Wednesday, November 29, 2006

There's White in the Mosaic

"Robbie, we need to have a talk. I'm a little bit confused."


Maybe this post is coming too soon after the whole milk bag debacle, but after an interesting conversation with Sasha and Ivonne tonight, I can’t stop myself from blogging about this.

As many of you may or may not know, last week an individual at Ryerson* started an “I’m a White Minority at Ryerson” facebook group--which I am going to quite candidly tell you that I thought was hilarious. The group has since been shut down,** but I’m feeling pretty bad for the guy who created it, because he obviously meant it all in good humour. And while some might accuse him of being culturally insensitive, I would argue just the opposite—I think he was being acutely accurate in addressing a serious administrative unfairness that is happening at the university.

I remember moving to Toronto, and within the first week of classes, I heard some classmates, Magda and Kasia, talking about the events for some student group they were involved in. Eager and excited at the idea of belonging to a ‘group’, I asked if I could join. “Oh, it’s for Polish students,” they told me. “You could join, but really only Polish students are members. There’s probably another student group you could join, though,” the told me encouragingly.

But as a 7th generation white Canadian with no specific religious denomination, what cultural student group am I going to join? There really is no group set aside for those of us wanting to bond about our complete lack of a cultural or ethnic identity while we eat Kraft Dinner and maple syrup candies before we watch old Kids in the Hall episodes.

(Okay, I might get sidetracked by ranting about this, but my lack of a cultural identity has seriously been bothering me for the last 3 years. The only thing I’ve really got going on is some serious conversations with Robbie Burns and 8 years worth of Highland dancing lessons. I feel lucky, and know that white privilage is alive and well, so I'm not complaining. . . but I have to admit I was kind of jealous when I went to the East African Students' of Toronto multicultural show last Sunday and they were all bonding over their traditional dances, and at the Hindu Students' Association Diwali lunch, I enjoyed the delicious channa and roti while wishing that people didn't inherently question me when I say I like Bollywood. As a white girl from Alberta, the only musical cultural privilege I have is justifably setting Bon Jovi as my ringtone with no questions asked.)***

I recognize that an all-white Canadian student group would cause serious problems, and I’m not suggesting that one should seriously exist. I’m just saying that if it’s acceptable for a Black Students’ Group to exist, why can’t there be a White Students’ Group? (And I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a “Black Students’ at Ryerson” facebook group. I wasn’t able to figure this out, though, because I don’t have facebook. Sorry.)

One person logically argued with me that the reason white people shouldn’t have student groups is because they already have access to everything else, arguably at a more exclusive level. And while I agree that there is undeniably privilege and a favoured bias that comes with being born white, I think that this argument is just a Na-na-na argument. As in, “Na-na-na-na-na-naaa! We have a student group and you don’t!”

So while those people have their thumbs in their ears, waving their fingers with their tongues stuck out giving raspberries, I’m thinking that it either has to be all or nothing. Either there should be the possibility of a student group regardless of your race, origin, ethnicity and interests, or else there should be none.

I understood the obvious problems the facebook group presented, and although I probably find it funny partially because I am a white student, I do believe that as an international community Ryerson needs to find the fine line between developping a sense of humour and being politically correct.

Next year I’m starting up a “Western Canadian Students at Ryerson” student group. We can drink Kokanee, listen to country music together, and bond about the fact that because it takes the university forever to post our exam schedules, our flights home are that much more expensive. I’ll even let the British Columbians join, because I really like them.

Also, there aren't any Scottish student groups at Ryerson. I would stop complaining, and do something about it, but as a seventh generation Canadian, I know next to nothing about being Scottish, apart from how to properly lay your swords on the floor before you start dancing over them. (Which, for the record, you place your left sword horizontally with the hilt of the sword to your left, and your right sword perpendicular to your body, with the hilt at your feet.)


I'm kind of torn how I feel about all of this. I can see and understand both sides of the argument. Now I'm just wondering what everyone else thinks? The forum is open.
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*Jess Rafuse, if you're reading this, I think you did a fabulous job reporting the story in an unbiased manner. It was a sensitive topic, and I think you handled it well. Wanna join my Western Canadian group?


