Joss Whedon’s Penis and Other Feminist Musings

Joss Whedon is the creator of Buffy and some show called Firefly which is apparently the best television show in the world and there are some hardcore fans who insist on “bringing it back.” Why do we care about Mr. Whedon?  Apparently he’s now a piece of shit who lied about being a feminist (albeit one who wants to redefine feminism) and only spoke about gender equality in Hollywood to get in a bunch of different women’s pants.

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Whedon has recently split from long time wife Kai Cole and there’s a pretty crazy interwebs shit storm after Cole wrote a very intense essay detailing that her ex is not the feminist you believe him to be due to his extra marital affairs.

Do I believe that Whedon’s cheating on his wife makes him a shitty person, considering  how much he obviously hurt her, and damaged her emotionally? Yes.

Do I ACTUALLY think this fact somehow makes Whedon a “fake feminist”? No.

Whedon’s public persona has been one of the “feminist” often lauded for his creation of strong kick ass characters who escape the myriad of tyrannical tropes that relegate women to one dimensional characters whose only motivations are to serve at the behest of their male counter parts. The word feminism or feminist comes up when describing his work and even describing the man himself. There’s a famous quote when he was asked why he still writes strong female characters, his response was, “Because you’re still asking me that question.”

Whedon’s work specifically, should be re-examined for its issues with women. Of course we should always consider the intersection of race and class when looking at women, and I will say there is something that irks me about the idea a man who “does” a woman well. Whedon’s work and its own complications, lead to conversations about how feminism is branded, articulated, represented, and manipulated should be had.

But I don’t think it matters who Joss Whedon has fucked or fucks currently.

Understandably though, his ex-wife does. You know, considering he was fucking a whole lotta ladies during the course of his marriage and lied to her for YEARS. Girl, that fucking blooooooowwwwsss, I would never wish that on my worst enemy. Especially since you suspected that he was “too close” (your words) to many female friends and he said this was because he was a feminist, like DAT SUX.

BUT, I hate to make this about Cole specifically, but her self-aggrandizing statement that Whedon’s feminism card is revoked because as she states, he “took away my choice” by lying about sleeping with other women does not a non-feminist make.

Consent, violence, cohersion, and abuse MATTER, but that’s not the issue here is it? Is that what we are talking about?

The issue is a moral failing on Whedon’s behalf and it’s his sexual life where again I will point at that AT THIS MOMENT IN TIME there seems to be nothing that seems illegal or non consensual. Since we have not heard from any of these women he cheated with, we do not know if he used his position or power to exploit or coerce.

From twitter to the AV Club, many are taking Whedon’s transgressions a reason to discount his work as the modus operandi of a lying trash bag using feminism for his own sordid agenda. It’s an all-or-nothing attitude that he was either a feminist or he was duping us the whole time, and the fact he likes to fuck other ladies than his wife somehow proves the latter.

I think it’s because we all know THAT GUY. We can fucking relate to the fake ass feminist who whispers sweet nothing Judith Butler quotes into our ears and then turns around and treats our bodies and minds as though we are an extension of his male ego. We know that dude who claims to be “woke” to try to put his P in your V.

We all also know the “good guy” who pretends to be all about your and your agency, but then quickly warps your mind with some cray gas lighting bullshit and you end up apologizing for something he did.

I think the reactions to this revelation are way out of proportion you would think he was a government leader in charge of leading women’s initiatives or on some sort of morality and marriage panel.

I understand that Cole is taking what she see very rightly as a lack of respect for her and her body as a way to unveil some kind of extension to his entire persona, “Now that it is finally public, I want to let women know that he is not who he pretends to be. I want the people who worship him to know he is human, and the organizations giving him awards for his feminist work, to think twice in the future about honoring a man who does not practice what he preaches.”

Did he every preach monogamy? Does feminist include, by definition, the adherence to wedding vows?

I am weary of taking the sexual lives of people to determine their inherent social and political values. It’s a double-edged sword to say that just because a man sleeps with a lot of women outside of marriage that makes him non-feminist. It could cut both ways to somehow suggest that a woman’s sexual promiscuity might betray her feminist values.

Men, and women, both feminists and non-feminists alike (or maybe they just want to be called “humanist” UGH THAT TERM DOES NOT MEAN WHAT YOU THINK IT DOES) cheat on their spouses. It’s not nice. However, I think Whedon’s work should be judged on its own merit, not because his ex-wife wants us to know he is bad at monogamy.

