Thursday, October 13, 2011


Ever since I was a child, I've been a very polite person. As an adolescent I was also very shy and had a hard time making friends. Then, when I was in grade nine I read How To Win Friends And Influence People by Dale Carnegie. "Smile," the book told me. "Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves," "Talk in terms of the other person's interests," were among the many useful tips within. 

I took the book to heart. And it worked. Getting people to talk about themselves made conversation a lot easier and less awkward. And because I really listened, people liked talking to me. That book became my bible. I took it so seriously that about a year and a half after befriending one of my now best friends, she said, "I hardly know anything about you. You never talk about yourself. Why don't you talk about yourself more?" Why? Because I followed HTWFAIP's instructions assiduously, and focused on encouraging others to talk about themselves. 

The major lesson I took away from the book was to always put my feelings aside, and put the other person's feelings, ego and interests first. To go out of my way to make the other person feel comfortable and respected. The number one rule for dealing with others was, "Never criticize, condemn or complain." And this is all well and good in many situations. But as a model for daily living I found it saps one of one's sense of agency, of power. Interestingly, a lot of Carnegie's advice goes along well with the ideals that women in our society are supposed to live up to - always smiling, always supportive, ever a self-sacrificing wife and mother. 

Friday, September 9, 2011

Tumblr Round-Up: Sept 1 - 9


Stuff I wrote/commented on


Friday, September 2, 2011

Stupid Products That Endorse Sexism

Get ready for me complaining about "trivial" stuff. 

Okay, so this is an in-store ad, not a product. It's back-to-school time, so Loblaws is providing easy lunch box fixes, "with busy mom in mind". Because care-work is for moms only. And of course she's busy because she's the "super-mom"; the woman who can do it all, who has a job, but still does most of the child care and housekeeping herself because that's women's work. And of course, all kids have moms, none of them are raised by single dads, or other relatives, or have two dads. Nope. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Tumbler Roundup: Aug 24- 31, 2011

My Posts


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Loss Of A Leader

During the last election, I officially became a member of the NDP, but I've identified with the NDP since highschool. I had been impressed with Jack Layton as a politician ever since he became leader of the NDP and started to improve the fortunes of the party. And after he gave a talk at my law school a couple of years ago, where he went overtime answering detailed questions about policy, I have never trusted, never had as much faith in, as much hope for, a political figure as much as Mr. Layton.

He reasoned the same way I do. He thought about the impact of policies on marginalized people. He prioritized the interests of low-income families. I wanted him to be our next Prime Minister so badly, and after this last election, it seemed like that goal was within reach.

I'm afraid of what will happen in Canadian politics without Layton's galvanizing presence on the left, without his energy. I'm afraid that the Liberals and NDP will flounder as the Conservatives become the new "governing party".

But as Jack wrote in his last letter to Canadians, "Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair."

Despite the almost overwhelming sense of unfairness that he died before he could fully realize his potential and ambition, I have to acknowledge that what Jack Layton did accomplish was pretty awesome. And it's up to those of us who share his ambitions to take his accomplishments and run with them. So many are cynical about politics, but through political involvement we can build a better society and a better country. Jack almost got us there, we just have to go the rest of the way.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

What Ever Happened To...?

Hello there!

Basically, I have been going through some relationship turmoil, my sister is getting married, I'm going out of the country on vacation for the first time in years, and when I get back I'm moving.

Which is all to say that I've been too preoccupied to even think about writing. But! I am not going to let this blog fade away into oblivion. I have a lot to say, and this is where I plan to say it. So stay tuned! Regular posting will resume in about a month or so.

In the meantime, here in Hamilton Wesley Wigglebottom:

1306724682578 Whatever happens, dont say Awwww (14 GIFS)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Fucking Fuck Fuck Fuck

First Toronto, now Canada.

Ontario, I fucking hate you. What the hell.

It looks like I'm going to have a Conservative MP. I didn't think it would happen.

I guess it's time to get activist. 

Weekly Joy

A great send-up of ads whose main product is a certain standard of masculinity. 

Monday, April 25, 2011

This Election is Important

I am freaking out over the possibility that Harper might win a majority. Because he is doing well in Ontario. ONTARIO WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU.

Please, please, everyone do what you can to prevent a Harper majority from happening. Talk to people about why it's important to vote and why it's important to not vote Conservative. The Conservatives are garbage on just about every issue you can think of. There are resources and information about why Harper is bad for Canada, here, here, here, here, and here. Use social media, make reasons for not voting Conservative your facebook status, tweet about is, write to newspapers, call radio stations, talk to your relatives, friends, co-workers and neighbours. If you can convince one person to vote who otherwise might not have, or if you can convince one person to not vote Conservative, that is an accomplishment.

This is going to be a very tense week. I probably won't post much until after May 2. 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

An Anti-Choice Fantasy

Remember those greeting cards for expectant mothers that were ostensibly from her fetus?

Ie. these things.