**Sarah, I don't think you're credited for writing this story on the eyeopener site. So if anyone reads it, I think Sarah Boesveld wrote it. She's fabulous as well.


***Right now my ringtone is Biggie Smalls, which definitely has resulted in more than one raised eyebrow.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

I need to get out of the house

This morning I'm thinking about placenta.

Eating placenta, to be exact.

Like, are there recipes out there for cooking placenta? And if there are recipes, who exactly concoted them? Did some woman hire a chef to use her placenta to create a myriad of different recipes, and then there was an Iron Chef type tasting at the end of it all, complete with subtitles? How exactly does that work? And how would the chef test their work? They couldn't exactly taste a spoonful out of the pot just to make sure it was seasoned correctly.

After scouring google for a bit, I found some solid recipes in September 1983's issue of "Mothering Magazine" but not much beyond that. Apparently it's because you're supposed to eat the placenta raw in order to gain the delicious hormonal nutrient fun. So, I guess smoothies are actually the way to go.

I think if I ever had kids, I'd probably serve myself up a placenta smoothie just so I could call myself a cannibal. And then I'd probably dehydrate the rest, put it in storage, and at a later point in time feed it to my kids so that they'd also be cannibals.

Then again, I'd also be the kind of person to get pregnant just so that I could tell people I had a parasite for 9 months.

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*The alternate title of this blog post is: Why I Will Never Be Allowed to Have Children

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Teetotaler: (noun) an individual with the worst timing ever

I'm at a toga party. From my vantage point, I can see drunken first-years playing pool, science nerds wrapped in white bedsheets and pub staff rolling their eyes and waiting eagerly for the night to end. One guy comes up to me and asks if in a Russian accent if I like to dance. "No," I answer sourly. He's drunk, I'm not. This does not make me happy. He asks me for a hug. "No," I growl at him, before he pulls me into his sweaty armpit.

Wait, before I continue, let me clarify that my use of present tense isn't some clever writing technique that I'm using to make this entry more captivating. I'm using the present tense because I'm actually at the bar. Right now. On my computer. On a Friday night. At a toga party. A toga party being hosted by the Ryerson Science Course Union.

They are staring at me because it's 1 a.m. and I'm on my computer, surrounded by drunk people. (Also, I don't have a sleek, discreet and moderately fashionable Mac. I'm definitely typing this on my chunky Dell laptop that is liable to explode at any given moment.) I am THE nerd at the nerd party.

And why am I here, exactly?

Because they kicked me out of the library when it closed at midnight.

I want a beer.


__________________________________________________________

Also, I was the only one at the library on the fourth floor tonight. Two things immediatly came to mind:

1. "Wow, it is possible to have sex in a university library at night. It just has to be a Friday night!"

2. "Wait a second. In the horror movies, don't the girls always have sex in the university library and promptly afterwards they are bludgeoned or stabbed to death by some knife-wielding maniac?"

I started to get kind of creeped out. The lights weren't even on when I got up there. I had to go do something to change the sex/horror movie mood (neither things are condusive to writing):



Gif animations at Gickr.com



Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Living Validation

If my Dad is secretly lurking my blog, here is proof that I do more than just blog about milk bags and my breasts:

Last night I was at the school library till nearly 11:00 p.m.

I even did work while I was there:

This is what I'm working on right now. It's kind of like a sneak peak. You should see the fruits of my labour at the beginning on January.

Oh, and tomorrow I'm going to the doctor again. Here I was, under the impression that coughing up blood was at the height of sexiness and totally in vogue, but my classmates have since assured me that a total lack of flem is the "in" thing right now. Fuck, and here I've been, hacking up the biggest balls of thick mucous left, right, and centre, thinking it would bring all the boys to the yard. What's a girl to do?


The truth is, I don't even drink milk.

If you're sick of reading about, thinking about, arguing about milk bags, then go read Get Off That Thing!

