Feminism

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 »

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 »

Gender Block: Body shame doesn’t cancel itself out

Is dissecting a woman’s picture to prove it has been Photoshopped really body positive? Media is a big message transmitter and dictates feelings, philosophies, morals, values—pretty much everything that makes up society rules. No matter how critical the viewer, we are still subjected to ads in subway stations and on buses, on billboards and in… More »

Gender Block: the devil’s advocate

I get a lot of pretty hateful messages through e-mail and social media. No matter how much time I’ve devoted to educating myself on gender issues—including re-learning and exploring uncomfortable concepts, like my own privileges—there will always be that person who approaches me with the very misogynistic messaging our society is built on (thus already perpetuated… More »

Oh, The Horror: Body image

The last place I expect to feel bad about my body is when I’m curled up on the couch watching a horror film. Guts being ripped out of peoples stomachs and demon vomit splashing across the screen should hardly make me question whether I’m pretty enough. But then there’s the rest of the horror film…. More »

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Gender Block: Bye Felipe, hello a safer online

Just this morning I was reading Lee Maracle’s Ravensong. In it, there’s a part where a 17-year-old indigenous girl wasn’t sure how to tell a white boy she wasn’t interested: “White boys always have a response which is designed to save their pride by assaulting yours.” And then I found Bye Felipe. Started by former… More »

Gender Block: Pinkwashing

When the calendar flips to October, shelves are stocked with pink products and pink ribbons are all around. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, tackling the most common cancer, and the second leading cause of death from cancer, among Canadian women, according to the Canadian Cancer Society. Companies, like Procter and Gamble (P&G), use this… More »

Oh, The Horror: Scream queens

This is how women are portrayed in horror: dashing through the dark streets in their underwear; half-naked at sorority sleepovers being terrorized; running up the stairs instead of going for the front door; either naked or in their underwear at the worst possible moment; or fully-clothed and making dismal escape attempts. You would think after… More »

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Gender Block: on taking up space

Footsteps quicken behind you, a large physical presence gets closer, sending shivers up your spine. You walk faster, they keep up. Then all of a sudden they pass you, or push you slightly out of the way. Maybe you are scared because a scenario like this has ended a more violent way, or maybe this… More »