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November-December 2021

High School Musical lied to me

A youthful obsession with High School Musical leads to not knowing the truth about North American schools

Zeahaa Rehman

In the summer of 2008, I became obsessed with High School Musical. My family and I were “visiting” my paternal uncle in Canada at the time. I say “visit,” because it was more of a two-month trial for my parents to gauge whether or not they wanted to immigrate here from Lahore, Pakistan. During the […] More »
November-December 2021

The new and not-so-improved Naughty Aughties

Reboots and reunions are re-envisioning early 2000s TV, but the changes they’re making are disappointingly surface-level

Joelle Kidd

Every week, when I was a teenager, I used to squirrel my hand-me-down laptop away to my bedroom and scour the internet’s sketchy streaming sites for the latest episode of Gossip Girl. (I couldn’t watch it on the family TV—after all, it was, per its marketing, “every parent’s nightmare.”) From quippy dialogue, to attempts at […] More »
November-December 2021

Oops! … we did it again

Many are caught up in her legal battles and conservatorship, but more people should be paying attention to Britney Spears’s music

Sydney Urbanek

“Sometimes people’s … personal life becomes bigger than their work,” says pop star Britney Spears at one point during Framing Britney Spears, the New York Times-produced documentary released in February 2021. Though the complaint backgrounds a montage of Spears being chased around by paparazzi in the late 2000s, it may as well have been issued […] More »
November-December 2021

Another dystopia is possible

It’s time for sci-fi to imagine better futures for sex workers

Sid Drmay

I love sci-fi. I have since I was a kid, and I especially love weird cyberpunk movies. Lately, though, the main thing I notice in sci-fi is creators’ inability to envision a world without violence against sex workers. This really hit me watching both the 1982 film Blade Runner and the 2018 Netflix original Altered […] More »
November-December 2021

Crushing stereotypes

Series addresses fetishization of Asian women

Russul Sahib

Growing up as a biracial child, Beige Blum longingly wished to see fictional characters and media personalities that resembled part of her identity. Being of German and Filipino descent, she grew up noticing that Asian characters hardly made an appearance on screen, and if they ever did, they were almost certainly not Southeast Asian. Instead, […] More »
November-December 2021

Holding it together

New Brunswick poet writes about mental health from personal experience

Ashley Fish-Robertson

“Bent out of joint / in order to hold every-thing together. Won’t snap, won’t dissolve in an acid bath.” These are the opening lines of Self-Portrait as Paperclip, from Fredericton-based writer Triny Finlay’s third book, Myself A Paperclip, in which she transforms an inconspicuous office article into a clever metaphor for those attempting to hold […] More »
November-December 2021

Ride free

Transit advocates fight to freeze fares

Geoff Russ

“I think if you’re not leaning into transit as a reliance or as your first choice, you don’t really know how these fare impacts can really hit you,” says Danika McConnell, an organizer for Free Transit Edmonton (FTE). In spring 2021, Edmonton was set to raise adult cash transit fares to $3.75. It would have […] More »
November-December 2021

Inside The Real Housewives’ feminism

The franchise might be known as toxic and trashy, but the reality reveals something different

Sadaf Ahsan

In its 15 years on television, here is a mere sample of the delicious moments Bravo’s Real Housewives franchise has come to be known for: New York housewife Aviva Drescher pulling off her prosthetic leg and throwing it across a room while shouting, “The only thing that is artificial or fake about me is this!”; […] More »
November-December 2021

A seat at the table

Podcast features Muslim, immigrant, and refugee women and their stories

Johna Baylon

“Where are you from?” It’s a grating question for many racialized individuals, one that podcaster Mifrah Abid wants to turn on its head. “I was not born here, so I don’t mind it so much, but I understand the implications of that question,” says the former English lecturer from India. “‘Where are you from?’ as […] More »
November-December 2021

Dear Alexis Rose

Let’s address your casual racism

Alisha Mughal

Dear Alexis, You once said you escaped a Thai drug lord’s car by bribing him with sex. You said that one of your longest relationships was a three-month affair with a Saudi Prince, but you spent two of these months trying to escape from his palace to an embassy. These are only a couple of […] More »
November-December 2021

Pop culture is political

From our November-December 2021 editor's note

Tara-Michelle Ziniuk

  Things I have been involved with in my life include anti-gentrification activism, a sex worker arts festival, protesting a youth superjail, harm reduction work, community radio, a feminist bookstore, and independent publishing. I’ve also watched 11 years of The Bachelor franchise, likely more than that of The Hills and related shows, and could draw […] More »