Someone took this idea a step further, and wrote a series of letters to a woman from her fetus. Her aborted fetus.

I'm not exactly sure where it came from, or who wrote it. You can see it on Facebook here. I found it on Tumblr, but the original post, and many of the reblogged posts, have since been deleted (in some cases, the entire Tumblr account was deleted). Probably because the post was accompanied by an image of a bloody fetus. (Which I did not reproduce here, for obvious reasons.)

Anyhoo, the whole thing is, in various measures, bizarre, creepy, patronizing, ignorant, insulting, and ridiculous. It's horrific. But in a manner that makes it hard to look away. So instead, I dissect it. As one might dissect a fetal pig.

The following includes an account of domestic violence. Just so you know. 

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Look South To See Harper's Vision For Canada

I would like all Canadians to take a look at what's going on south of the border right now. The war on women's reproductive rights. The war on unions. The anti-environmentalism. The anti-intellectualism. The outright class warfare. Look at what Republicans are making of our neighbour.

And remember: These are the people that Harper takes his cues from. When the USA went into Iraq, Harper wanted to go in with them. When it looked like a Democrat was going to win the presidential election, the PMO tried to discredit him. When US politicians started using "socialism" as a dirty word, Harper tried to use it the same way, to make the NDP look scary. When right-wing USians got huffy about their census, he started a census controversy here. His environmental policy is explicitly "We'll do whatever the US does". He even jacks Republican campaign ads.

The Republicans that are bent on making life a soulless grind for all but the richest USians are the people that Harper admires. Like he admires George W. Bush. (And seriously, how many people still admire Bush?).

Harper wants Canada to be like the USA. So look hard at the US. Do you want that? 

Monday, April 4, 2011

Canadians Against Harper

Find more posters here


Are you concerned about the outcome of the upcoming election? Are you interested in something simple you can do to help prevent another Harper government?

Then head to AnyoneButHarper - a site where you can download printable posters, each displaying a simple fact or two illustrating why the Conservatives are bad for Canada on any given issue. Are people in your area concerned mostly with the economy? There's a poster for that. With farming? There's a poster for that. With immigration? There's a poster for that too. Find the issue you think is most relevant to your neighbourhood, download the pdf, and print out posters to put up.

It doesn't take long to spread a little information. 

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Quick Thoughts on Slutwalk

The crowd congregating at Queen's Park

I went to Slutwalk today.

The crowd was great! Tons of people of all ages, men and women and gender queer, people of all colours, and sexual orientations. The signs people made were clever and thoughtful. I loved seeing the outfits that people chose - lots of slutty clothes. There were spontaneous outbursts of chanting; and some folks brought percussion instruments and were playing an awesome beat that people were dancing to.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Instersectional Oppression, Intersectional Privilege: White Female Privilege

The existence of white female privilege is being debated. (See the comments here, or just read Renee's take on the whole thing). I see the debate as an example of the continued failure of white feminists to grasp intersectionality.

As I wrote here,
The universal human being is not just male. He is heterosexual, cisgender, able-bodied, middle-class, and - in Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand - white. We tend to conceptualize every deviation from the default atomistically, even though this does not reflect individual identities or experiences. So, for example, the experiences of a disabled woman of colour do not amount to the experiences of a white able-bodied woman + an able-bodied man of colour + a white disabled man. Her experiences are those of a disabledwomanofcolour. The different aspects of her identity cannot be separated out from each other.

As such, I do not just experience marginalization as a woman. I experience marginalization as a white woman (among many other aspects of my identity).

By the same token, I do not just have privilege as a white person. I have privilege as a white woman. I have white female privilege.

That is, there are assumptions made and expectations placed on me that, vis-a-vis my interactions with white men, rather suck. But vis-a-vis my interactions with people of colour - particularly women of colour - those same assumptions and expectations privilege me.

This is not contradictory. It's about relative power in the kyriarchy. This is intersectionality.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

How To Wallow In Your Privilege

I think my activity on Tumblr is mainly going to consist of cutting up other Tumblr users when they write horribly oblivious things.

This is something that I wrote on Tumblr today, and I thought I'd share it...


On March 21 the Admins of Fuck Yeah English Major Armadillo replied to an ask from eatenplacenta that let them know that many of the submissions they post are ableist - that is, the ones where Armadillo responds to improper grammar/spelling with rage, violence, and death threats. Personally, I agree that such posts are ableist - and not only that I think they are classist, racist and nativist as well. Also, not very funny. Seriously, it feels like there have been dozens of iterations of the same joke, we get the picture.

The Admins replied in a kinda-accommodating, kinda-'splainy and justifying way. They could have done better, but they also could have done worse. So, yeah, take that as you will.

ANYWAYS, today they posted another ask, from bw9, that was written in response to the ask about ablism. The admins posted it without any response or commentary, so one can only assume that they agree with it's content. It's pretty horrible. There was no option to reblog the ask, so I'm just doing a post on it.