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Category: Gender Discrimination

Casey Affleck and the normalization of workplace harassment

Casey Affleck and the normalization of workplace harassment

Casey Affleck, younger brother of A-list star, Ben Affleck, took home the title of Best Actor at the Academy Awards on Sunday for his role in Manchester by the Sea. The win immediately spurred controversy as Affleck is accused of sexually harassing multiple female coworkers while making his 2010 mockumentary, I’m Still Here. One of the unsettled lawsuits involve Affleck climbing into bed with a woman while she was asleep and unaware.

We expect that anyone in violation of workplace harassment rules will be disciplined accordingly, whether that be re-educated or removed from their position. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case and scenarios like Affleck winning an Oscar maintain and enforce the normalization of sexual harassment and violence against women.

In a study conducted by Associates of Women for Action and Research (AWARE), 54 per cent of employees say they have been subject to some type of sexual harassment in the workplace, 79 per cent of those surveyed were women.

These incidents are often unreported and regularly disregarded as being in mere “jest”, the victim being silenced or accused of lacking humour. At any rate, sexual harassment, whether verbal or physical, is ignored in spite of strict legislation put in place to protect workers.

Casey Affleck accepting his Oscar at the 89th Academy Awards.

Affleck’s win affirms some of our greatest fears: sexual harassment is not taken seriously in the workplace and even a man in the spotlight with publicly known lawsuits will still be awarded.

The allegations against Affleck, while not yet proven in court, are indicative of an issue that happens in workplaces worldwide. some are arguing that the allegations should not interfere with his talent as an actor or director.

To be clear, Casey Affleck’s Oscar win is not a story of just a male actor with money getting away with harassment. His win is just one example of a larger issue that happens in grocery stores, office settings, warehouses and arguably any other workplace you can imagine. Casey Affleck should not be given the benefit of “being an actor”. He is a man who sexually harassed coworkers at work, an issue for which there should be zero tolerance in any capacity in any workplace.



The price of pink: class action lawsuit filed in response to “pink tax”

The price of pink: class action lawsuit filed in response to “pink tax”

The money we spend on everyday hygiene products often goes unnoticed as they’re items we deem necessary to purchase. However, would you think twice about the products you’re buying if others were purchasing the same items for significantly less money?

This is common when comparing the prices of men and women’s hygiene products. Women are often paying higher prices for everyday products like razors, shaving cream, deodorant, hair products and body wash, a phenomenon known as the “pink tax”.

Dove is a product of Unilever, one of the companies named in the pending class action lawsuit against companies and retailers who have gender discriminatory pricing.

A Montreal woman is in the process of filing a class action lawsuit against companies that make these products and the retailers that sell them for their gender discriminating prices. Some of the companies named in the lawsuit include: Unilever Canada, Shoppers Drug Mart, Walmart, Loblaws and Metro. The damages could potentially add to over $100 million. Read the full CBC story here.

A study by Parsehub, revealed that on average, women are paying 43% more for hygiene products than men do. The study looked at 3,191 personal care products from three major Canadian retailers and found this to be consistent among almost all products.

Add to this that men are also receiving more product per bottle of hygiene product or stick of deodorant than women receive yet they are still paying less. compared prices of common men’s and women’s hygiene products, the amount of product per item and the price. For example, Men’s Speed Stick containing 70 g of product, costs $4.89 but Lady Speed Stick for 65 g of product costs $6.89.

I personally have resorted to buying razors marketed toward men instead of purchasing the pink bag from the same brand only feet away on the shelves because of the difference in price, but should women be forced to buy men’s deodorant, men’s body wash or men’s shampoo because spicy, musky scents cost less than the scents of fruits and hibiscus flowers?