Mark finally updated it with the Ottawa pictures featuring fellow bloggers Melissa and Monique.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

#14: My pants are falling apart

Oh, and I just thought of this one. It's a beef both Monique and I both have:

14. What's with all the salt on the sidewalks in Toronto and Ottawa? I mean, seriously, that's not very environmentally concientious. I know businesses need to keep their walks cleared for liability reasons, but why not do what they do on Whyte Avenue in Edmonton: lots of shopkeepers there pay the homeless people* to shovel their walks.

Or, hell, they could just get out there and do it themselves! Salt for sidewalks was developped to combat ice, not snow. And by throwing salt on the snow, you are causing it to melt, which creates water, which creates ice, which creates a greater chance of liabilities and greater need for the use of salt. Not very smart when you think about it. Plus, the salt ruins your clothes and boots.
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*Is there a politically correct term for homeless people? Not like it matters, since we're obviously not having the most politically correct debate, here.

#13: Crosswalks

Oh! How did I forget:

13. Alberta has more crosswalks. No, seriously. (Although, it is notable that Edmonton cops are also obsessed with jaywalking whereas here you can jaywalk in front of cop car and they won't care at all. Which is probably why Alberta needs more crosswalks.)

"Religion"


Tonight, I didn't do my homework.

Instead, I blogged.

Monday, November 20, 2006

#11. Why else would Big Sugar write a song about it?

I've been reading Raymi's site for about three months, but this post finally propelled me from just lurking to commenting.

Bagged milk is, in fact, a strange thing that only Ontario does. The entire first year I lived here, I just thought it was a strange coincidence that all my friend's parents bought milk in bags. It wasn't until my roomates brough home a jersey-cow spotted milk container that I realized Ontario is confused and thinks it's an old woman.

When I tell Albertans that Ontarions drink milk from bags, they think it's just some elaborate lie that I say to make Ontario residents seem more screwed up than they already are.

Sorry, milk bags really bother and confuse me.
Jess Homepage 11.20.06 - 6:06 pm #

It was mainly the title of the post that got to me. Seriously, they should send out a memo to Ontario residents: you are the only province that uses milk bags. And it's weird.

WOAH please offer up a top ten list why ontarians are screwed up and the rest of the country isn't. seriously canada should just get it over with and be called ONTARIO.
raymi Homepage 11.20.06 - 6:27 pm #



Ten Reasons Why Alberta is Superior to Ontario in Every Given Capacity

10. No milk bags. I don’t think I need to explain this further. I seriously just don’t understand it. Prior to moving here I thought it was only something that old ladies did.

9. No PST. (Yah, sure, PST theoretically goes back into infrastructure, but unless you consider “infrastructure” allowing the LCBO to put out a glossy magazine every four months, that’s complete bullshit and Ontario misallocates and wastes its tax dollars.)

8. And speaking of the LCBO, why the hell does it close so early and why is it impossible to find? It's like a treasure hunt for alcohol every time you're in a new neighbourhood, but by the time you find the magic "X" on the map, it's like, "Oh, sorry, we close before my 10-year-old niece goes to bed." Why can't you buy all your beer and liquor at once? Why do you have to make a seperate trip to the very unimaginatively named "Beer Store"?

Alberta has liquor stores on every corner that are accessible at nearly every hour of the night. And let's not forget about "Dial-A-Bottle" for all those times you're just much too lazy or drunk to go out in the frigid cold and get another 40 of rye. We don’t try to glamourize our alcoholism, instead we embrace it for what it is- dirty, disgusting, and often involving drunk old men with excessive body odour.

7. The fact that southern Ontario has built up this mass conglomeration of urban dwelling and suburbs to the point where Ontario residents have to go to “cottage country” to “get away from it all” is incredibly disturbing. In Alberta, you’re always “away from it all.”

6. You can only swim in the Great Lakes on certain days due to e.coli count and pollution problems. I just don’t understand the math here--some of the biggest lakes in the world, yet they are so polluted that you can’t even go swimming in them? That’s just fucked up.

5. Alberta has a no-rat policy. That’s right—no rats. See, just like I said—Alberta is clearly superior in every given way.

