Radio Freethinker

Vancouver's Number 1 Skeptical Podcast and Radio Show

Posts Tagged ‘women’s issues’

Radio Freethinker Episode 190 – Killer Energy Shot Edition

Posted by Don McLenaghen on November 20, 2012

This week:
Women’s issues in the secular movement,
Ireland’s ‘pro-life’ laws kill,

– Rogue Planet found, and
– Killer Energy Drinks – is Caffeine toxic?

Download the episode here!

Women’s issues in the secular movement

We have special guest Free Thinker, Stephanie Van Dyk from UBC’s Freethinker’s club talk about the club and the impact the ‘women’ and ‘skepticism’ debate has had on our local club .

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Ireland’s ‘pro-life’ laws kill

Over 20 years ago the Irish Supreme Court made abortion, under curtain conditions, available to women in Ireland and yet the Irish government has not altered any of its laws. This purposeful neglect result recently in the death of a women who died because she was refused a abortion on a miscarried pregnancy. She was told “this is a catholic country” and we don’t do abortions here. We discuss the history, politics and ethics of the Irish position on abortion.

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Rogue Planet found

Scientist have discovered a rogue planet…that’s cool and we talk about the science and wonder of the news.

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Killer Energy Drinks – is Caffeine toxic?

There has been much reporting in the news about how teenagers have been dropping like flies..why? They drank energy drinks. We talk about the real risks behind caffeine poisoning, the hype over energy drinks and the need to better education to ensure people now how to mix caffeine, alcohol and recreational drugs.

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Skeptical Highlights:

NerdFest: A Night of Medieval Fantasy

This event will be a fun filled night of medieval fantasy with some of the best Vancouver has to offer. A variety show consisting of stage performers, live music, magic, sword fighting, short films, and even a costume contest.

Highlights include live music by local folk-metal band Scythia, belly dancing by Mahsafoun, burlesque by Precious Metal, fire dancing by Vespor Sephony, weapon-arts demonstration by Western martial-arts school Academie Duello and Vancouver Traditional Martial Arts Academy.

Vendors of all types will be setting up booths selling their goods and services that will bring out the nerd in us all. This is an annual event and something not to be missed!

Date: Friday, Nov 23, 2012, 6:00 pm

Location: Biltmore Cabaret – 2755 Prince Edward, Vancouver

Admission: $15

End of Life Care – Assisted Suicide

Assisted suicide is a sensitive issue being challenged in the Canadian courts on multiple levels. Is it moral to assist in the death of another person, or is there neither a time nor a place for such things? If it is conditionally moral, then what are those conditions?

The UBC Freethinkers are hosting a night devoted to the topic with an opportunity for discussion and Q&A. We are very excited to have three guest speakers for the night coming from a diverse background to aid in the discussion.

Date: Wednesday, Nov 21, 2012, 5 pm

Location: 221 West Mall Swing Space – UBC – 2175 West Mall

Admission: by donation


Russel Ogden – Sociology and Criminology — Kwantlen Polytechnic University
Will Johnston, MD – Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
Dr. Scott Anderson – Department of Philosophy — UBC

Science of Harm Reduction Drug Policy by Dr. Thomas Kerr

Friday, November 30, 2012
Room A102 of Buchanan Building, Block A, 1866 Main Mall, Vancouver

Dr. Thomas Kerr is Co-Director of the Urban Health Research Initiative at the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS (BC-CfE), and an Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of AIDS at the University of British Columbia.

Harm reduction drug policy has become a politically polarizing issue, which often leaves the science behind the rhetoric. With recent court challenges over Vancouver’s safe injection site, Insite; society must become scientifically informed on what strategies are effective in treating addiction and improving public health.

This talk will take place in room A102 of Buchanan building block A at UBC. There is a suggested donation of $5 to $10.

Check out the FaceBook Event


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Nerds, Creeps, and Women

Posted by Chloe Packer on November 17, 2010

A post on the fantastic and informative blog, Skepchick, made on November 13th by Elyse, generated some interesting comments–some of which mystified this skeptical woman.

Elyse  posted about how she’d been hearing a lot of complaints from women in the skeptical movement about ‘creepy dudes’ at skeptical events. The pose also talked about how hard it is for women to speak up about the “creepy dude factor”. Most will just stop coming to events instead of saying something. In addition, Elyse is starting an outreach organization for women in the skeptical movement to deal with issues that are specific to women.

What is particularly interesting about this post, and this issue, for yours truly is that I have yet to attend a skeptic/atheist/humanist themed event where the creepy dude factor had to be dealt with. In my experience, men in the Skeptical movement tend to be rational about, and therefore respectful towards, women in social situations. When I mentioned this on the show, one of my co-hosts pointed out that this may be more specific to Vancouver culture in general than to skeptical community in general. Creepy dudes only in America (or not Vancouver)? I doubt it, but the point here being that experiences elsewhere are going to be different, which is fair.

What got me, however, is that the general tone and mood of the comments posted on in response to Elyse’s post equated creepiness with socially awkward nerdiness. No, really. In other words, the socially awkward straight guys are the creepy ones. This is, of course, bearing in mind that there are always the guys, no matter how they look or whether or not they are nerds, who are complete creeps, of the bum-touching variety (you know who I mean). But equating creepiness with nerdiness to me seems, in fact, to a socially inexperienced stance to take–nerds of any gender tend to socially awkward, so where’s the creepiness and where’s the worry?

The really bothersome point for me are the methods being used here. An outreach organization is a great idea, but I’m not sure that it really deals with the issues at hand. We’re a young movement, so we have the opportunity to make the rules now; we’re also a movement that prides itself on its logic and rationalism, it’s foundation in reality. The problem here is not only that one group, in this case predominantly heterosexual men, are causing the issues, but also that women and other men aren’t saying anything about it. This of course doesn’t mean that it’s a woman’s fault when she gets creeped on–I’m not an apologist for sexist, er, insert-euphemisms-here. But what I think would be a really great thing for women in the Skeptical movement to take on is to SPEAK UP. Most of the guys who are being creeps have no idea what they’re doing. We need to monitor each other, and most non-creep men are going to be on our side. Non-creep men: you need to speak up too. Let’s do it.

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