Still Confused About Mansplaining?

Mansplaining is more than a buzzword. The word is descriptive and explains itself. The primary purpose behind mansplaining is to silence a person.

Maybe you’re doubting the reality or frequency of mansplaining, or you’re wondering if there’s any science to back up this phenomena. If so, then check out this video produced by Upworthy showing not only some of the various mansplaining techniques, but also the frequency in which women are silenced from classroom spaces, to office spaces, to traditional media and social media and onwards.

Next time you receive some mansplaining, you may want to consider explaining to them how disrespectful it is to all people.

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Have You Seen the Viral Ad Urging Partners to #ShareTheLoad?

If you are thinking we’re talking about legal partners, then you’ll be disappointed. We’re talking about life partners and the growing conversation about the chore gap.

The chore gap. Melinda Gates has shed light on the inequality faced by women on the home front. The Atlantic magazine covered the topic. We even blogged about it and linked to the Atlantic article on February 24th.

Now BBDO, a global advertising firm, which was apparently the inspiration for Mad Men and is known for its forward thinking ads, has gotten on board. Their Mumbai office decided to reflect the chore gap issue in their laundry detergent ad and promote gender equity at home through their #ShareTheLoad hashtag.

The laundry ad shows a father watching his grown daughter come home from her full-time job, make supper, take care of her son while her partner watches TV. The father reflects on how both he and society contributed to creating the chore gap.

Since the ad aired, it has gone viral. To view it just click on the video below.

Putting aside the criticisms of consumerism and social issue based marketing, this ad campaign does raise the issue of the chore gap and its roots. That’s why we’ve posted this ad.

March is Women’s History Month. The issue of the “chore gap”  is strongly intertwined with women’s history. It’s one of the systemic barriers to women’s careers and progress.

As lawyers and future lawyers, women often come face to face with the chore gap early in their career. In the face of these pressures, the reaction of many will be, “Just hire help. As a lawyer you can afford it.” However, that’s a myth. Canadian law school graduates are incurring huge debt. Just read the Law Students’ Society of Ontario (LSSO) report. This makes hiring help an impossibility for some young women lawyers in their early phase of their careers.

The pressures faced by women on the home front is undeniable. There is an impact on women’s career paths as they juggle their “chores” and their careers. Work life balance isn’t just about having down time to decompress from your busy career. Work life balance is an equity issue.

We encourage everyone to keep the chore gap conversation going at home and at work.

Why is this news? Study Finds No Differences Between Female & Male Brains

Making the rounds this week are reports of a new study coming out of Tel Aviv University that debunks the myth that female and male brains are built differently. Shockingly, the study concluded there are no differences between “male brains” and “female brains”.

This shouldn’t be groundbreaking to news to any person living in the 21st century, or who has read Marian Lowe’s “The Dialectics of Biology and Culture” published in 1983, or who has a basic understanding of biology. But apparently, it is news that the claims of 19th century medical researchers, who held that women’s brains were structured substantially differently were wrong.

Next time you find yourself faced with someone using biological essentialist arguments for why women can’t do the same jobs as men based on their brains. Just remember, there’s a 21st century study you can rely on to refute their 19th century argument.

To learn more about the Tele Aviv University study and read the New York Times article summing up the study click here.

WLMP uOttawa Chapter Participants Learn How to Put Human Rights in Action

by WLMP uOttawa Chapter

On Tuesday February 17, 2015 the WLMP uOttawa Chapter held its 2015 Equity event entitled: Human Rights and You – The Law in Action.

The WLMP uOttawa’s annual equity event featured Juliet Knapton, an Ottawa based lawyer and educator, who drew on her legal experience and her knowledge of human rights. Ms. Knapton discussed how students can equip themselves with the tools and understand issues related to harassment, discrimination, racial biases and stereotyping that might occur in a workplace.

University of Ottawa WLMP Chapter Participants were given information on the legislative framework applicable to Ontario as well as the responsibilities under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005.  Then Ms. Knapton, using an interactive skills development focused session, worked with students to understand how to put human rights legislation into practice.

Through a highly interactive session, students were given various scenarios demonstrating the kinds of discrimination, harassment and stereotyping that could occur in a workplace.  WLMP uOttawa Participants then discussed prospective solutions and approaches to reacting to incidents of harassment, discrimination or bias.

Ms. Knapton emphasized that as new lawyers law school students play an important role in bringing forward a new perspective and have the ability to make changes within the workplace to reduce incidents of harassment and discrimination in the legal profession.

Juliet Knapton and WLMP uOttawa Participants working on equity scenarios
Juliet Knapton and WLMP uOttawa Participants working on equity scenarios

Law Society Consultation Meetings on Developing Strategies for Change regarding the Challenges Faced by Racialized Licensees Starts January 12, 2015

The Law Society of Upper Canada is holding consultation meetings in key cities starting January 12, 2015.

These consultation meetings are in relation to the Law Society’s Challenges Faced by Racialized Licensees Working Group’s consultation paper entitled:  Developing Strategies for Change: Addressing Challenges Faced by Racialized Licensees 

We encourage all WLMP Participants, supporters and members of the legal community to check out the Law Society’s website and review the Working Group’s consultation paper, the Challenges for Racialized for Racialized Licensees – Starcom Final Report and the other related materials.

Written submissions regarding the Work Group’s consultation paper should be submitted to the Law Society by March 1, 2015.

For a schedule of the consultation meetings, please refer to the Law Society’s website: http://www.lsuc.on.ca/racialized-licensees/