4. Superior beer on tap and awesome microbreweries (Big Rock vs. Steamwhistle? It’s no competition.) I’m seriously missing Kokanee. I mean, for a shitty draft beer, it doesn’t have any crappy aftertaste like the terrible beers they have on tap here. (What’s up with Blue? Again, I had no clue what this is even existed until I moved here.)

3. As my fellow Albertan now living in Ontario, Monique, pointed out, Albertans have better geographical knowledge as a whole. Quick lesson: Calgary is the capital of Alberta in the same way that Toronto is the capital of Canada. And no, everyone from Alberta isn’t from Calgary. (In fact, offhand I don't think I know anyone who is from Calgary. Not one single person, and I lived in Alberta for 20 years.) Also, every place in Alberta is not next to one another. And finally, to everyone who keeps asking about my plans for the holidays: why the fuck would I fly into Calgary when I live in northern Alberta? Seriously, now. (Speaking of geography, did I mention that Alberta has so many unique climate zones it's ridiculous: the foothills, prairies, the Rocky Mountains, desert, tundra, and boreal forest. It's like a utopia, really, when you think about it.)

2. Sure, our government sucks, but at least the province knows where it stands politically. There’s none of this “last week I was Progressive Conservative but this week I’m Liberal to suit the popular trend” bullshit. You’re either PC or you’re kicked out the province. (Which, for the record, is kind of what happened to me.) Klein may have been a drunk bastard who threw pennies at homeless people, threw books at pages in the legislature, plagiarized a university term paper while in office, and told disabled people to get jobs, but last year he gave us all $400 to shut us up. And that's what really matters.

1. And the top reason Alberta is superior in every way:

We’re fully aware that we’re just a bunch of small-town hicks with a backwards government that is surviving solely on the luck of having a lot of fossil fuel in our near perma-frost ground. Just by acknowledging that we're screwed up, we are superior to Ontario residents, who seem to have this insistant belief that they're not messed up, too. And that's the most screwed up thing of all.*

(Also, if it counts for anything, we have really, really pretty sunsets. Alex Dodd will attest to this fact.)

____________________________________________________________

Some guy created a website dedicated to Milk Bags. He's also miseducating the public into believing that everyone in Canada uses milk bags. My favourite part is his FAQ:

Q: How is the milk bag better than the milk carton or jug?

A: I don't know. It seems as though they are easier to recycle, more enviromentally friendly.

Easier to recycle? Huh? Can someone offer me solid proof of this please? Because this seems to be everyone's argument.

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*Totally acknowledging props to Raymi for not necessarily fitting into this category since she quite clearly stated in her comment that the entire country is screwed up.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

My punctuation of choice is the Colon

So, this afternoon I made the brutally terrible mistake of trying to brave the Eaton Centre. I just wanted to pick up a last minute item to go with my new dress (I was looking for burgandy coloured tights, for anyone who cares about the details) and figured that if I went late enough in the evening, I'd be able to avoid all the shoppers.



I was incredibly wrong. (Also, I'd just like to note that for some reason the program I use to upload photos is being annoying and chopping off the bottom of my pictures.) Not only was there a surplus of holiday shoppers, but the Christmas music made my neck tense up in complete irritation. Christmas music should only be played from December 18th onwards.

So in addition to my new resolution to quit drinking until I leave for Alberta, I'm also resolving to not enter the Eaton Centre again until January 6th, when I return from Alberta. (The two resolutions really go hand-in-hand, when you think about it, since shopping during the holiday season drives me to drinking).

This is the new dress. I got it yesterday and took this picture partially because I wasn't sure if I was going to keep it or return it and I was going to let the blog readers decide. I wasn't that crazy about it at first, mainly because I can't really do up the top buttons, because apparently my breasts are too large. However, a safety pin and the decision to show an ample amount of cleavage solved that problem.

So basically, I just posted this picture so that I could talk about my breasts.


Sasha and I hopped on the College streetcar tonight to go to Jack Dylan's exhibit at the Whippersnapper Gallery.

Synopsis:

First Week of Sobriety: Successful.
Amount of Alcohol Consumed This Week: One glass of wine.