Or at the very most, maybe we send his penis to attend a first year Women’s Studies class?

Why Men Won’t Take Hormonal Birth Control. What That Says About The Ladies. What It Says About Us All.

I have to make an admission— sometimes I can just be the worst.

In once such instance I was alerted to the topic of male hormonal birth control trials and a recent study that was ended prematurely because the dudes who participated dropped out due to the side effects of weight gain, acne, and depression.

My first response: CRY ME A FUCKING RIVER.


Once every 26 days or so all those symptoms are just another goddamn Tuesday for me, and these men are totally unwilling to ensure the same symptoms I’ve endured for the past decade or more?

Blinding with self-justified rage, I was transported back to the tumultuous time in my early 20s when I was attempting to find the “right” birth control for me and my doctor was “sure” the Nuva Ring was right for me and a year or so later there are ants on the screen in my vision, just of out no where Dr. Awesome’s like, “LOL oops you’re gonna have a stroke if you don’t stop shoving that plastic circle up your twat.” Then the MD extraordinaire put me on something called the “mini pill.” Despite it diminutive name, this progestin only anti-stroke out pill had a very large effect on my body. I gained 20 pounds. Aunt Flo didn’t just come to politely visit, but was seemingly trying to move in. My vagina became the Ol’Faithful of menstrual blood— a steady stream of red tide ripping through the sturdiest of tampons and testing the absorbency of the largest, most diaper like maxi-winged pad I could find.

Oh yeah, and this constant barrage of monthly curse liquid would last for NINE FUCKING DAYS.

tumblr_mstnx98gcd1qecdw4o1_1280Also, I went insane.

I recall laying in bed, my tender breasts throbbing, watching and episode of the then, very hip Glee. I don’t remember exactly why this set me off, but there’s an episode where a deaf school comes to visit the singing kids and they do a silent choir in sign language or something? A moving scene for sure, but I began to weep. Violently, intensely, and intermittently for 72 hours. I was in grad school at the time and decided I was too stupid and I would drop out (ultimately didn’t thank goodness), I rode the subway crying, I went to the grocery store crying. I wasn’t sad about anything specific, although there were stresses in my life at the time, but making the connection in hindsight it was obvious my hormonal imbalance was giving me a one-way ticket to being known as the deranged lady eating a sundae at the corner of Dufferin and Bloor while large hot tears streamed down her face. A homeless man asked me what was wrong. 


I just cried more.

After THAT, I was referred to a gynaecologist who looked and sounded like the Dyson Ball Vacuum guy, who recommended I get a Mirena IUD. I waited six weeks for the appointment where it was inserted. The cramps were so bad I threw up the muscle relaxant they had given me and stayed in bed for three days. After that, my boyfriend at the time refused to have sex with me until I got the strings shortened because he could, quote, “feel them.”

Another six weeks for that appointment. (But I’m in Canada, so it was FREE. Although the IUD was not)

This was the same ex-BF who would not, under any circumstances, have sex with me while my crimson curse was punishing me for my inherent wickedness (9 days out of the month!). So there I was, 24 years old, in pain, feeling bloated, desperate, and unfuckable.

BUT I DIDN’T HAVE A BABY! Or an abortion. It was all  in MY control. That was pretty dope. (Not that there’s anything wrong with people who decide on those things.)

Fast forward to present day, when my IUD is working great (on my second: no crazies, no weight gain, no Niagara Fall level menses)   and I am examining with a critical eye the idea that men— who have not historically had to bear the burden of pregnancy and child care the way that women have—are presented with undergoing the same medieval torture I went through and to a certain, albeit less intense, level with my more natural hormonal rhythms. Like, IT’S YOUR TURN FUCKERS.


Actual photo of me angry.


Do I want to have a world where men and women, when deciding to have intercourse with one another, are able to have a reasoned and civil dialogue wherein they can decide what the best method of birth control is for both of them?* Yes. Do I want there to be the same number of options for men as there are for women? Absolutely. Do I want the decision to be, okay so one of us has to suffer physically and mentally? Fucking… No.

I’m not a doctor, but I have seen all of House and most of Grey’s Anatomy,  AND I have access to the internet, so I’ve basically deduced three major conclusion based on super scientific facts.*

1) You’re Fucking Welcome Dudes

The birth control pill was seen as part of the sexual revolution and empowerment of women, which is most certainly was and continues to be. However, like most revolutions, there were some causalities, and there still issues to be hammered out.

