The International Womens Media Foundation website attacked

This just announced: The website of the International Women’s Media Foundation suffered a complex brute-force attack Sept 5, the organization said in a press statement Sept. 12. The website, which features the work of the IWMF and promotes the empowerment of female journalists worldwide, was defaced and most of its original content destroyed. The severity of the breach, as well as the hacker’s advanced methods and systematic approach, suggest that the incident was a targeted attack against the IWMF and its mission to strengthen the role of women in the media, the statement said. [Source eWomen's news] 

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A man’s guide to ultimate power – my upcoming book

Here is my first excerpt from my upcoming book.

As you know I am writing a few ebooks so have decided to blog some of the content because it’s just so interesting! I would love your feedback!

 eBooklet 1: A Man’s Guide To (Ultimate) Power – How to Keep Women Out (Or Not)


“All truth passes through three stages. first it is ridiculed. second it is violently opposed and third it is accepted as being self-evident.” Arthur Schopenhauer.

Have you ever wondered who so many men are in the highest positions of power?

Why do they fill the top and best paid jobs in corporations and governments? Why are they 80% of the CEOs in the largest North American companies? And on the flip side, why are so many college educated women working in their homes for no pay or benefits and doing the bulk of child rearing and the thankless work of household cleaning? Why are so many women divorced and poorer for it? Don’t you wonder, after all this time, after the women’s liberation movement and the feminist movement why women just cannot seem to break through the glass ceiling or get out of the kitchen?

Most people readily admit that women today face many barriers including sexism and discrimination – but that that these barriers are slowly disappearing. Others will tell you that it’s just a matter of time until women graduates reach the numbers necessary to tip the scales inside companies. Others are convinced that women just need to be tougher, work a bit harder and be more willing to make sacrifices to truly excel.

Although all of these explanations are partly true, they actually mask the real reasons why women are still struggling to gain power and freedom. As a rule we label the empowerment of women as a womens’ issue and by doing so we focus narrowly on helping women as individuals and engage only women in the conversation.  This in turn causes us to remain blind to the critical fact that our whole culture holds women back. We are all inadvertently holding women back. We just don’t see it because it is accepted as “the way things are” and supported in millions of tiny ways such as though media, corporate practices and institutions.

This book shatters our out-dated thinking about why women fall behind and why so many men jump ahead – at work, at home and in politics. Fitzgerald directs our attention to the deeply rooted systemic barriers women face – that are almost completely invisible. In order to truly free women we need to look at the entire forest, not just 50% of the trees.

As a radically fresh, intelligent and often humorous approach, Fitzgerald urges us to stop telling women (and men) to change and instead aim at the many beliefs, habits and practices that we have inadvertently inherited, along with our out-dated and often absurd assumptions about men and women. By shifting our focus to the real culprit, we can each individually peel back the barriers that hold women back, but equally important, we can help men and women reconnect as true partners at work and in life.

Here are the chapters:

  1. Convince women there is something wrong with them
  2. Expect women to act like mini-men
  3. Tell women they just need more courage
  4. Burden women with completely absurd expectations
  5. Place women on a tightrope of double binds
  6. Squeeze women into outdated stereotypes
  7. Discourage women from seeking power
  8. Convince women they don’t want or need power
  9. Do not value feminine strengths
  10. Keep women busy with self help

Over the next few weeks I will be posting each of these chapters in this blog. I hope to get your feedback! Cheers, Maureen


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Get mad and support teachers for these 5 reasons


Here are the facts (according to me) you need to know about the BC teachers strike (although given the media blackout it’s hard to tell exactly what is going on).

Fact 1.  In 2002 when Christy Clark was education minister, Gordon Campbell’s liberals passed Bills 27 and 28 which took way the teachers right to bargain on class size and composition. The BCTF hired lawyers and won their case after years in the courts. In 2011 the BC Supreme Court declared the bills illegal and unconstitutional.

Fact 2. In 2012 the government introduced Bill 22 effectively restoring what the BC Supreme Court had rejected. Again the BCTF took the government to court and won.  In January 2014 the court again ruled that the Bill was illegal. Justice Griffin (clearly shocked at the government’s behaviour) also ordered the government to pay $2 million for “bargaining in bad faith” and putting so much pressure on the union that they were forced to strike!

Fact 3. In her decision, Justice Griffin retroactively restored the old (2002) provisions of the collective agreement and in doing so made the government liable for about a billion dollars for that multi-year violation of the teacher’s rights. Due to its “inability to pay” the BC government is appealing the decision and the appeal decision is due in October or soon after. Apparently only the dollar amount is being disputed, not the facts.

