tnp logo

Friday, March 6, 2009, Vol. 4, No, 13 — 164
"True North is for opinion makers"
Mission Statement        Archives        Contact the Editor        Subscribe!

Women's struggles ... Women's victories

Editor's Notes

Friday, March 6, 2009
True North Perspective
Vol. 4, No. 13 (164)

One day years ago I broke off from a novel I was writing to make myself a late lunch. While eating I switched on the television and apropos of nothing, except perhaps the challenging blank page in my typewriter, I told myself that for the next three hours I’d watch television as if I were a woman. — 474 words.

"News is what (certain) people want to keep hidden. Everything else is just publicity."
PBS journalist Bill Moyers.

Your support makes it possible for True North to clear the fog of "publicity" and keep you informed on what's really happening in the world today. Please send your donation to:

Carl Dow, True North, Station E, P.O. Box 4814, Ottawa ON Canada K1S 5H9.

From the desk of Rosaleen Dickson, Contributing Editor

Saskatchewan digs deep to discover its wireless past

By Tom Kyle, the Old Guy
Winnipeg, Manitoba

After having dug to a depth of 10 metres last year, scientists in New York state found traces of copper wire dating back 100 years and came to the conclusion that their ancestors already had a telephone network more than 100 years ago. — 150 words.

Arctic shipping controls delayed to 2010
Liberals, Bloc, NDP, support enforcement of Canadian stamp on Arctic

By Alex Binkley
True North Perspective
First written for Canadian Sailings

OTTAWA — The federal government will wait another year before trying to tighten its control over Arctic shipping by requiring all vessels to report to Canadian authorities before entering Canada's 200 mile zone in the north, says Transport Minister John Baird. — 962 words.

International Women’s Day 2009

The first International Women's Day

In 1869 British MP John Stuart Mill was the first person in Parliament to call for women's right to vote. On 19 September 1893 New Zealand became the first country in the world to give women the right to vote. Women in other countries did not enjoy this equality and campaigned for justice for many years. — 533 words.

Every day is Valentine’s Day

'To Love, to Love, to Life'

'Love mitigates the ruthlessness of desire.'

I asked those in my circle to raise a toast to love. This is what they said.

By Linda Solomon

I'm sitting at Starbucks preparing for a Valentine's Day writer's workshop I've convened on Gabriola Island. On Saturday night, we will hold a "Love Banquet" with a contest to see who can come up with the funniest, the sappiest, the most hopeful toasts to love. Attendee Janet Vickers has sent hers already. Other reflections on love from people in my circle have arrived in my e-mail box, ready to be sorted and contemplated... — 1,652 words.

She fought for her husband, Maher Arar

And now that he is free, together, they keep fighting

By Michael Byers

Beethoven's opera Fidelio tells the story of Florestan, an innocent man who is jailed for political reasons. Leonore, his wife, sets out to find and free him. Ultimately, her love and courage prevail over the arbitrary power of the state. — 1,103 words.

Déjà Vu — Like Mother-Like daughter

By Susan A. Jennings

Author of Save some for me, a story of courage survival and success. Susan facilitates workshops for women. and E-courses for writers,

The year is 1962; she was barely nineteen years old. A beaming princess in flowing white lace, clutching pink roses as she floated down the aisle on her proud father's arm. Like a chattel her hand was given to the handsome prince. His deceiving smile looked into her loving eyes; he knew he had snagged a good woman. Blinded by pixie dust promising the 'happily ever after dream' she never saw the nightmare coming until it was too late. — 1,076 words.

Smart women, dangerous choices

By Sigrid Macdonald

Sigrid Macdonald is a longtime feminist and social activist. She is an editor, book coach and the author of two books including D'Amour Road, which is dedicated to Louise Ellis. Visit her at

Some women are attracted to bad boys.  They may be alcoholics, married men, or men with an attitude like Stanley Kowalski in Streetcar Named Desire, or James Dean in Rebel without a Cause.  The worst type of bad boy is a convict or an ex-con and sad to say, there are many women who fall for these men.  Why is that? — 890 words.

