Canadian girls more likely to have emotional problems than boys: Study

cal1004-depression.jpgFrom the Ottawa Citizen

According to a major new national study, Canadian girls are experiencing substantially higher levels of emotional problems and less emotional well-being than boys.

….. Boys externalize their discontent, girls internalize it, said Juniper Glass, director of development at Girls Action Foundation, a national organization that helps develop community initiatives and programs for girls.

“Boys behave ‘badly’ whereas girls tend to hold it inside and direct the negativity towards themselves,” Glass said. “They have low self-esteem, they self-harm, they put themselves in risky situations or they put up with not healthy relationships with their boyfriends.”

Glass said girls are socialized to please others, “to be successful ”” in everything ”” to be pretty, to look like magazine images.”

More programs for girls, whether they focus on sports, science or mentoring, are needed, she said ”” “anything that helps girls to feel like it’s safe to be themselves.” More at the link

I doubt it’s any different in the US

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  • I found a website devoted to rediscovering the history of Amazons

    There are a lot of unsolved mysteries of history, which because of some unbelievable traits – for people of today – are considered as pure invention.

    For the most part, those »untrustworthy« stories are neglected by academic scientists. If there had always been this kind of attitude, Troy would never have been discovered, and Knossos would not have been unearthed.

    The myth about the Amazons takes an exceptional position in this respect. Stories about women who were able to exist without men, and furthermore could resist men in wars and even more could defeat them, something like that could – in today’s academic opinion – never be true.

    So this story was put in the realm of fantasy, though most of the ancient writers did not show any doubts that they considered it as true history.

    As our modern imagination is unable to fancy that once a people of warlike women had existed, modern historians either neglect the very numerous ancient tradition about Amazons or lay particular stress on those aspects which are completely unrealistic. Source

    “OTP – Occupy The Patriarchy” ~ me

  • as a representation of Amazonian power? Do you really think that’s why Graham likes the photo? :)

    Amazons are cool, that particular Ukranian woman, eh…not so much. Except as Eurotrash Farah Fawcett wannabe iconography dressed up as an acceptable set of tits to look at because she says it’s feminist. Saying so, don’t make it so. But maybe it’s a cultural thing, the Ukranians I see daily are certainly of a different mindset.

    You know what would be cool though? Women acknowledging the particular powers that they have always wielded in all societies throughout time. But then again, why give up any secrets ;>

  • After looking at the photo and reading the article I didn’t quite know yet what to make of it. Hence there was no comment from me.

    The reason I thanked Graham for the link is because it provided me with an opportunity to highlight the forgotten (or purposely ignored) history of the real Amazons.

    And please, pray tell, what are these particular powers that women have always wielded? In what way have these “secrets” benefited them?

    “OTP – Occupy The Patriarchy” ~ me

  • Posted it as I knew adrena would link it to a wider perspective.

    I don’t particularly like the photo, or the tattoo. I’ve seen enough naked bodies during my lifetime to not obsess about the flesh.

    What I thought was good was bagnotes running the photo without black rectangles. I have developed an opinion over many years that the USA is repressed on breast exposure so it is good to see bagnotes being mature. heh.

  • And please, pray tell, what are these particular powers that women have always wielded? In what way have these “secrets” benefited them?

    1) The power of sexual attraction, and of the family and social arrangements flowing from it.
    2) The power of reproduction.
    3) The power of motherhood.

  • There’s no power in sexual attraction when it is allowed to flow only one way. For example, heterosexual women are as much attracted to men as men are to women but the female gaze has been and continues to be suppressed by the patriarchy.

    The power of the family and social arrangements? There’s no power in domestic slavery. If men do not feel equally empowered by family and social arrangements then both genders lose.

    The power of motherhood? The glorification of motherhood does nothing but place unrealistic demands on women. Children would benefit far more if motherhood and fatherhood were to share the spotlight equally.

    The power of reproduction? This power has made women slaves of the patriarchy as it has been imprisoned (slut shaming, denying women sexual agency etc.) to ensure paternity. Plus one in four pregnant women suffers physical abuse.

    The conclusion of the study cited in this post is definitely not that girls feel empowered. Quite the opposite.

    “OTP – Occupy The Patriarchy” ~ me

  • We were not discussing any of those things above. The question was, where does women’s power come from, and I listed three obvious sources. (Yes, to be provocative, but only slightly).