The creation of the female birth control has a very fraught, radicalized, and unethical history. Like the men in this recent study, the women who first tried the initial iterations of hormonal birth control complained of the same side effects and dropped out, the creators were like, yeah okay, so let’s go down to Puerto Rico where the eugenics movement is just a-okay and experiment on those chicks. When they faced those silly ladies who didn’t know what was good for them complaining about pains and what-not (often taking medication that has TEN TIMES the amount of hormones in the pills of today) so they decide to FORCE women to take the pill,

Women locked up at a Massachusetts mental asylum were signed up. Women enrolled in medical school in San Juan were told they had to take part in the medical test or face expulsion.” Again, these women weren’t told what the pill was for; instead, they were supposed to shut up, take their medicine, and submit to frequent, invasive medical exams.” (

After this fuckery, the whole “People kinda need to know what doctors are putting in their bodies” thing became a law. Perhaps we wouldn’t have had the birth control pill as early as we do now, but we certainly wouldn’t have a system where the experimentation on men has allowed for informed consent.

I’ll concede at the time in history before there was hormonal birth control for women it was practically barbaric. Botched abortions whole hysterectomies, poor women forced to have litters of children they couldn’t possibly adequately care for. I feel that the social and medical focus on first figuring out how to give women the tools to have autonomy and control over their own bodies and destinies was not misguided, but the practices and “necessary evils” enacted to get there are pretty gruesome (in one instance, three women died in one study and their bodies NEVER autopsied for the reasons why).

In terms of human rights and scientific study — it’s pretty fucking rad these men were able to say the side effects were just too much and have the medical community be like, “Okay bro, no prob.” 

2) The Side Effects for Men are Experienced Very Differently

A trial for male hormonal birth control (given as shots) consisted of an injection every eights weeks of a synthetic form of testosterone and norethisterone enanthate. Which is a lot like  the female hormones progesterone and estrogen referred to as “progestin” in the synthetic form,

According to Dr. Seth Cohen, a urologist at NYU Langone Medical Center, when a man is given a shot of testosterone, “basically, the brain assumes the body is getting enough,” so the body shuts down its own production of testosterone — specifically “the testicle’s production of testosterone as well as the testicle’s production of sperm.” ( 

The basic principles of the birth control methods are the same— it’s all about tricking the body. So it makes perfect sense the side effects would be similar.

I have a dear friend in her 60s who talked with me about post-menopausal life. She talked about how the subsiding of hormonal influxes (after all the bad stuff) lead her to a clearer, more balanced state. “Is this how men feel all the time?” she quipped.

Statically speaking men don’t experience the same ebbs and flows of hormones that women do. So asking men to take a medication that alters their state so wholly and unrecognizable is, for the lack of a better term, probably a mind fuck.

Like, you don’t have weird food cravings and intermittently bloated and/or like 10 pounds heavier? You don’t get the sads or sleepies for no reason? Guess it would be super sucky to get them for the first time in your life.

Additionally, depression (one of the side effects)  in men is a wholly different,  if not medical issue, certainly a societal one. In Canada, men are three times more likely to commit suicide compared to women . Perhaps its because men aren’t given the social space to talk about their feelings? Maybe there is a conflict between the notion of masculinity and “strength”? Could be just the ubiquitous social stigma surrounding mental health? It’s possible there are multitude factors at play.

However, one this is certain is that depression seems to have far more deadlier consequences for men.

3) Hormonal Birth Control Is Just Not Good Enough – But Working Together Maybe It Can Be

There was a recent study that correlated depression and the use of the pill in women.


All the anecdotal evidence that has been littered throughout my life, the very fact that many of my female friends do not take the pill for its fuckery, and my own personal experience had me reacting to these “findings” with no surprise whatsoever. That’s some 60 years after the pill has been in the market. It’s at the same time substantial findings about male hormonal birth control are being published.

So if women feel the same and men feel the same, maybe this might be something to like, investigate? ‘Cause we should all be mentally and physically healthy?

I see the men dropping out of a study where they have adverse side effects as a gift, not a testament any kind of weakness on behalf of the participants. What it suggests to me is that it is time to take a good hard look on what science is doing to actively improve what we can do to get busy without making people.

The knee-jerk reaction to say, “BUT IT’S YOUR TURN TO SUFFER PENIS HAVER” is temptingly cathartic, but instead a more useful tactic for my time and energy is to work with the information from both sides to create a better world for everyone.

