‘New’ map of Canada includes Democratic states

Stephen Newman, political science professor in York’s Faculty of Arts, was quoted in a Canadian Press story appearing in The Packet & Times (Orillia, Ont.), Nov.5, on the appearance of a new map of North America that’s making the e-mail rounds. On the map, all the so-called “blue” states that went Democratic in this week’s US elections are now part of Canada. Although it’s a joke, the map reveals a great divide between Canada’s view of the world and the views of Americans who re-elected President George W. Bush, the story says. According to Newman, “There’s queasiness in the blue states, with Bush’s political style, his conservatism, the evangelical religiosity he wears on his sleeve,” Newman said. “I think all of that makes Canadians a little queasy, too.”

Columnist and Argo fan fumes over stadium decision

Toronto Star columnist Royson James is a fan of football but not of the Toronto Argonauts’ new stadium location planned for York University. Writing in the Nov. 5 edition, James said: “If the Argos want to move to a smaller, intimate stadium on the edge of the city – where they can attract more traffic jams – let them pay for it themselves. If they want to blame their failure to draw fans on the size of the stadium, let them spend their own money to fix something that doesn’t need fixing.”  James, who favoured redeveloping the former Exhibiton Place site, says no one lobbied hard enough for that alternative.

The perfect mom?

Commenting on this season’s TV sensation “Desperate Housewives”, featuring glam moms with sensationalistic problems, York School of Women’s Studies Professor Andrea O’Reilly said mothers have traditionally hidden behind a mask of perfection. In a story on the show that appeared in The Toronto Sun Nov.5, O’Reilly said her sense about interest in the show is that “unmasking is still taboo.” Said O’Reilly, “Oprah did a show featuring mothers speaking truthfully about motherhood, mothers who’d had babies, but didn’t feel maternal. They were afraid to talk to their friends, for fear of being judged. It had a such huge fallout, Oprah had to do two follow-up shows to appease the sentiment that mothers don’t think like that. And yes, they do.” O’Reilly said women still have to be careful about what they express – as far as mothering goes. “We’re not a culture that tolerates ambivalence,” she said. “And we have to protect our children and ourselves. Women are always under surveillance, especially poor women.”

Transgendered face unique challenges to conform

People who opt to change their sex often have difficulty making a living, a transgendered activist told a Sudbury audience Thursday, in a talk covered by The Sudbury Star on Nov. 5. Through his research, Dan Irving, a doctoral candidate in political science in York’s Faculty of Graduate Studies, said he discovered that the transgendered who look more like society’s notion of a man or woman, whether through surgery, hormones or wardrobe, are “more apt to be hired”. Those who “don’t pass well,” or choose to dress following their own path, have a much harder time, Irving said. Many are not able to enter the workforce but work from home or turn to illegal forms of labour such as the sex trade, selling drugs or running guns across the border to support themselves. Irving’s talk was covered on several broadcast media as well. Items ran on television stations in several northern Ontario cities including Sudbury, Timmins and Sault Ste. Marie.

On air

  • York political science professor Saeed Rahnema was interviewed on “OMNI News: South Asian Edition” on Toronto’s OMNI.2 TV Nov. 4 about the implications of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat’s critical illness.