Chris Lotts working the door. (I always refer to Chris by both his first and last name for two reasons: 1) There are too many Chris's in the world, and 2) It's the perfect amount of syllables. Three or more syllables in a full name makes you want to say the whole thing. Okay, and sometimes four syllables, like in the case of David Berry.)

I tried to ambush Jessex and Franco with my camera, but Jess has this sixth sense when she's about to have her photo take and turns and poses just in time. (It doesn't help the my camera is antagonizingly slow. I want a new one for Christmas, I think. But I don't think I can justify asking my parents for a new camera. I can picture that conversation now. "What do you need a new camera for? What's wrong with the one we gave you two years ago?" "Well, the processing speed on it is really slow." "So, why do you need a faster camera?" "Well, actually I need it for blogumenting purposes and taking pictures of my friends at various social events where we are usually drunk and belligerant." Yah, I'm sure that argument would go over well.)


Sasha, Franco and Alice.


Jeff, Alice and Chris Lotts. I think this is my favourite photo of the night. I also enjoyed seeing Jeff again, particularly the conversation we had when I went to say goodbye to him. Earlier in the night we had been discussing how "being wet is always in style" so when I went to give him a hug goodbye, I cheerily told him, "Enjoy being wet!" To which Jeff responded, "I love you too."

Awesome.


This is our New York Gallery Opening shot.


One of the twins (er, sorry) and Jessex.


Mark P and me. (Yes, that does rhyme. I know you read that in a sing-song voice. Don't deny it.)

Danny, Sarah and Sonja.


Nay, and the guy who is always with the guy who I see everywhere (if you check out the pictures from Dance Cave last weeked, this guy is in the last one.) Also seen at the event: the kid who I used to run into all the time last year, that I once made walk me home.





You know you're poor when: you spot a quarter on the floor, and it makes you this happy.


I got really excited when I spotted Sarah B. talking to Mark P. We still have yet to determine who concoted the more popular drink, although I suspect Mark P. may have been the winner.


Oh, right! I almost forgot! The art, we were there for the art!


This was an incredibly popular piece at the exhibit. It was made of beer caps and beer bottles.


Sasha suggested that we should buy it, hook it up to a keg, and hang it on our kitchen wall. (But, since is was priced at $2,800, I had to settle for buying a $5 poster for our kitchen wall instead.)


Jess with the artist, Jack Dylan. I was dissapointed to find he had shaved off his beard.








There were also DJs and bands at the venue. The Germans played, and so did Miracle Fortress, who was amazing. He simulatenously played drums, sang and played guitar. I was a big fan and picked up his EP.

And this was hands-down, my favourite poster at the show:

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Jack Dylan @ Whipper Snapper Gallery Tonight

For those of you not in the know, this is the thing to do tonight. The event has been organized by Jessex, so come out to look at some art, listen to some music, and maybe even have a drink or two (drinks are $4). I will be there, taking a break from my recent tendancy to be a hibernating homebody, exercising my new sobriety, camera in hand, with a new dress on. I might even paint my nails. And how could you possibly miss that?

You can click the poster for more details. (Or not. It doesn't seem to be working. So here's the lowdown: Whipper Snapper Gallery, 587A College Street, $5, 7pm-1am. More details on Jack Dylan's myspace).

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Procrastination 101

A True Vanuatu Story
by Jessica, a Very Foolish Girl (Indeed)

Wake me up on December 15th, please.






















And when I'm not whining. . .

I'm playing Scattegories with some new friends. . .

. . .and some old ones.

I'm encouraging people to write rhymes above their toliets.

I'm quitting drinking for a bit.

I'm imagining how Citizen Cope would be some guy that I would meet a hostel and fall in love with, but he would ignore my advances and then I would find out that he has some little cute dreaded girlfriend who works at the hostel and that's the only reason he's been staying there so long.