    No one was talking of domestic or reproductive slavery. No one was talking of suppressing the gaze of women, though even in our Patriarchy women still have attractive power. No one was deprecating Fatherhood or glorifying Motherhood, merely citing the latter as one source of feminine power.

    dk was suggesting that women celebrate their natural feminine power, which I think is laudable (as well as empowering), as I’m sure you do, too.

  • Power comes from social connections. From wealth. From love. From charisma. From collegiality. From obligation. From promises or threats. From representing other people. And yes, from the generative power.

    (Not that these are gender-limited).

    Also: Big dumb muscle.

  • 2012 Swimsuit Edition of Sports Illustrated I understand exactly what Ukranian feminists are trying to do. They want to take back female breasts from the patriarchy. Just look at the following images. The first woman has no agency – she’s just an object to be viewed. Compare her pose with the image of the New Amazon – it exudes power. Her fists are clenched in defiance. She’s not there to please but to fight. The Ukranian feminists’ “in your face” topless protests serve to demand equality. They are fighting against sex tourism, sexism and social problems. What could be more feminist than that?


    “OTP – Occupy The Patriarchy” ~ me

  • The patriarchy’s demand that women hide their totally natural breastfeeding activity


    There also needs to be a brigade of topless breastfeeding mothers.

    “OTP – Occupy The Patriarchy” ~ me

  • and my stomach that flat, I’d want them back from the patriarchy too :) But let’s face it, unless you’re Madonna, you stopped having that body after thirty or forty. She surely doesn’t represent matriarchy. Not with those eyebrows. Or hip-hugger jeans. (does anybody call them that any more?)

    Power is the image on the left being able to sell millions of copies of SI. May not be the kind of power you want, but it is a type of power. The image on the right exploits that same power to express its message of feminism and anti-exploitation, however muddled the message then becomes. Her stance means nothing, boobies are everything. That’s why the patriarchy wants them covered, they have the power to divert men’s attention from their work or whatever. (w/ exceptions on the Riviera, I guess)
    But the image on the right is still exploiting that fact.

    If one finds it empowering to do so, that’s great. But from one who has seen thousands of women walking around topless at “womyn’s” music festivals, ….meh. Been there, done that, hasn’t changed a thing.

    graham, sorry about your testosterone. ;> not really. guys get so much nicer when their hormones stop messing w/ them. 😀

  • Adrena, I hope my comments have not offended you and that you find the power and equality that you seek for all of us. My apologies if I may have sounded otherwise.

  • The image on the left shows the powerlessness of women to celebrate sexuality on their own terms. It completely ignores female desire, female sexual agency, and the female gaze.

    The female desire to look at, read about, obsess over, and lust after men is absolutely massive, and kept discreetly off the cultural radar. It’s “How To Suppress Women’s Writing” all over again: how to suppress women’s porn. Yaoi is dismissed as being for teenage girls and therefore irrelevant, romance imprints are excluded from bestseller lists, and slash fandom hides in Googleproofed communities online, entrance gained only by introductions and shibboleths, many of its fans afraid their husbands or boyfriends might find out that they…

    That they what? That they’re really into men? That they find the male body, male sexuality, male emotions to be intensely, obsessively erotic? How exactly did our entire culture agree to keep it a secret that straight and bi women are turned on by guys? Shouldn’t that be less of a taboo and more of a tautology? Source

    As for this: “That’s why the patriarchy wants them covered”. The patriarchy can go fuck itself. I wish it would fall off a cliff so the world can begin to heal.

    “OTP – Occupy The Patriarchy” ~ me

  • For extremely sexist views? It appears the patriarchal mindset has infiltrated the LGBT community as well – its pervasiveness is like a metastasizing cancer.

    “OTP – Occupy The Patriarchy” ~ me

  • did ya even read your link? did ya read the link it was based on?
    do ya have any first hand experience w/ the gay community other than knowing me online? do you read slash fiction too?

    it must really suck to feel so oppressed by society. OH! reminds me of a song!

  • Some perspective is always good: I Contain Multitudes

    Offensive name calling of others just to try to “win” the argument rather than discuss the problem, not so much. I’m trying to allow the community free rein as I get used to it, but that’s something I don’t tolerate and won’t hesitate to penalize if a warning is ignored.

