The good, the nice and the pornographic

That some pornography objectifies and demeans women is about as certain as the fact water runs downhill, wrote the Toronto Star June 5. How different genders process pornography, and what that says about perceptions of women, isn’t quite as simple.

That’s one of countless points being tackled by Bobby Noble, professor in the new Sexuality Studies program at York University. The first class graduated in April; the program operates within York’s School of Women’s Studies. Students enrolled in Noble’s year-long course – nicknamed Porn 101 – take on three months of theory before their first film, said the Star.

Noble says women who watch porn can sometimes be stigmatized – he explains some might see it as, "there is no way to be a good woman who watches porn." He says it’s important to recognize feminist porn isn’t the only porn "good" for women, a point its creators also admit. Rather, it’s just picking up on the complexities of conventional porn and turning the vantage point on its head.

‘Now it’s my time,’ says former Lion Ricky Foley

Defensive linemen at the BC Lions training camp hooted and hollered yesterday when it was Ricky Foley‘s turn at the rings and water bottles drill, wrote The Globe and Mail June 5 in a story from Abbotsford, BC.

And it had absolutely nothing to do with the $10,000 rings, as in Grey Cup championship mementos, Foley and teammates received on Sunday on the eve of veterans reporting to the Canadian Football League club’s training camp. It had everything to do with Foley’s popularity among defensive players and the expectations for the 24-year-old from York University.

"I want to be a starter, but there are a lot of good athletes, a lot of competition," Foley said after morning drills. "I missed training camp last year and the coaches didn’t have time to teach just one guy each week. I had to learn a lot on my own. I did, but now I feel a lot more confident, maybe because I’m back at the position I played in college."

Foley showed BC Lions defensive line coach Mike Roach just what he wanted – quickness, balance and explosiveness – with the rings and water bottles at Rotary Stadium in this Fraser Valley community east of Vancouver.

The BC Lions are projecting that Foley, a reserve linebacker and special-teams player in 2006, can move into the starting line-up at wide-side defensive end, a position occupied by speedy Chris Wilson for two years.

Local residents learn about negative impacts of mining in Central America

This week, a small group of Cobourg residents learned about the devastating impacts Canadian mining companies have had on indigenous communities in Guatemala and Honduras in a presentation by Horizons of Friendship, wrote the Cobourg Daily Star June 5.

Steven Schnoor, a PhD student at York University, and Sandra Cuffe, a researcher with the human rights organization Rights Action, both currently living in Honduras, presented hard-hitting facts about how large-scale mining projects do a lot more damage than good in the local communities. Specifically, they focused on the recent activities of Goldcorp and Skye Resources, two Canadian-based companies.

Schnoor stated that, while most mining companies will tout the benefits of the mine, such as increased employment and investment, they tend to ignore (or at times are not truthful about) the negative consequences. He said such behaviour is often supported by both Canadian and local governments and big businesses, who have a vested interest in the global mining industry.

On air

  • CBC Radio in Thunder Bay referred to a study on declining bee populations by York graduate student Sheila Colla on its morning show, June 4.