'We became soul mates, lovers, and later, husband and wife'

By Alberte Villeneuve-Sinclair

Alberte Villeneuve-Sinclair is the author of “The Neglected Garden/Le jardin négligé” and “Une prière  pour Hélène”. Her website is

On a recent vacation in Punta Cana, I pondered the meaning of love in women’s lives. Valentine’s Day 2009 marked the 5th anniversary of my second husband’s commemorative service. I anticipated much sadness but instead, I felt love and grace as I reviewed the fifteen wonderful years Brian and I shared. He knew from the first day we were meant for one another; in fact he proposed two weeks after that first meeting. I made him wait because I had had a terrible first marriage. He didn’t mind; he waited. We became soul mates, lovers and later, husband and wife. — 708 words.

'The people won the vote, now the people must become the government'

By James Suggett

Two days after the referendum in which 54.9% of Venezuelans approved a constitutional amendment to lift term limits on elected officials, journalist and activist of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) Vanessa Davies spoke with about the meaning of the referendum, the next steps and challenges ahead for the PSUV, gender in the Chávez government, the media, and U.S. President Barack Obama. — 591 words.

Venezuela has a woman's face

'These victories are important and indisputable yet do not mean that the war for women's liberation has been won'

By Jessie Blanco

Jesse Blanco is Editor of the magazine Feminista Matea. Translated by Carolina John and George Gabriel.

Venezuela is a beautiful land with 26 million habitants, about 49.6 per cent of whom are women, half the population. Looking at the situation of these women we see the highest rate of teen pregnancy in Latin America and the Caribbean, where 100 per cent of women have suffered gender violence, whether its expression be psychological, physical, or above all cultural, and who have given up to a fateful rise in the number of deaths thus caused. About 5 women are killed weekly in gender-related violence. — 839 words.

And what now for Ingrid Betancourt?

Rescue boosts Uribe's standing

By Jeremy McDermott
BBC News

MEDELLIN — The successful rescue of 15 hostages from the clutches of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc) has had a massive political impact, nationally and internationally. — 743 words.

Andrée de Jongh

‘Young and innocent girl’ established and maintained 1,600 kilometre underground railroad
through Nazi occupied Europe to rescue shot-down allied airmen

Known to all simply as "Dédée", Andrée de Jongh began her resistance work as soon as the Germans advanced into Belgium in May 1940. At the time she was a 24-year-old commercial artist and Belgian Red Cross volunteer, but she gave up her work in order to nurse wounded soldiers; once they were able to walk, she found them safe houses and recruited her friends to help. — 1,076 words.

From the Desk of Kazimiera J. (Jean) Cottam, PhD

Three stories of heroism by Polish women during World War II

Polish Flight Second Lieutenant only woman shot in Katyn Forest

LEWANDOWSKA, née DOWBÓR-MUŚNICKA, JANINA (1908-1940). Flight Second Lieutenant Lewandowska was the only woman officer to be incarcerated in the Soviet PoW Camp for Polish Officers in Kozel’sk, to be executed in Katyn Forest. About 15,000 officers were captured following Soviet invasion of eastern Poland on September 17, 1939. They were placed in three camps: Kozel’sk (south-east of Smolensk), Starobel’sk (near Kharkiv), and Ostashkov (north-west of Moscow). — 526 words.

Flight Leader Anna Leska-Daab flew 1,295 different aircraft to battle-front stations

LESKA-DAAB, ANNA (1910-1998). Flight Lieutenant, RAF. Flight Leader, Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA), directly subordinated to the Commander of the RAF. Great Britain, World War II. Stationed at Hatfield and Hamble, Leska-Daab ferried a total number of 1295 aircraft, including 557 Supermarine Spitfires (I-XVII versions). She flew 93 types of aircraft and amphibia, and spent 1241 hours in the air. At eighteen Leska-Daab qualified as a category A and B glider pilot in Miłosna, Poland, and as balloon pilot at the Warsaw Flying Club. — 438 words.