*There are, of course, other methods of birth control like condoms, barriers, rythym, outercourse, and a new and promising “gel” inserted into the scrotum that’s no there yet but in the works
**All views represented in this blog are the sole opinion of the author and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Please, please don’t sue me.

I’m No Pussy (Catcalls vs. Compliments)

It’s spring here in Toronto. The ice and snow that once berated the streets has long thawed, giving birth to glorious sunshine releasing beleaguered citizens from the subzero temperatures of an emotionally destabilizing winter.

Amidst the chirp of robins, the cheery ditty of the ice cream trucks, and the barking of apartment sized dogs (dogs are, in fact, the new babies)—Another distinct sound presenting in all seasons yet even more prevalent in the warm months is heard—the catcall.

To a woman such as myself, this call, whether it be from a shitty Romeo crooning from a balcony atop a storefront, a yelp or jeer from a mustachioed hipster passing on his skateboard, oh sorry longboard (barf), or aggressive teeth sucking from an elderly man standing outside a butcher shop, the catcall is what, after some deliberation, I have deemed to be Total. Fucking. Bullshit.

But Shouldn’t I LIKE It?

There are times when I leave my place of residence feeling fresh as hell. There’s no doubt in my mind that I do indeed, after some suspicion, have it going on.

And then, with a startling entrance here is this summon. A honk, whistle, jeer, or comment punctuates my stride. It’s not that I don’t agree that, yes, I am “all that”, however, to so obviously objectified, viewed, assessed, strips me of this confidence.

For a fleeting moment, questions flood my mind: Was it I who invited these men to shout these things at me? Is the obviously modest, yet awesome cleavage of mine an open invitation to be publically singled out with a yell of, “Nice tits” from a passing car? I let these thoughts leave me, knowing that I am entitled to wear whatever I please.

This gendered ahoy has been cast out to me when I feel as though there is nothing about my physical presentation that would be asking to be commented on. Walking with bags loaded with groceries hair in a bun thinking about what to make for dinner, but suddenly the one thing I’m trying to digest is the man riding his bicycle and softly purrs, “Hot mouth” as he passes. Or on my way to a meeting coffee in hand a, “Hey, where are you going?” comes from a lurking figure. Or a “You’re hot” from a man who waits until he has almost, but not quite, passed me on the street. He doesn’t say this in a way where it playful or fun, but almost accusatory and very slimy.

Arguments have raged on about this particular issue in the media as of late, and a central argument is that what these (almost always men) are trying to achieve is to say something nice. That I should be flattered. That I should take comments as affirmations—but then, why does it make me feel so uncomfortable?

But I DON’T Like It

Like the seldom discussed yet all-too-real sex fart, catcalls are unwanted, come out of nowhere, are ultimately something I wish never happened, and that I wish would stop.

Unlike a untimely queef disrupting a passionate moment, catcalls are an issue coming from a misogynist culture wherein a woman’s body is perceived as public property, and is therefore subject to a particular treatment based solely on her sex.

Catcalling, wolf whistling, hollering—it goes by many names— is by it’s definition when to “make a whistle, shout, or comment of a sexual nature to a woman passing by.”

I haven’t uncovered any clues of what exactly it has to do with the feline species, but I have a theory that it has something to do with a nickname for my nether regions. This shall not do. My pussy has agency, privacy, and deserves respect. I, and it, will not be treated as though it can be something that is just to be hollered at.

Further research reveals the etymology of the term first emerged in the 1700’s where the hoards of theatregoers would contain “catcallers”, those who were found  expressing a negative or hateful message to the actors onstage. It slowly entered our lexicon of phrases to mean a sexually explicit message targeted specifically at a woman. This jump in meaning goes unexplained, but it’s not at all surprising that the history of this phrase comes from an way of being shitty to someone who has no choice but to just take it and keep on with what they’re doing (“The Show Must Go On” so to speak). Being catcalled usually puts me under the spotlight for a long as I am in my catcaller’s sights. The stage is set as I become an unwilling player in the drama that is, Man Yells ‘Nice Ass’ From A Distance.

There is an important distinction that I would like to make here: Catcalls are not compliments.

I know this because I like compliments. No, correct that—I fucking love compliments, and I’ll generally take them from anyone. Some of those individuals include men. Strange men, even. I love a good flirt. Smiling, checking out someone checking you out, even the occasional eye fuck. Like. Like. Super Like. Yes!