    Regards, Steve E.N.E.

  • A nerve was touched.

    Yes I’ve been around. In times past two gay friends took me to many gay bars in Montreal. It was fun to watch all those gorgeous (but sadly unavailable) hot male bodies!!! And currently, two of my live and facebook friends are gay. I’ve always had gay friends in my life. But I’m as hetero as they come.

    It’s a nice video … being outside of society sounds appealing. But it’s not exactly what you are saying when you insinuate that the image of an illustrated sports swimsuit model exudes her power. Power to make millions of dollars for some corporation? Who exactly benefits from her so-called power to act as a sex object?

    Concerning slash fiction, it’s kind of you to ask me if I read it. Society doesn’t usually ask what hetero women really want. Let me be honest … from a heterosexual woman to a homosexual woman … I want you to know that the sexual desires and inclinations of hetero women are the most ignored and suppressed of all human demographics. I have looked at boys/men from the age of three. Hetero women are always sizing up guys/men. But you wouldn’t know it, would you? I chuckled when I read that the asshole king of Saudi Arabia was once contemplating forcing women to cover one eye. Even if women can only use one eye, they can still look at men. The power of sexual attraction is omnipresent. Men are our objects of desire.

    I can understand that being a homosexual woman you may have difficulty understanding this. But look at it this way. You probably think that the idea of having sex with a man is grotesque. I think the same way about having sex with a woman. And yet, the patriarchy practically demands that hetero women do women for their benefit. At least you don’t have to put up with that, sister. No one is putting pressure on you to have sex with a man.

    As for your concern about me feeling oppressed by society, don’t worry. I don’t. All the men in my life, past and present, have always loved and still love me for my independent spirit. No one oppresses me. I don’t allow it. I have my strong mother to thank for that. However, my father passed on to me his great humanitarian gene. This means that I care about the oppression of others. I’m like a universal mother. I even care about men. Although I am financially, emotionally, and sexually satisfied, sometimes I still lie awake at night thinking about the torture and abuse experienced by trafficked women or the domestic violence suffered by so many … and about the women of Afghanistan.

    My own emotional stability enables the deep caring for others.

    I chose this video. No words … just music. Enjoy!

    “OTP – Occupy The Patriarchy” ~ me

  • I’ll have to go back to it again later.

    As to “what power”, why the power of women to be attractive to men.

    I started to write that I agree that the image to the left “ignores female desire, female sexual agency, and the female gaze.” but I don’t think it ignores them. I think it uses those things (as expressed under Patriarchy) to attract the men the magazine is being sold to.

    Yes, a it’s a patriarchal / capitalist usurpation of that power, but power nonetheless.

    The image on the left shows the powerlessness of women to celebrate sexuality on their own terms.

    I don’t quite agree with that statement, either. It’s one instance among the myriad of conformant female images being used to sell things to men in a patriarchy. Women aren’t shown to be powerless (taught to be powerless/submissive/how to use their power, sure) by however many instances of such images. To claim that women are powerless does them no favors. To observe that they are oppressed by their own socio-religio-cultural matrix is another matter entirely.

    What does “to celebrate sexuality on their own terms” mean? For straight women, it can’t mean without men (or, generally, their patriarchically influenced desires)… I suppose we won’t really know until such time as that cliff has done its job.

  • Female desire, female sexual agency, and the female gaze as expressed under patriarchy is an oxymoron of gigantic proportions, imho. Female agency cannot flourish in a patriarchy since the patriarchy = suppression of female sexuality.

    As for the second paragraph, take a look at the photographs of the 2012 swimsuit edition of SI. Do you notice that the breasts of all the models have been mutilated enhanced? Breast Augmentation can be a complex surgery and complications may occur. Large breasts are an impediment rather than an advantage to many sports.

    But here we have a Sports Magazine promoting what exactly? Swimming? Female athleticism? Bathing suits for professional swimmers? No, what Sports Illustrated does is grab an opportunity to display female bodies in the skimpiest of outfits imaginable. The swimsuit edition of SI has nothing to do with sport and everything to do with the objectification of females – it is a serious blow to equality and women’s self esteem. These women have no power; they’re just pawns being used in the pornified world that is the patriarchy. The fact that so many women succumb to cultural pressure to undergo major complex surgery to obtain a patriarchal physical ideal at a cost to themselves is, imo, the opposite of powerful.

