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Archive for the ‘Feminism’ Category

9 ways personhood amendments are harmful

Dr. Jen Gunter

Personhood amendments are on the ballot again, this time in Colorado (again, hoping 3rd time isn’t a charm as voters rejected personhood amendments in 2008 and 2010), North Dakota, and Tennessee.

Fertilized egg at 1 day, with a personhood amendment would have equal rights as a woman Fertilized egg at 1 day, with a personhood amendment would have equal rights as a woman

For those unfamiliar with exactly what a personhood amendment entails, it is a ballot measure that if passed would change the state constitution to give a fetus, including a fertilized egg, the exact same legal rights as a woman.

As an OB/GYN I think a lot about what that could mean health wise. Here are nine reasons personhood measures are not only troubling, but could harm and even kill women:

Prevent the management of an ectopic pregnancy, which is a when a fertilized egg implants outside of the uterus (in the Fallopian tube, on the ovary or cervix, or rarely in…

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Polygamists charged

Polygamy charges have finally been laid against Mormon fundamentalists from Bountiful. And if you read the article you’ll see that these misogynist will be making the exact same arguments that socons elsewhere: that religion trumps everything. One example would be the contraception mandate cases in the US.

And yet these socons’ hypocrisy is revealed by the fact that they do not support polygamists. If they truly, truly, truly thought religion should trump everything else, they be supporting polygamists. The fact that they don’t shows that their “concerns” about religion is really just a pretext.

Additionally, that slippery slope actually isn’t. The polygamists explicitly argued that marriage equality meant they had to be allowed to marry multiple people. However, the court upheld the law against polygamy. It rejected the very argument bigots make against marriage.

As for myself, I think we give too many privileges to religion already. It ought to be illegal to oppress women, and that women’s rights ought to overrule religion every time. And therefore my opposition to polygamy follows, whether you’re a Mormon fundamentalist, radical Islamist, or any other theomisogynist.

Canadian sexual assault victims have little confidence in the justice system

In today’s Province there was a report on the results of a survey of victims of sexual assault. The demographically–diverse survey interviewed 207 people. The results are very consistent with what activists have been saying for years.

Among the results:

  • Two thirds of both male and female victims of sexual assault had no confidence in the justice system, ranging from actually filing a complaint on forward.
  • A majority of people did not report either sexual assault or sexual abuse to authorities. Reasons given include fear of victim–blaming and a fear of not being taken seriously.

The results were released late last month. I searched for it on the Department of Justice’s website, but couldn’t find it.

Anyway, the implications of this survey are clear. We need to restore confidence in the justice system.

How to simplify the tax system

Considering that yesterday was the day that most Canadians were supposed to have filed their tax returns, I see the usual complaints about it being complicated. With that in mind, here are two possible ways to simplify the tax system. They offer features that should appeal to people from all across the political spectrum.

The first one is known as a “negative income tax“. About four in every five economists (79%) agree (possibly with provisos) that “the government should restructure the welfare system along the lines of a ‘negative income tax.'” The features of a NIT are as follows (I’ve explained them in comments elsewhere, but this is the first time in a post at this blog):

All income, whatever the source, is taxed at a flat rate. This includes incomes that are currently exempt, taxed differently, or deferred, such as capital gains and inheritances. Second, all deductions, whatever the basis, are eliminated. This includes ones like charitable donations, political party donations, or hazardous jobs. The result of this is that everyone with the same nominal income pays the same tax. Third, all welfare systems, like social assistance or unemployment insurance, are eliminated and instead converted into a refundable tax credit of some amount. Each taxpayer subtracts the refund from the income tax they paid. If the result is negative, they get a refund from the government. If the result is positive, they pay the difference to the government.

Let’s use examples to demonstrate. For the sake of this example, we’ll assume that the flat rate is 20%, and that the refund is $5000. There is nothing special about these numbers; they are examples only.

Alice’s T-slips indicate that she earned $20000 last year. She pays 20% of that ($4000) in taxes. She gets a refund of $5000, which means that she actually gets a net $1000 from the government. The same year, Bret earns $25000. He pays 20% of that ($5000) and gets a $5000 refund. Therefore, he actually pays no net taxes and gets no money from the government. The same year, Chris earns $30000. This taxpayer pays 20% of that ($6000) in taxes. After the refund, $1000 is still owing, so this taxpayer actually pays a net tax of $1000.

As can be seen from the examples, by tinkering with the rate or the refund, a guaranteed minimum income can be maintained, and any arbitrary no tax payable point can be chosen. Update (2013–05–05): And it goes without saying that certain “special circumstances” can be given a slightly different refund, such as dependents or disability.

The negative income tax system has a number of significant advantages over the current regime (after the jump). In no particular order:

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2013 Women’s World Championship concludes

The 2013 IIHF Women’s World Championship has concluded, with Team USA winning gold. Canada won silver, and Russia won bronze. This is the first time Canada did not finish in first when hosting the Championship. This is Russia’s first medal since 2001 and second overall.

The final ranking is as follows:

  1. United States
  2. Canada
  3. Russia
  4. Finland
  5. Germany
  6. Switzerland
  7. Sweden
  8. Czech Republic – Relegated to Division IA for 2013

And a big thumbs down to the IIHF. In 2010, they said:

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International Women’s Day 2013

Happy International Women’s Day!

#Ineedmasculismbecause I’m A Self-Centred Twat

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