I'm dancing with Courtney, and I'm wondering how I keep running into this guy.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Nobody cares about your tumour

If at some point in the future, anyone happens to ask you about the exact moment in time that this blog turned into a livejournalshit set of entries filled with exciting diatribe* such as what I ate for dinner (nothing yet), my hair's natural propensity to do the opposite of what I want it to (for the record, it mainly hangs in my face and annoys me), and what I drempt about the previous night down to the last boring detail, you can refer them to this post:

I'm about to talk about my health.

After my roomates started doing stuff like constantly offering to make me tea out of sympathy, encouraging me to spit my ever-present flem out, and threatening to kick me out of the house unless I made a doctor's appointment, I realized that I am in fact, still very sick.

Actually, that's a lie. I still wasn't going to go to the doctor, but I haven't had a good sleep in over a week because of my ever-persistant cough. And it's not getting any better--last night I was awake until 5 a.m. coughing and hoarking up various colours of mucous at appropriate time intervals. So I finally hauled myself to the health clinic today.

The doctor prescribed me antibiotics, not because I have a bacterial infection, but rather because they don't know what I have so prescribing random medication seems like a fun activity. I was also prescribed cough syrup with codeine so I can sleep at night. I know nothing about codeine. When I got my wisdom teeth taken out, I didn't take painkillers and I stopped taking my antibotics, because I'm not big on medication. But if it's going to help me sleep, I'm not going to complain.

I eagerly went to Shopper's Drug Mart, happy and grateful for universal health care.

"This is a narcotic," the phramacist told me, "and the doctor forgot to write directions. We can't give it to you until we get directions."

"Okay," I said, dissapointed, and went to pay for the antibiotics. But while the phramacist was trying to give me directions on when to take it, I had to step away and into a corner because of a coughing fit that startled everyone in the drug store. Somehow, I managed to retain both my lungs and step up to the cash register to pay. The phramacist looked really concerned. "What is wrong with you?" he asked. I shrugged my shoulders. "I just want to sleep," I told him, pathetically.

And because of my pathetic nature, Shopper's gave me enough codeine to get me through the night. Let's hear it for narcotics.
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*Fun Fact: I will regularly type a sentence, using a word in context, and then realize that I don't fully know the meaning. (I've become obsessed with the idea that it's a common fallacy that synonyms can be used interchangably. Each word is a unique and beautiful snowflake with an individual meaning.) So I'll have to look up the word then and there in my trusty dictionary, despite the fact that I know I'm using it correctly. Anyways the actual definition of diatribe is "a harsh and forceful verbal attack" so although I've used it correctly, there is probably a more correct word, because I'm not being harsh, except for ironically, and I'm not being verbal. (See? This is what I mean about synonyms). But I've decided to leave the word in place because the etymology of diatribe is from Greek for discourse. Which is definitely what is going on here. The End.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Who's the Boss?

On weekdays afternoons after the bells ending the elementary school day rang, I used to go home, sit in front of the TV with my brother and some after-school snacks and watch Who’s the Boss. There’s this one episode I remember, although not particularly well, where the grandma character is telling the story of burning her first bra to one of the other characters- Alyssa Milano, maybe?



In this time period, references to burning bras on television and in popular culture were common. Working women in shoulder pads and navy blue power suits were predominant characters on television, but women sitting at home watching the episodes were hitting a glass ceiling in their own careers and lives. I think that in the early 90s there was a certain nostalgia for the suffragette movement of the 60s. There was a certain sense that feminism had no longer become a woman’s cause-- it had become the working woman’s cause, and the media became obsessed with stopping the sexual objectification of woman in the workplace. You remember that time. It was during that time period when you kept hearing phrases like “sexual harassment” and “lawsuit” never present without the other. You remember that time when your kindergarten teacher explained to you that you shouldn’t let the boys touch your bum, or play boys chase the girls. You remember that time when you would sing to your brother, “Anything you can do, I can do better?”

But before you were conscious of this, you were eating some cookies, maybe dipping them in some milk and wishing your first name was Sam, too.

During this same time period, it somehow became ingrained in my head that burning a bra was something you had to do as a woman, a rite of passage. I had no idea why it was necessary and it kind of seemed like a waste of good clothing to me, but I was under the impression that you had to go out, buy a bra, and promptly burn it for good measure.