Fact 4. The Liberal government is apparently now playing hard ball with the teachers. It seems clear that the government has both the money and time to out-pressure the teachers. However it does not want to legislate the teachers back or they will be stuck with the 2002 contract wording. If they can get anything less than what Justice Griffin ordered then they effectively win. And they avoid losing three times in the court.

Fact 5: The Liberal government has recently spent our taxpayer money on two ways to promote themselves.  First they are paying all BC parents (in K-7) $40 a day during the strike. This is seen by most teachers and parents as bribery and raised the concern by policy experts that the Liberals are trying to dismantle public education and promote privatization (did I mention that Christy Clarks’s son goes to a private boys school?) Second they have hired social media people and paid for advertising to promote their (somewhat one-sided) perspective.  This is seen by most a grossly unfair during bargaining.

Rumour has it that the government has a hidden strategy (no big surprise) to stall for as long as they can (to break the union) and is willing to stall until September 23 (a day before my birthday!) or just before the appeal decision comes out.

Here are the questions you should be asking:

  1. Do you think the teachers should give up the legal rights the courts gave them on class size and composition? (no)
  2. Do you think a government that has been in gross violation of the Constitution on two occasions – by the courts – should be trusted to offer teachers something fair? (no)
  3. Do you think our system of collective bargaining works? (no)

Its time to stand behind teachers. This is an historic moment.

Parents please do this: for each day until the strike is over:

1. Go to your child’s school from 9-915 am (with your child if possible) and tell the teachers they are doing the right thing.

2. Wear pink everyday (the colour of anti- bulling)

3. Carry signs saying “enough is enough” or other wise words, take a selfie and post it on Facebook and Twitter.

Refuse to fall for the rhetoric!

(PS Has anyone seen Christy Clark? I think she is missing in action)

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Parents join me for a 15 minute revolution on Tuesday

The BC teachers are still on strike.Please show up at your school at 9am to 915 on Tuesday with your kids and tell the government to bargain fairly!

I have followed the debates and now am convinced that the Liberal government did not really want to solve the strike at all. Although the issue seems to be the Supreme Court decisions that declared the BC Laws that restricted bargaining on class size and composition to be unconstitutional (and a past lawyer, I can tell you that by taking out these rights, you are gutting teachers’ power) this this is not the REAL issue. The issue is our whole system of labour negotiation where the parties bully each other to death. And the most powerful one wins (usually the government, duh!). And in doing so they destroy all the relationships of parents, students, teachers, principals unions, politicians and governments. If the Liberal government really wants to improve or dismantle the whole  K-12 public education system, do it transparently. Not by paying parents $40 bucks and  not by one thousand knife cuts. This is a disgusting abuse of labour law, played out in its truest form! I urge sensible and heart-based lawyers to create a better system that honours not just the two fighting parties but all the impacted people (like all of us!) over the long term. See you on Tuesday for the first step!


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Great book: Ishmael

The book “Ishmael” by Daniel Quinn is a life altering book. I own 3 copies. In essence it says that as humans we created our own erroneous ideas about how the world functions and as a result we have been depleting the earth and killing each other. We humans think we are the masters of the world, the top of the food chain. We think we can use (abuse) anything we want, like soil, animals and air for our sole advantage. What if instead we thought we were simply another species playing out our small part. Funny how one thought can be so powerful.


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Cooking is art

“Cooking is one of the best ways for your authentic self to remind your conscious self that you are an artist. ”

Sarah Ban Breathnach

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Great book: Spiritual Literacy

I am reading “Spiritual Literacy” by Frederic and Mary Anne Brussat. It is an amazing collection of hundreds of quotes from authors, thought leaders who have written about love, devotion, mediation and all sorts of topics! Its great to read a few pages at night or in the morning. Such wisdom. I am never giving this book away.

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The world needs all its flowers

“The world needs all its flowers. Sometimes we may think, Well I am not a flower, I am not beautiful, and I don’t have any qualities that might be useful. What hubris that is, to think the world has singled you out to be useless and unbeautiful!”

Jon Kabat-Zinn

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Must read a Return to Love

I am re-reading “A Return to Love” by Marianne Williamson. If you have not read it, you must. In her very practical way, she explains how we were taught mostly through our traditional religions that we are not lovable (we are sinners). As a recovering Catholic, it was helpful in understanding how my believing in a angry/judging god could cause us to feel “not quite good enough” and how we learn to judge others rather than accept them – just as they are, no matter what they believe. It’s time to stop thinking that motivating people by fear is okay and get back to the essence of all faiths, which is love. Love is enough. And remember to love yourself first.


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Love the questions

“Try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. ”

Rainer Maria Rilke

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