Most of the immigrant families choose Canada because of its top-ranked education system. However, settling in a new country impose severe stress on the families, especially families need to […]

Love Thy Stretchmarks

Love Thy Stretchmarks

By: Reenita V In a world where white bodies are the norm, it can create quite a complicated journey to find comfort in our bodies. Our bodies are othered, exotified, ridiculed and loved: we can be coveted for our life long tans while simultaneously being […]

Should Waistline Matter?

Should Waistline Matter?

By: Saipriya 

Expanding waist line is considered to be an indication of health risks, but now it is also found to risk one’s career. This issue is found to be more pronounced among women. A recent study conducted in the Western University found that women who are overweight were less likely to be hired and were more likely to be discriminated in the workplace. Similarly, in a survey conducted by Yale university survey shows that issue around weight discrimination has been documented for decades, but it is found to be prevalent in recent years. This may be due to the fact that the employers consider an obese person to be lazy and unhealthy.
The percentage of women’s employment has significantly improved in the recent decades. However, the issue around ‘obesity’ found to affect women’s labor market participation, hourly wage rate, and income. Experts say that the workplace is becoming an increasingly harsh place for obese women, this is because employers often think that, obese employees were not efficient in controlling their own weight and hence they may not to be efficient in their work. On the other hand university of Otago found that this was not true with obese men, where obese men with a BMI of more than 30, on average earned $140 more than men with a healthy BMI. In contrast, obese women earned an average of $60 less than women with healthy BMIs.
Discrimination and low income could also be a reason for higher rates of obesity among women. This may be because women with low income are more likely to shop at cheaper supermarkets and eat poorly, and therefore become unhealthy.
A recent study also shows that women who are highly qualified gets shortlisted for an interview, but they were denied getting a job during a face to face interview, just because they were obese. Even if they get employed, they are found to experience stigmatized by the co-workers and employers or being teased or harassed because of their weight.

Westernized ideas about physical attractiveness, such as “thinness” as central to feminine beauty, might be a reason for this issue. Women whose bodies deviate, even slightly, from physical beauty standards become vulnerable to body shaming. Since these ideas about “thinness” are deeply rooted in our society, it is not surprising to see the discrimination of the obese women.
Since there is no federal or provincial labour laws prohibit discrimination based on size or weight, it becomes impossible to legally complain about weight discrimination in Canada. Hence this issue may remain a ‘hot potato’ until changes are made in the laws.

Befriending Your Vulva

Befriending Your Vulva

By: Reenita V Some may find this topic a bit taboo. Many might find this conversation gross, icky, something that should never be discussed with peers, family, and partners or even just discussed at all. Others might love this subject, too. Either way, it’s time […]

I Love Me

I Love Me

By: Reenita V The idea of self-love might be a cheesy idea for some and for some it just might make perfect sense. I mean, isn’t it obvious that we should love ourselves? Some don’t have to try so hard to love themselves while others […]

I Don’t Know How to Date

I Don’t Know How to Date

By: Reenita V

This month can be filled with hearts, balloons, romantic gestures, and other things that make your heart pitter patter or gag. Nonetheless , a new year and month of Hallmark romance upon us, it seems almost a guarantee that at some point you may reflect on your romantic life, even  if you have one or not. In the past few months I have flirted with the idea of dating and actually have gone on a date here or there. While nothing has blossomed from these dating adventures, I have learned more about myself in the process. While trying to understand why dating is so complicated for many, I’ve tried to really focus on what makes it so complicated for me. I’ve come to the conclusion that I simply have no clue what I am doing when it comes to dating and largely in part to my upbringing in an Indo-Fijian family.

Firstly, many of the influential people in my life were adults whom were married. Marriage came to be through family match makers. Family members would actively keep their eyes open for eligible mates and should one lucky person be found, families would agree to meet to see if the single people were interested in being together. If the single people were interested, they would ‘date’ and eventually marry if that is what they chose. I literally grew up learning that at some point someone would bring me a suitable partner(s) so all I had to do was focus on my education.  The idea of having someone show up with an eligible partner, who is looking for more than a one night stand seems really convenient, right? The commitment to really wanting to get to know a person, and the desire to find a person whom you want for a long term partner has already been established and acknowledged before the person walks through the door. The more you think about it, it sounds as if all those awkward ‘where is this going and what do we each want’ conversations don’t actually need to happen, because someone else had them for you.