By fourth grade, I still had no idea what feminism was, but things were said to me in my sometimes backwards town that instinctively struck me as wrong. Like when Mom took me to a new church just to try it out, and they showed me a children’s bible featuring pictures of gays being burned. I knew this was wrong. I didn’t even know what a gay person was, but I knew in my gut that burning them was wrong, and thought to myself that God couldn’t possibly want that. And one day in fourth grade, when Darryl Wilcox told me girls weren’t allowed to play baseball and couldn't be good at it because they were supposed to "knit and stuff", I instinctively knew this was wrong, too. A certain rage bubbled up inside me, and I told him he was stupid, that girls could do anything. (By the time sixth grade rolled around, I had to take anger management classes for this indignant characteristic of mine that overwhelmed my senses and caused me to have blurred fits of pure anger. But that’s another story.)


So, here’s the truth, flat-out: I am a feminist.



And as an university-educated female, I don’t understand why feminism has become such a dirty word.

Rejecting feminism as being outdated and the territory of your mother’s generation is the equivalent of coloured people deciding that Martin Luther King’s words no longer hold weight or relevance. You think equality’s been achieved? Of course it hasn’t. I’m not going to recite basic Sociology 101 facts. You all know about the wage disparity. You all know about the glass ceiling. You all know about the rapes and the women who are still pregnant and barefoot in the kitchen and abused by their husbands. You all know about genital mutilation, and you know about baby girls left in ditches. You all know this.

So why are you ignoring it?



Maybe I’m more sensitive to this because I spent my summer as a second-class citizen. Maybe it’s because I spent my summer working twice as hard as some of the men on the construction site, just so I could prove myself, prove my worth. Maybe it’s because I spent those days on the construction site never taking breaks until I was dehydrated and exhausted because I knew if I quit, even for a second, my job would be given to a man and I would be considered lazy, worthless, inept. Maybe it’s because I wasn’t able to go to the nakamal and drink kava because I was expected to be at home cooking dinner. . . or maybe I’m more sensitive to this because I had a certain ex-boyfriend who would constantly tell me that I was acting a certain way, feeling a certain way because I was a girl. He told me I couldn’t do things because I was a girl. He fabricated what he figured I must be feeling, because I was a girl. You just won’t get it, you’re a girl. You can’t do that, you’re a girl. (Strange, too, because that boyfriend's mom was a feminist.)


Maybe it’s because in English class last week, I could hold back my cynical laughter when Ryan kept referring to feminism as “feminist stuff” and “feminist things.” As in, “Oh, you go do your feminist stuff, and I’ll sit here and be manly, drink a beer, scratch my balls and make sure the world still operates in a functional manner.” Ryan is a third-year journalism student. He’s going to be a reporter someday, responsible for how you read about the world. And when our prof suggested that the character in the story had passed down feminist values to her sons, Ryan was absolutey opposed to and flabbergasted at the thought of men with feminist values.

Well, Ryan, here’s the thing: there’s another word for feminism and it’s egalitarianism. You believe in equality, right Ryan? Because I sure do.

And if you believe in equality, you’re a feminist.



Feminist. It’s heavy in my mouth, on my lips. It’s thick. It’s said with hesistation. But you know what? It’s not the hairy-legged, birth-control toting, Maya Angelou-quoting, Ani Difranco-listening, testosterone-hating uber feminists who are giving women are a bad name.

It’s the women who have rejected feminism. It’s the women who call other women down in the street.



Maybe our ideals of perfection, our ideals of body image and what a woman should be are created by men, sitting in their corporate offices and knowing that from now until the end of time sex will sell, but it is other women who enforcing it.

Slut, bitch, fat, dyke, tramp. Dirty prude, that whore, hello anorexic, did you look at how tight her jeans are?

These aren’t things men have said to me. It’s always been other women.


I am a feminist. I believe we don’t have to be catty, we don’t have to call one another down and we don't have to buy into the products being marketed to us. I believe we can be proud of our sexuality, our intellect, our ambitions, our bodies, our entire worth.

And I believe this is something we’ve all forgotten along the way.