THIS

Progressive politics, ideas & culture

Menu

Culture

March-April 2016

We could be heroes

Epic fantasy and sci-fi are today’s bestsellers and blockbusters. But in a world that can imagine magic and dragons, why is diversity so hard to find?

Nicole Abi-Najem@NajemNorth

I was maybe, what, eight years old? There I was, standing in my literal cave of a stinky basement—a carved-out hollow of dark, dank stone under my rickety old house—scrounging through books piled high into mountains of dust. I whipped out one book. The cover stood out: A woman with flowing ebony braids is striking […] More »

Gender Block: writing’s on the wall

Starchild Stela's radical softness

Hillary Di Menna

Growing up in a low-income household in a small Quebec town, Starchild Stela passed the time drawing, “It was one of the few things I felt I received validation for,” she says. As a teen she started to graffiti and moved to Montreal where she has been working since. Within the last five years the artist […] More »
January-February 2016

Standing ovation

How one playwright confronts stereotypes of black women through her work

Vivien Fellegi

TORONTO PLAYWRIGHT ANDREA SCOTT started to wonder about the secret lives of her neighbours after watching the U.K. television film I am Slave, based on the true story of a modern-day captive. In the film, Arab militia snatch Mende Nazar from her Sudanese village and sell her into slavery; she eventually lands in England, where […] More »

Gender Block: rape is still rape even when you like the accused

Why we need to stop victim-blaming and letting celebrities off the hook when they're accused of sexual assault and rape

Hillary Di Menna

Earlier this month LA-based 90s treasure L7 played the Danforth Music Hall in Toronto. Named for one of the band’s more famous songs, a “Shit List” was made and displayed in the venue’s women’s bathroom. On this list were names of men who have assaulted women. The list came with extra paper and pens for people to add more […] More »

The South Asian daughter stereotype

Nashwa Khan

I frequent a lot of progressive feminist spaces. I also love pop-culture. If I were to make a Venn diagram the two would overlap easily, and in that overlap would also lay a stereotype—that of the “oppressed South Asian daughter”—which has affected me multiple times. I used to laugh it off, or even make jokes […] More »

The women of Rolling Stone

Lisa Whittington-Hill

If you’ve been busy binge watching season three of Orange Is the New Black (and you really should be) you might have missed the latest issue of Rolling Stone with OITNB stars Taylor Schilling and Laura Prepon on the cover. The magazine’s cover story devotes significant column inches to talking about how historic OITNB is. […] More »
May-June 2015

Puppet masters

Sean Flinn

The wonderfully non-human retelling of a Canadian novella on stage IT’S A STORY that needs to be retold. “The Faustian bargain is a classic hook,” says Gil Garratt, referring to Derek McCormack’s 2008 novella The Show that Smells. Garratt is adapting the book for the stage via Clawhammer, the small company he founded in 2011 […] More »

Women: Not coming soon to a theatre near you

Lisa Whittington-Hill

An in-depth review of Hollywood’s problem with women “You could try to hold your camera like this… but your breasts would probably get in the way.” “Women do not belong on set unless they are in hair and makeup.” “Your main job is basically to be my work wife. You need to anticipate my needs. […] More »
March-April 2015

The Trope Slayers

Nadya Domingo

Métis in Space is a hilariously smart take down of Indigenous stereotypes in popular science-fiction LAST SUMMER, friends Molly Swain and Chelsea Vowel were having a rough time, and looking for an excuse to spend more time together. Swain and Vowel, who are both Métis and live in Montreal, came up with a solution to […] More »

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

Hillary Di Menna

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

Hillary Di Menna

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 »