    I’ll answer your last question tomorrow.

    “OTP – Occupy The Patriarchy” ~ me

  • to recover from the Patriarchy is like expecting someone to recover from Wallstreet. I am sure the author of “I contain Multitudes” will respect my ritual of activism. After all, I do it for them.

    “OTP – Occupy The Patriarchy” ~ me

  • is best nurtured in an environment of absolute sexual equality between men and women and in a climate free of shame, guilt, and fear.

    How can this be achieved?

    By recognizing that human sexuality is natural and healthy we can teach our children from an early age how to express it in a way that is fun, exciting as well as responsible.

    This would naturally begin with discovering one’s own body. Both boys and girls need to know that masturbating is a wholesome activity. In Holland girls aged 12 visit a sex shop for women where they are introduced to all the sex toys available to them (In a sexually repressive society such as the US one needs to bypass the authorities. For example, mothers could take their daughters to a sex shop). Children here also become acquainted with the idea that human diversity is normal – lesbianism, gay, bisexual, and transgender activities are all discussed.

    The kids also receive information about birth control, STDs etc. What I would add is a discussion about the importance of paternity rights as you cannot attempt to dismantle the patriarchy without reassuring men that paternity rights are equally important and beneficial to women. This would involve emphasizing the importance of knowing the complete medical background of the parents of a newborn child. Studying genealogy will also spark an interest in wanting to know more about one’s ancestors. One could also require genetic testing of each newborn child to legally establish paternity of the father.

    Then of course, young teens need to be given the opportunity to experiment with each other. How does one facilitate this in a pornified society? There is a way. It is important that parents counteract the bombardment of sexual messages teens receive from the media. This applies especially to boys. Fathers need to have “The Pornography Talk” with their sons. Since boys as young as 8 may be watching porn this cannot be done soon enough. This is crucial. I always find Anthony E. Wolfe’s advice to be extremely helpful. Before I continue let me share with you this hard-hitting quote from Twisty.

    Women’s health and well-being depend on our acquiring fully human status, whereas male privilege depends on confining women to the sex underclass. For women to achieve human status we must dismantle male privilege, not acquiesce to the mania that celebrates pornography as awesome health-giving fun. Sex can never be a politically neutral interaction as long as the interests of one party are by universal decree prioritized over the interests of the other.

    Often, when I was visiting my sisters in Holland, the boyfriends of their young teenage daughters would be sleeping overnight. Or they might be staying the night at their boyfriends’ place. This was considered normal. The parents especially liked this arrangement because they always knew where their kids were.

    Sexual experimentation in a nurturing environment will produce men and women who are sexually in tune with each other.

    So you see, Raja, authentic female sexuality, or, “celebrating female sexuality” does not occur in isolation. It can only happen when male sexuality is authentic as well – a sexuality that is devoid of the influence of pornography and devoid of a sense of entitlement. In short, the best sex will always be between two humans man/woman, woman/woman, man/man, who view each other as equals.

    I have so many ideas and so little time. I still wanted to discuss two nasty topics before I get to the essay on solutions – as in how to create a parallel progressive movement that bypasses all the right-wing, evangelical bullshit. But who knows, I might get banned from this site before I ever get to it. The patriarchy is currently standing on the highest pedestal it has ever been and it is fighting to remain there. Having someone around who challenges that is just too inconvenient.

    Anyway, Raja, I hope I have answered your question.

    “OTP – Occupy The Patriarchy” ~ me

  • with all due respect to those who find great comfort in such things, I myself don’t need a God nor a Goddess to acknowledge and appreciate my inherent worth and strength.

    “OTP – Occupy The Patriarchy” ~ me

  • nothing wrong with my testosterone.

    just the patriarchal iron cage has me working 7am-10pm, so I am 2 tired for anything else , heh heh heh!

    but srsly I saw a nice Chinese lady with an ample bosom yesterday, and thought, hmmm, she looks nice. She also cooked an excellent meal and invited me to eat some. First meal someone else has cooked for me for some time. Lifes good! Little moments mean so much!

  • It was a comment on the difficulty of getting outside one’s own culture.

    Thanks for the essay anyway. I don’t see your recommendations becoming mainstream in the US anytime soon.