Second Lieutenant shot in forehead while leading her men in a ground assault against a Nazi stronghold

GIERCZAK, Emilia. (Born 1925, Poland; died in combat 17 March 1945, Kołobrzeg, Pomerania, Poland.) Also called Elka. Second Lieutenant, Polish Army formed in the Soviet Union. Platoon commander, 10th Infantry Regiment, Poland, World War II. — 576 words.

A forgotten contribution

Before Rosa Parks, 15-year-old Claudette Colvin refused to give up her seat on the bus

By Eliza Gray

Rosa Parks's name is known round the world, but what about Claudette Colvin? On March 2, 1955, nine months before Parks famously refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Ala., a skinny, 15-year-old schoolgirl was yanked by both wrists and dragged off a very similar bus. — 900 words.

UAE: Women's participation is the norm

By Meena Janardhan
Inter Press Service

DUBAI (IPS) — In the gender-sensitive Gulf milieu, efforts by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to empower women and recognise them as partners in the nation-building process has received praise, but experts stress that the scope for improvement is limitless. — 979 words.

Baturina called most influential woman

The Moscow times

MOSCOW — Billionaire Yelena Baturina is Russia's most influential woman, according to a ranking published on Friday by Finans magazine, a week ahead of International Women's Day. — 145 words.

Palestinian woman makes history in Israeli parliament

Although Haneen Zoubi is not the first Arab woman to enter the Knesset, she is the first to be elected for an Arab party

By Jonathan Cook

When Israel's 18th parliament opened today, there was only one Arab woman among its intake of legislators. Haneen Zoubi has made history: although she is not the first Arab woman to enter the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, she is the first to be elected for an Arab party. — 1,019 words.

For many Iraqi women and girls, 'internally displaced' means 'homeless'

By Dahr Jamail

"We have no water, no money, and no work," says Ahmed Hussein, 15. "How can a human live in this misery?"

BAGHDAD, (IPS) — "We only want a normal life," says Um Qasim, sitting in a bombed out building in Baghdad. She and others around have been saying that for years. — 822 words.

A hard look at women's rights in Iran

By Nazila Fathi
New York Times

TEHRAN — In a year of marriage, Razieh Qassemi, 19, says she was beaten repeatedly by her husband and his father. Her husband, she says, is addicted to methamphetamine and has threatened to marry another woman to "torture" her. Rather than endure the abuse, Ms. Qassemi took a step that might never have occurred to an earlier generation of Iranian women: she filed for divorce. — 1,257 words.

Liberal abstentions ensure removal of equal pay deal with public employees

ByJohn Lewandowski
The Canadian Press

Calling the Liberals "cowards," about 100 unionized public sector workers braved wind and icy rain in front of a Halifax hotel on Saturday to urge the party to push for changes to the federal budget before it is implemented. Members of the Public Service Alliance of Canada and supporters chanted and waved signs as federal MPs arrived in advance of their leader to participate in the Nova Scotia Liberal Party's annual convention. — 508 words.

US 'cell assault' video released

BBC News

US prosecutors have released video footage of a sheriff's deputy striking a 15-year-old girl and throwing her onto a cell floor. The video is evidence in the case against Washington state Deputy Paul Schene, accused of using excessive force against the girl in November. — 192 words.

Women use Koran to demand equal rights

Sabrina Tavernise
International Herald Tribune

KUALA LUMPUR — The religious order banning women from dressing like tomboys was bad enough. But the fatwa by this country's leading clerics against yoga was the last straw. — 941 words.

Sex clinics will be open in every secondary school and college

China Daily

LONDON, England — Sexual health clinics could soon be open in every secondary school and college. All pupils would have easy access to emergency contraception and pregnancy testing without their parents being told. — 664 words.

Women have boobs — get over it

By Samara Ginsberg

I must say straight away that I am happy with the way I look. There are things that I would change if it were easy to do so. I would like to have longer limbs, and yes, smaller breasts. — 3,255 words.

Zero infant mortality in eastern Cuban municipality

Cauto Cristo municipality, in the eastern Cuban province of Granma, has reported zero mortality among children under one year of age. — 136 words.