Secondly, dating was pretty much taboo. Before the age of 16, I wasn’t allowed to date so I didn’t and the fear was instilled in me so I didn’t date much after that either. When I did finally start dating, I started dating someone who was also south Asian with strict parents so while we said we were dating, we never actually went out.  Instead we spent time together during and after class. We held hands in the hallway, kissed for the first time on the third floor. Our romantic moments were captured in the walls of our school. Seems as though my first experience with dating wasn’t traditional dating but hanging out whenever we could at school. This kind of dating seemed to be the trend moving forward which is when hook up and hangout culture seemed to be developing but that is a whole different issue in itself. So fast forward a few years, I’m on my own learning about paying bills, balancing budgets, how to make food and going on the occasional date here and there. Here is where my growth and development as an indo-Fijian person start intertwining with western ideas and it becomes a whole tangled mess.

So with not having dated much while younger, I was and still am quite inexperienced. I never practiced how to conquer my fears of approaching a person I fancy. Last summer it took a whole 7 months before I could muster up the courage to ask my crush out. 7 months!! Sadly, that situation fizzled quickly.  When the rare dates do occur I also find that not only am I asking questions that would help me figure out if they might be an ideal partner, but I also asking questions that will help me determine if you will fit in with my family. Family is an important part of south Asian culture so it only makes sense that dating me means dating my entire family.  I literally imagine a scenario involving you and a grandparent at Christmas dinner and if I see it turning into a disaster in my head it’s over. As well, with the idea that dating was taboo the stigma sticks which makes taking about dating situations impossible.  Either someone won’t share their dating past because they don’t want you to know about it, or perhaps they didn’t date or they just don’t want to hear about your dating situation until you was wearing a wedding dress.  With my person experience of navigating the complexity of dating in the south Asian community, I find other friends experiencing the difficulty of culture, family and dating and these situations are not always isolated to the south Asian community but it’s there. Needless to say, dating is a whole complicated situation that takes more than a lifetime to figure out. So, if you know the tricks of the trade please let us know!

Beauty In Your Eyes

Beauty In Your Eyes

By: Divya S What’s your favourite outfit? Do you like wearing shorts, crop tops, jeans, t-shirts or big comfy sweatshirts. Do you feel uncomfortable as a woman going out in clothing you love but feel you will be judged the way you look? I have […]

To Be or Not to Be, The Girl on the Magazine.

To Be or Not to Be, The Girl on the Magazine.

By: Reenita V Growing up in Canada I found myself always idolizing the women in magazines, on TV and the movies. I wanted to be them, live like them, love like them and look like them. I knew my desires were not solely mine as […]

South Asian Women Ranked #1 in Breast Cancer: Why sexual health needs to be talked about

South Asian Women Ranked #1 in Breast Cancer: Why sexual health needs to be talked about

By: Monique Gill 

 

A recent Ontario study confirms that South Asian women lead in the number of breast cancer
cases that have progressed to stages 4 & 5 (The Canadian Press). By contrast, Chinese
women lead in the number of cases that have been successfully detected and prevented.
Researchers suggest this is most likely due to the proactive role the Chinese community takes
in discussing sexual health. By contrast, researchers believe the high number of South Asian
women diagnosed in late stages of breast cancer is due to the lack of education within the
community.
Why is it a taboo to talk about sexual health within the South Asian community?
South Asian women are strongly discouraged by our communities and each other from
exploring our sexualities and by extension, inquiring about sexual health. Often times, even
topics that minimally revolve around sexuality are marked as inaccessible.Female virginity is
traditionally seen as a virtue upheld in South Asian culture and sadly many women hesitate to
ask questions about their sexual health for fear of being seen as sexually active (whether they
are or aren’t) which is inherently linked to cultural taboo and character defamation.
Discussing sexual health with South Asian women doesn’t necessarily mean promoting sexual
activity, instead it promotes healthy lifestyles and provides women with information to make
educated choices. We need to move past the idea of sexual topics being adulterated by being
spoken about with shame and secrecy and as a community be open to discussing and providing
sexual health awareness for all South Asian women.
Is putting effort into upholding stigma around sexual activities worth risking the lives of our
women? Sexual education is a must for everyone in South Asian communities, regardless of
gender. We cannot afford to let deliberate ignorance take the lives of any more South Asian
women.
http://www.ctvnews.ca/health/breast-cancer-in-south-asian-women-often-diagnosed-at-laterstage-study-1.2336391

Let’s be Friends?

Let’s be Friends?

By: Reya D Have you ever been guilty of being a bad friend? Generally speaking, I have gotten into this predicament when I have put career and academic goals, my partner and immediate family before my friendship with my girls. I wanted to use this […]