Only 3% of female students at Ryerson approve of the Ford government: poll

71% of female students disapprove of the job the provincial governmental lead by Doug Ford is doing and abortion rights and sex education are amongst their concerns

71 per cent of Ryerson students who identify as female disapprove of the job the provincial government is doing, according to a recent poll conducted by Ryerson School of Journalism students between March 1-4.

Of the people who identified as female, when asked, “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the job the provincial government led by Doug Ford is doing?,” 71 per cent disapprove, three per cent approve, and 25 per cent neither approve nor disapprove. (Numbers have been rounded down to whole numbers.)

First-year Ryerson School of Journalism students surveyed 1,179 Ryerson University students in person and online between March 1-4, 2019.

First-year social work student Taylor Rogers said that the Doug Ford government has been “absolute garbage.”

Rogers said she highly values gender equality and isn’t seeing that in the current government.

“He’s a white male, who thinks he’s superior and he’s a higher class, so I think he’s utilizing that to dismiss women,” Rogers said.

She said that Ford’s pro-life ideologies are bad for women and promote inequality by taking away their ability to choose whether they have children.

As reported by the Toronto Star, Doug Ford questioned why teenagers need permission slips from parents for school trips but not to have an abortion.

The issue of abortion was also a concern for first-year sociology student Sissy King.
“I’m not for men having such a strong opinion about something that doesn’t affect them,” King said.

Emma Hoskins, a first-year undeclared arts student, quoted a common abortion rights advocate slogan, No Uterus, No Opinion, to explain her feelings on Doug Ford’s opposition to abortion.

“I find it ridiculous that you would make people be parents when they’re not ready to be parents,” she said.

Sex-Ed curriculum reversal

One of Doug Ford’s major policy changes since his election was the plan to reverse the Ontario sex-education curriculum to the 1998 curriculum. However, the ministry of education recently announced that the curriculum will not be entirely rolled back, according to reports from the CBC.

Instead, topics like gender-identity will not be discussed until grade 8 rather than grade 2.
King said that this is inherently conflictual with Ford’s pro-life views.

“If you’re pro-life and against abortions, then why are you taking away sex education?” she said.
Hoskin said some people argue that sex-education encourages young people to become sexually active but she disagrees.

“It just makes it so people can do it safely and they’re knowledgeable about what they’re doing and how to be safe about it,” Hoskins said.

First-year creative industries student Brennan March is concerned about the poor sex education that his high school age sister will now receive.

“She’s not going to learn the proper sex-ed curriculum and I think it’s disgusting,” March said.

Lack of LGBT+ sex-ed

Of the 17 students polled that identify as non-binary or gender fluid, 76 per cent said they disapprove of the Ford government, five per cent said they approve, and 17 per cent said they neither approve or disapprove. Numbers have been rounded down to whole numbers. The margin of error for these numbers will be larger due to the small sample size.

The new sex education curriculum that was recently implemented does not include sex education for LGBTQ issues until grade 8, according to the CBC. This is a major concern for Leandra Budau, a first-year biomedical engineering student.

“It’s already an issue where they don’t have a whole lot of it in the sex education system, so I don’t love that they’re taking even more of it out,” Budau said. “I think that’s really unsafe.”

Budau said that as a queer person she can understand the disapproval of the Ford government among her community.

March said that as someone who identifies as bisexual he can understand the wide proportion of disapproval among marginalized people like women and the LGBT+ community.

March said that this delayed sex-education policy is only about the personal views of Doug Ford and the conservative government rather than the importance of educating the public.

“Taking away anything that gives you knowledge is a bad idea,” March said.

Results for the full sample have a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points, 19 times out of 20; it may be larger for subgroups.

Testimony against House Bill 36, The Pastor Protection Act

My name is Tess Stuber, I’m a junior in high school and I am standing here today to urge you to say no to the Pastor Protection Act. In every history class I have taken, we have discussed the monumental moments in history that stay with people forever. The moments where you can remember exactly what you were doing and how you heard the news. For some people that’s July 1969, when we put the first man on the moon. For many, it’s September 2001 when thousands of lives were so tragically lost. For me, it’s June 2015. When I was finally given the right to get married and have a family, nationwide.

It was June 26th, a Friday, my dad’s birthday and we were on vacation. I woke up to a flood of notifications on my phone. That day made history. It took much longer than it should have, but it still felt amazing to know that we had finally achieved what we have been fighting for since 1924 when the first gay-rights organization was created. I can close my eyes and picture exactly where I was laying in bed in our hotel room and I can feel the pain in my cheeks from smiling so hard upon hearing the news. I can feel the tightness in my chest from the squeals of excitement I struggled to contain. But our fight is not yet over.

I am here today because we, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community, are not done fighting for equality. You can look at the history of the gay rights movements and see that we are long overdue for the equality that we deserve. Being gay was not removed from the list of mental disorders until 1973, and “civil unions” between gay and lesbian couples were not recognized until 2000. Even then, it was only in one state, Vermont, and they wouldn’t call it a marriage. The Pastor Protection Act seeks to take away our fundamental rights that we have fought so hard to finally receive. This bill is moving backward toward inequality instead of acceptance, despite the recent progress we have made nationwide. Legislature like this tries to solve problems that do not even exist which results in only creating a greater divide from our community. Couples that wish to have their marriage officiated by their religious figures do so because they have a special connection with their faith and with that person so they already know them well. A couple would not ask their pastor, rabbi, or whomever, to officiate their marriage if they know that they are not accepted there. Our community would not go out of their way to ask someone that is not accepting because it would only create problems. That is what this bill does, it goes out of the way to cause a problem where one does not exist. This bill will do nothing but prove that we as a community are not accepted, and we are not equal.

On behalf of myself and the rest of the LGBT+ community, I urge you to say no to this bill that opens up a door to more discrimination and inequality in an already unfair and unjust world. We have fought long and hard to gain the rights we currently have. Not once have we stopped fighting. Not during the riots of 1969 at the Stonewall Inn, and not now. We have persisted toward legislation that gives us our basic human rights and protects us from hateful, unlawful, discrimination. The Pastor Protection Act tears down what we have worked so tirelessly to achieve. Our fight for equality is far from over. But by saying no to this bill, you are choosing love over hate and proving that Ohio, and America will fight the discrimination and unjust treatment of those who are different from you. I truly hope that you will take this into consideration. Thank you.