    The parents especially liked this arrangement because they always knew where their kids were.

    Where they apparently are is getting into trouble! Sex is one of the two or three major reasons that parents want to keep an eye on their kids! I’d guess that the other two are drugs/alcohol and crime – the risks of which would be ameliorated by having them in somebody’s house much of the time.

    I wonder if we have the same definition of pornography, though. You seem, above, to be championing the unleashing of the Female Gaze, which via the principle of equality would support the continuing existence of the Male Gaze. Both of which need objects, if you catch my drift.

    At any rate, I’m curious about your “two nasty topics”. Staying tuned.

  • have never considered the term “getting into trouble” to be a synonym for “having sex”. In my mind the term has always referred to the well-known possible consequences of ill-considered or ill-educated sex: “getting pregnant” or “catching an STD” or “forming a strong sexual bond with an otherwise completely inappropriate (say, emotionally abusive) partner”.

    Those kids wouldn’t be “getting into trouble” by having sex unless they were “getting into trouble”, and all evidence seems to point to these risks diminishing greatly with increased openness about sexuality and relationship.

    “The best-informed man is not necessarily the wisest. Indeed there is a danger that precisely in the multiplicity of his knowledge he will lose sight of what is essential.”

    – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

  • I understand that you are well-educated, at least Liberal-ish, a large but urbane St. Bernard, that sort of thing.

    Where I’m from, a psychological enclave of conservative post-conciliar Catholicism, it’s not that way. As a friend of mine once observed about Catholics, it’s believed that Sex = Death. Of course, it’s more nuanced than that. Extra-marital Sex = Spiritual Death, shame and potential shunning. My Father recently, out of the blue, reminded me that there is no sex before marriage. I was in my mid 40’s at the time. These things are taken very seriously – it’s no game being played. Serious repercussions!

    How else to be absolutely sure not to get / get someone pregnant? How else to be sure you don’t come down with / spread around some nasty viruses? How best to form an ideal home in which to raise more good Catholics?

    Not to mention it’s God’s law, which is the real crux (so to speak) of the matter.

    We are Santorum people.

  • that women be degraded in pornography and abused and tortured on behalf of the sex industry than have them enjoy a natural, healthy and exciting sex life with their fellow humans, men.

    Fucking evil hypocrites!

    “OTP – Occupy The Patriarchy” ~ me

  • It would be really easy to make the argument that you don’t veiw sex as “getting into trouble”, because as a man, you’ve never had to contemplate the life long consequences of sex. Men don’t have the baby, they don’t have abortions, they don’t give the baby up for adoption, or drop out of school, they don’t have their careers and earning potential curtailed. At most, they are made to pay financial support, but that’s it. I guess a few still go ahead and get married, but I wonder what the percentage is, and even then the woman is still screwed the rest of her life ;>

    I think one of my biggest disagreements w/ Adrena is that I believe men and women are different by virtue of their biology and that culture is secondary, and this would fall under the same category. Granted that there should be other cultural options than those that currently exist, but one is still stuck w/ biology. (unless you’re Thomas Beatie or a seahorse, then I got nuthin).

    But since I’m feelin agreeable today, I’ll go along w/ Raja and assume you’re uber-enlightened. BTW, Raja’s RCC links are an awesome compilation that seriously bolster Adrena’s argument.

  • since you mentioned my name, I might as well comment.

    You describe the consequences of sex when sex is considered taboo and natural sexual expression is discouraged by religions rather than guided. In a gender neutral world, men will take equal responsibility for the possible consequences of sex just as women will be expected to take equal responsibility for ensuring paternity.

    As for biology, of course there are obvious physical distinctions. However, as I’ll explain in my next essay, the Patriarchy, in order to justify itself, continues to frantically manipulate and/or lie about scientific studies to create and/or emphasize false behavioral gender differences.

    And ES is right, most, if not all of the consequences of sex that you highlight can be mitigated by increased openness about sexuality and relationship … as can be observed in Holland which has the lowest teen pregnancy rate in the world and where boys care as much about relationships as girls.

    The choice is between suppressed sexuality which feeds degrading pornography, the sex industry etc., or, open and responsible sexuality that fosters healthy relationships between men and women and consequently, a more peaceful world.