I like compliments so much that I am able to determine the difference between one and a harassing misogynist comment. I have the wherewithal to distinguish the fact that compliments are given to you, and catcalls are done to you.

Compliments are not generally yelled in someone’s direction. Or communicated through a whistle. Like it would be weird of me to scream across the park to someone, “NICE DAWWGGGG!” and then high-five my friends.

(On that note: Why are catcallers usually in a group? It’s part of the very thing that makes me so uncomfortable, that I’m receiving judgment while being outnumbered. If this is some kind of masculinity confirming activity—of course it is—but why must I be there for it? I mean, couldn’t you just wait until I was out of earshot? Why involve me in this?)

Compliments come with context provided by the relationship you have with said person you are trying to compliment. For example: if you are a complete stranger and I know nothing about you I am less likely to be inclined to feel as though it is appropriate for you to tell me you want to see me naked.

Compliments do not come with extreme caveats. Sure, sometimes you say something nice to a person you want to fuck. I get that. But it should not be expected that they will fuck you once you have extended said “compliment”. For example I had one man say to me, “It’s a beautiful day, can I see you smile?” and I do because it is a beautiful day and smiling is nice, only then to have him follow up by asking, “So where are you going? Can I get our number?” I respond that I’m on my way, and no thank you, “What’s wrong with you? Why won’t you talk to me? Come on let me have your number? Why NOT?” I try to be nice and courteous, but then end up being called a “bitch.”

Compliments are many things: sweet, enthusiastic, playful, fun, earnest, silly, serious.

Compliments are not aggressive, harassing, or abusive.

What Can I Do?

A few years ago there was a passing car and a man’s voice shouts out of the window, “I want to fuck your pussy!”

The vehicle moves along, I can see that it’s full of men. It’s almost like having the wind knocked out of you. A microsecond of realizing that this comment has been hurled at you from a moving vehicle, isolated from the street, a sense of vulnerability.

This culminates in a moment of anger, resentment, knowing this is not how anyone speaks to me, and I give the car the finger to express my unease.

I continue on my walk and moments later a beer bottle is hurled in my direction, smashing at my feet. The same car containing the men who were trying to let me know how fuckable my pussy is, speeds away.

Am I supposed to walk around all day telling people who catcall me to fuck off under threat of retaliation? I’m almost always alone when this happens to me, and if there are other strangers on the street they usually give about zero fucks.

My tactic thus far is to affect muteness, perhaps give a dirty glance, or simply feign that I didn’t hear or see anything at all.

It’s a strategy of self-preservation that ultimately backfires in more ways than one. Because I do nothing, nothing is done. The behaviour goes unchecked, so perhaps there is a sense of entitlement that I am there to be commented on, and because I don’t speak up the caller is ignorant it’s something I find degrading.

It also creates an attitude on my part, a conditioned outlook that for some who might not fall into the category of caller, but rather one who is attempting to honestly start a conversation with me. However, I’ve gotten to the point where I’m so fucking sick of this shit if one more person says something in appropriate to me I think I could—as my mother used to say—just spit.

This is obviously a very complex issue with different cultural and social intricacies. My only recourse is to reaffirm positive interactions when I can.

In a perfect world, which there will never be but it is very important to aspire to, one can only hope that with the coming years and many more springs to come, there is a shift where there is no longer a time where I am caught unaware with a piercing shout, but rather a pleasant surprise of a real human connection, a heartfelt, engaged, mutually respectful time, where the twitterpation of the first warm breeze, is a fun and fancy free time where we all get to compliment the shit out of each other, in a way that everyone likes.


A Quick THOT


There was a hot minute in grade five where I got to sit next to the cutest boy in our class. His name was Damien. With his long blonde locks, tear away Addidas pants, and too cool for school attitude, he was deemed the most desirable candidate by all the girls, most of whom he dated. To be clear, by “date” I mean hold hands at recess. Maybe over the shirt stuff at parties.

I can vividly recall one day sitting next to Damien and his crystal blue eyes, one of which was lazy, and he confided in me that he had a crush on someone. “Who?” I ask, my heart fluttering. He motioned over to Laura, a very sweet, pretty girl at the other side of the classroom.

“I don’t know if I want to date her” he said coolly tossing his hair away from his eyes. “Too tight.”

“Too tight?” I asked, unfamiliar with this term. He opened his notebook and drew two brackets in the corner of the page.