Famous Canadian photographer is exhibiting in Cuba

The highest level Canadian contemporary photography arrived here in the lens of Lynne Cohen, who is exhibiting 15 works of great format at the Fototeca de Cuba, under the title Indicios. Cohen is considered one of the most internationally recognized living photographers and has won several awards along her career, among them the 2005 Visual Arts Award, presented by the General Governor. Lynne Cohen lives and works in Montreal. — 245 words.

'When it comes to money, women are better'

China Daily

When it comes to money, women really are more responsible than men, with an international survey finding that they're less likely to get into debt and strive harder to become financially independent. — 430 words.

True North Canuck Fact of the Day

First legal den of iniquity named after Diamond Tooth Gertie

Diamond Tooth Gertie’s, Canada’s first legal gambling hall, bar and cancan show palace, opened in 1971 in Dawson, Yukon. It was named for Gertie Lovejoy, who worked Dawson’s dance halls during the gold rush era in the late 1890s and wore a small diamond between two of her teeth.

Trivia compiled by Randy Ray and Mark Kearney, authors of eight books about Canada. For more fabulous facts, visit their Web site at:

Hansel and Gretel by Cuba-Canada Ballet Project in Hamilton April 27

The Dance School of the National Ballet of Cuba in Canada, led by Miriam Vila, will premiere Hansel and Gretel in Hamilton, as part of a Cuba-Canada project that started last December with the performance of the Nutcracker. — 165 words.

Young Canadians charmed by the kindness of Cubans

BAYAMO, Cuba — A group of young Canadians, who lived in this eastern Cuban city for two-and-a-half months, ended their stay charmed by the kindness of the people and the island's natural beauty and tranquility. The working visit was organized by the Trois=Rivieres Solidarity Committee of Quebec, Canada. — 249 words.

Random Acts of Poetry

There’s a no violence rule at the former Criminal Corners

By Mike Heenan
Literary Editor
True North Perspective

What if Dsieskanzki were quoting Polish poetry in the vain hope that it may be an international language? — 236 words.

Spirit Quest

'I offer this tribute to one of my teachers'

By The Rev. Dr. Hanns F. Skoutajan

For many years roles for women outside the home were limited to nursing and teaching. I offer this tribute to one of my teachers. — 993 words.

The Book End

Every Friday in this spot True North will feature a book by a Canadian writer. The presentation will not be a review. It will include a profile of the author written by him/herself and about the product of the author’s literary labours. If a reader wants to file a review we’ll publish it. Today we offer not one but three books, in alphabetical order by author: Save Some For Me by Susan Jennings; D’Amour Road by Sigrid Macdonald; and The Neglected Garden by Alberte Villeneuve-Sinclair. Enjoy. — Mike Heenan, Literary Editor, True North Perspective. — 254 words.


A short story by Carl Dow
Editor and publisher
True North Perspective

Sharing Lies

It wasn't long after they arrived that her parents were privately and urgently telling her that they should do something about the lies her son told. While her parents had their afternoon hiatus, she revealed all to her husband as they watched their four-year-old liar building sand castles on the beach. — 841 words.

Website may be path to success
for authors, publishers, and companies

Prolific best-selling Ottawa author and publicist Randy Ray has developed a website to promote his publicity services, which he offers to authors, publishers and companies. Mr. Ray has helped many clients get their message out across Canada on CTV, CBC Radio, CH-TV, A-Channel and Global TV, and in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Ottawa Citizen, Ottawa Sun, Halifax Herald and many Ottawa-area weekly newspapers. Mr. Ray's web site is: He can be contacted at: (613) 731-3873 or

Link not working? Story not loading? Can't click on the links? Got another computer problem? Never fear! Carl is here!

If you have any problems with accessing the newsletter or problems with your computer, send an email to Carl Hall , and he will be more than happy to assist you.


Carl Dow, Editor and Publisher
Geoffrey Dow, Managing Editor
Yvette Pigeon, Associate Editor
Mike Heenan, Literary Editor
Benoit Jolicoeur, Art Director
Ian Covey, Director of Photography
Carl Hall, Technical Analyst and Web Editor
Contributing Editors
Anita Chan, Australia
Rosaleen Dickson
Tom Dow
Bob Kay
Randy Ray
Harold Wright