    “OTP – Occupy The Patriarchy” ~ me

  • was still reading that it would be helpful for him to understand that this is a long standing debate between us, and that there’s no need for him to be concerned if it appears to get occassionally heated. (you could stop calling me a sexist just because we disagree, tho :)
    And I absolutely agree that education and openness can mitigate the occurance of unwanted pregnancy. However I have a hard time determining where to draw the line on what is degrading and oppressive and what is consensual and healthy in terms of the larger society. It seems there are exceptions to every generality. I think the photo in question can fall into either camp depending on who is looking at it. But there’s no question that the SI photo is objectionable objectification. What I didn’t realize until now, was that we aren’t the only ones having this debate.

    I look forward to your essay on gender behavioral studies, as I’m sure it will add more food for thought.

  • you won’t be enjoying life’s little moments if you drop dead from overworking. Don’t let the Church treat you like a Hebrew slave! ;D

    find the time to reciprocate, cook some shrimps on the barbie for the nice lady or sumpthin :)

  • I like that, although ENE (Evil New Editor) is more fun.

    As to my own attitude on sexuality and depictations of it: I’m a lifelong pagan and believe that “all acts of love and pleasure are Her rituals”. As long as it is safe, sane and consensual, to use the phrase common in the BDSM community, it’s unproblemmatic to me.

  • I was wondering what the hell that was.
    Not to be a suck-up, but you’re doing a great job on front page content. Super informative and well thought out. Just remember to throw in a light hearted post once in a blue moon, if only for your own sanity. Don’t let Tina hog all the fun of Friday Cat Blogging ;>

  • THAT community

    “When I start to think of the number of times I have been cajoled, pressured, or forced into sex that I did not want when I came into ‘the BDSM community’, I can’t actually count them,” Stryker wrote in Good Vibrations’ magazine. “As I reflected on the number of times I’ve … been pressured into a situation where saying ‘no’ was either not respected or not an option, or said that I did not want a certain kind of toy used on me which was then used, I’m kind of horrified.” Kitty Striker, BDSM activist – Salon

    According to Stryker, ignoring safe words, torturing women submissives with “toys,” and raping them is de rigueur around the dungeon, but nobody in the scene will admit it or cop to it. When a member of the ‘community’ does speak out, she is ignored or accused of being a whiner. Or of being drunk. A cloak of secrecy envelops our enlightened fetishists, which fetishists, I might add, are constantly defending their corny lifestyle as liberating, empowerful, and awesome. Twisty

    Why would patriarchal men respect safe words from the subhuman sex class? Women are their personal toys to do with as they please. I would put far more trust in a BDSM community that functions in a gender equal society.

    “OTP – Occupy The Patriarchy” ~ me

  • sexist, dk, but some of your IDEAS. But that seems to be the same thing around here. It’s confusing.

    “OTP – Occupy The Patriarchy” ~ me

  • I have never abused a safe word or a person in my care in my life. I know many others who have not done so. I’ll just say that tarring all members of the community with the actions of an admittedly too-large “wannabe” subset is personally offensive and leave it at that, shall I?

  • patriarchal men I never viewed you as such. I’ve never been abused as a sub myself. So there, now you know one of my best kept secrets.

    “OTP – Occupy The Patriarchy” ~ me

  • One final observation.

    Out of the 53 comments only one was related to the topic of this post. So I wish to make one final plea to the mainly male demographic of the Agonist (as determined by a previous poll). Take your daughters, grand-daughters, nieces to the science museum, take them out on nature walks with their brothers … anything to get them away from the hypersexualized images they’re bombarded with on a daily basis. If you want your or your son’s future life partner – lover, wife, mother of your/his children to be your/his friend and an exciting and intelligent person to be with, then do your part.

    Thank you.


    “OTP – Occupy The Patriarchy” ~ me

  • Wayyyyyy too much information.

    (Although it finally provides clarification for that odd whiff of hypocrite that, arguably, most often characterizes your views on the subject.)

  • Steve did not reveal too much of himself? Only me? Now that’s discrimination.

    There’s a Dom and a Sub in all of us. The Dom/Sub state of mind is applicable to many situations. One can switch either one off or on. In real life I’m mainly a Dom. In fantasy life sometimes a Sub. It provides balance.

    “OTP – Occupy The Patriarchy” ~ me

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