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Gender Block: Patricia Arquette, gender equity and intersectionality

February 26, 2015 • Unless you don’t use social media (which you totally do and probably have at least once since clicking this link) you have heard about Patricia Arquette’s that-went-downhill-fast Oscars moment. During her acceptance speech, after winning Best Supporting Actress for her role in Boyhood, she spoke about gender equality, “To every woman who gave birth to... More »

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Gender Block: online harassment is a real concern

February 9, 2015 • Late last January a man in Winnipeg tweeted that the bar he was at was displaying a sexist poster. The bar agreed, and thanked him for calling it out. This constructive back-and-forth did not, however, stop the onslaught of tweets calling the man, Ben Wickstrom, a “pussy” and other predictably homophobic slurs. Despite the online... More »

Oh, The Horror: WoC in Horror

In this Oh, The Horror, I share some excellent, and undeniably scary, horror films with women of colour in the lead. This was, by far, the most challenging Oh, The Horror post I’ve ever written. The truth is, finding notable mainstream Western horror films for this list wasn’t easy. Several films that popped up in… More »

Gender block: western supremacy, because nothing to see in our backyard

Many a conversation regarding anything of a progressive nature leads to someone making a snide so-called “first-world problem” comment. For instance: who cares about women being raped here, because more women are being raped “there” (wherever “there” is—i.e., everywhere else—it is, apparently, run by barbarians). Not only are these conversations eye-roll inducing, they rely on… More »

Gender Block: She Asked For It

I decided I need to become better at public speaking so I’ve started subjecting myself to the horror of, well, public speaking. I started as a guest speaker at a Durham Rape Crisis Centre volunteer training session, my second and most recent attempt was a literary reading at Oshawa, Ont.’s The LivingRoom Community Art Studio…. More »

Gender Block: real men don’t …

Like believing in Santa Claus and thinking blue participation ribbons symbolize some sort of merit, we leave a lot behind with our childhood. Yet the idea that “bad guys” are rare and easy to pick out seems to linger. If a man commits an act of violence, like sexual assault or emotional abuse, he isn’t… More »

Oh, The Horror: Problematic horror

While most horror movies have problematic elements, the ones below are the worst. Unlike others, there’s simply no merit in them to overpower the awful parts of the film. 1. Hostel (2005): The Hostel franchise is problematic for a variety of reasons. First and foremost it’s part of the torture porn or “gorno” subgenre and… More »

Oh, The Horror: Filming Physical Disabilities

Grotesque deformities and burlap sack masks: these are the faces of physical disabilities in horror. Horror does not do disability well. Most “good” characters are able-bodied, whereas many villains in horror wear masks to cover birth defects, which the audience is supposed to find frightening. We’re supposed to learn that these faces are ones we… More »

Oh, The Horror: The Purge

The Purge franchise has been a big success—not so much in terms of its critical success, but in audience reaction. On social media there was a constant buzz about it (so much so that use of the word “purge” automatically drew people to think of the film). Building on that success filmmakers debuted a sequel… More »

Gender Block: I’m not skinny, it’s OK

When I describe my body type I cheerily say I’m chubby. Well-intentioned friends are soon to rush in, “No you’re not! You’re so pretty!” And while I have zero problems with my friends calling me pretty, I do have a problem with how we’ve been taught to think skinny is a word we’d find if… More »

Oh, The Horror: Creepy kids

Rule number one of the horror film universe is to never, and I mean NEVER, let your child have an imaginary friend. Chances are they’re talking to Satan or the dead taxidermist serial killer that’s haunting the house. As soon as there’s a little kid in a scary movie, you know something paranormal is about… More »

Oh, The Horror: Scary seniors

Within the darkness of the woods as the wind howls, an old woman emerges from the trees and offers you cookies. Creepy, right? Despite the fact that most of us find comfort in the warm, overly buttery cooking of our grandmothers, old women in horror are the creepiest. You know granny means trouble in a… More »

February 18, 2015

Music makers

By Mason Wright

With this his final column in the print edition of This, MASON WRIGHT begins a regular series profiling independent Canadian record labels for this.org. Here is his first, from our Jan/Feb 2015 issue. CANADA IS HOME TO DOZENS of small and independent record labels that nurture the development of emerging artists in every part of… More »