Letters: Women & Work, Second Hand Goods & Sentences

It's mail day. We find out what you've had to say about woman and work, second-hand clothing and your favourite sentences. Plus we talk to Anna Holmes, the founder of the website Jezebel, about why there's more to Charlie Sheen's meltdown than meets the eye.



It's time for our weekly look at the mail. And Hana Gartner joined Anna Maria in studio to help read your letters. Hana is of course the co-host of The Fifth Estate on CBC Television. And she's back as The Friday Host of The Current this week.

One-Child Policy: Tuesday was the 100th International Women's Day. We marked it with a Special Edition of The Current. And one of the stories we looked at was the devastating impact the one-child policy has had on mothers in China. Xinran is a Chinese journalist who has chronicled the stories of Chinese women who faced heart-wrenching decisions after giving birth to daughters. After Xinran shared the devastating stories of Chinese mothers, we heard from you.

Second Hand Goods: Second hand goods is big business in North America. And Toronto is the world's largest hub for the exchange of secondhand goods. Monday on The Current, we heard that a good portion of our secondhand stuff ends up in Ghana, in West Africa. But now Ghana has put a ban on the import and sale of some second hand goods, including mattresses. Our listeners added their thoughts to this discussion in our inbox.

Sentences: Stanley Fish is a celebrated literary critic and academic. And he's leading a campaign to revive the craft of writing and reading a good sentence. Last week, he shared some of his favourite sentences. And we asked you to share your inspirations. We shared a few examples.

Costa Rica/Nicaragua Update: We also want to take a moment to update you on a story we brought you on Monday. The Rio San Juan river runs along the border between Costa Rica and Nicaragua. And it's the site of a long-standing border dispute between the two countries. On Monday, we asked journalist Tim Rogers to sum up the disagreement.

On Tuesday, the International Court of Justice ruled on the case. The ruling calls for both sides to withdraw all troops, police, and security personnel from about three square-kilometres of contested land along the border region. But it does not prevent Nicaragua from continuing to dredge the river. The high court also calls on both sides to "refrain from any action that might aggravate or extend the dispute ... or make it more difficult to resolve."

Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla called it a fair and "overwhelming victory" for her country in using law to repel aggressors. But Nicaragua is also claiming victory. Carlos Arg├╝ello, Nicaragua's representative before The Hague, told state media that the ruling is satisfactory because it blocks Costa Rica's alleged "offensive" against Nicaraguan sovereignty.

Women & Work: In another part of our program to mark International Women's Day on Tuesday, we examined the state of feminism in Canada with women from three generations. Our panel included Ursula Franklin, a physicist and pioneering feminist and pacifist and Erin Cardone, a reporter and columnist with the Victoria News. This discussion prompted many listeners to write in about feminism. We shared a few letters.

Charlie Sheen: The Current did devote the whole show on Tuesday to women's issues. And, if you go by the very unscientific 'google news' numbers it was a big story: when you type in "International Women's Day" into google news... links to over 10 thousand stories pop up. But we didn't touch what was by far the biggest news story of that day because when you type in "Charlie Sheen" into Google news, you get over 21 thousand stories. The actor was fired from his hit show Two and a Half Men. And his general erratic behaviour has stirred up a media frenzy.

We aired a clip of Charlie Sheen being interviewed by CNN's Piers Morgan at the end of February.

Anna Holmes says the media has overlooked one of the most egregious story lines in its blanket coverage of all things Charlie Sheen. Anna Holmes is the founding editor of the website Jezebel. And she wrote about this issue in an op-ed for the New York Times called The Disposable Woman. Anna Holmes was in New York City.

To have your say about anything you hear on The Current, contact us.

Last Word - Egyptian Filmmaker

We ended the program with a preview of the story we will be airing tomorrow by Canadian-American film-maker who spent a year documenting the growth of the youth opposition movement in Egypt. And one of the activists she met was Basem Fathy. He helped organize support for Mohammed El Baradei, the former head of the United Nations' International Atomic Energy Agency. He gets the last word this morning talking from a very busy coffee shop about his goals in March of 2010 ... nearly a year before the protests in Tahrir Square.

Other segments from today's show:

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