“Like her pussy” he whispered, “I wouldn’t be able to get in there.” I stared at the parentheses that represented Laura’s vagina. Tight. Too tight. Not loose.

I can’t recall the first time I heard the word slut, whore, tramp, or the plethora of other terms used in a way to demean someone, specifically a woman, for their actions in the boudoir. But at this point I had an inherent knowledge that to be sexually promiscuous, or even to be perceived as such was a bad thing. But now, privy to the information communicated by this lazy eyed twelve-year-old that there was such a thing as being too virginal. Too unavailable.

Prude, cock tease, hard to get, goody goody, or blue-baller, all came next into my lexicon of names directed specifically at the woman who is unwilling to give it up. In conjunction with the aforementioned terms for a libidinous woman, it presented me with the task of the all to familiar balancing act: to be desirable, but don’t possess too much desire.

Needless to say this is bullshit.

The virgin/whore dichotomy is fraught with these labels meant to bully, insult, and degrade women based in a system where their bodies—and what they do with them—are seen a public property. I’ve written before that I’m okie dokie with calling myself a slut, because I have the freedom and privilege to take a word and construe its meaning to meet my own personal preferences.

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But sadly, this is not the case for many and on both sides of the good girl/bad girl spectrum it seems that all too often you just can’t win.

Paying attention to the memeification of linguistics, new terms for all kinds of things comes up in my daily life. Like when I was on the train and overheard a group of young women using the term “ratchet” and I thought they were saying rat shit, but I eventually caught on. Or when someone texted me that they were too “turnt” and I had to Google it. There’s all kinds of new monikers and usages that are part of the English language’s evolution.

However, there is a new word that I’ve recently encountered through the interwebs that I’m just not happy about. It’s not as fun and fancy free as describing my eyebrows as on “fleek”, or describing things as “hype” the new term THOT.

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What fresh hell is this?


THOT is an acronym for “Thirsty hoe(s) over there” or “That hoe over there”. A synonym for slut. Easily punned, a flurry of memes arise when you Google the term describing these women as untrustworthy, trashy, dirty, etc.

Oh great, another word that refers derogatorily to a sexually promiscuous woman. FAN-FUCKING-TASTIC.

Originally credited to rapper Chief Keif, it first came to my attention when news broke Chris Brown was warning Karruche Tran not to be one after she posted a pick of herself in a bikini.

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Given that fact that Chris Brown is a highly regarded feminist and respecter/non-beater of women, perhaps this is a momentary lapse in judgement? Oh wait…

There too much proof that this is a negatively applied term.


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Have some respect for women. #dummy.


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Literally has nothing to do with you. #misogyny


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Why must we pit women against women in the pursuit of a man. #raiseeachotherup


It seems to be everywhere, and it’s casual usage is something that’s being too casually used like when this interviewer decided to quiz Will Farrell about it, and Kevin Hart thinks it’s so fucking hilarious to have him repeat it over and over.

Something that bothers me about this acronym (besides its inherent misogyny, etc…etc…) That Hoe Over There functions in such a way that said Hoe is assessed from the outsider. The way it operates suggests that she is outed, seen, marked by those who have deemed her to be available for shame and degradation. There leaves little room for her to connect with any kind of agency with the term, as the language suggests it is something to be inflicted upon her because she is over there, and not right here.

The moniker THOT follows in a long tradition of a double standard with no parallel for a way to describe a man. And I’m not saying that there should be. I try not to practice misandry.

I’m not suggesting that we should say, call a man who enjoys going out on the town having a few drinks and bringing someone home a “Sloppy Joe.”

I would never ask for the general public to start addressing sexually active men “Dick Tricks.”

There’s nothing that would give me joy about insulting a guy at a club looking for some action a “Hungry Man.”

All I’m asking is that maybe, just maybe instead of inventing more ways to shame someone for their sexual desire we can, maybe NOT?

Just a thot though. (sorry I had to)

What’s Not To Love About Valentine’s Day

Throughout my childhood, Valentine’s Day used to mean gleefully depositing the valentines I had my mother purchase onto the desk each and every individual in my class. A mandated reciprocity that required little prompting of us all, after receiving the class list with the names of each person, we would arrive to school prepared to shower one another with campy cards filled with messages of affection often communicated through a series of puns.


Not to mention, a bounty of chocolate and candy accompanying said cards gave birth to a ceremony that often carried the promise of watching a movie, utilizing class time that was usually intended for the practicing of our long division of multiplication tables. I delighted in this day. What’s not to love? It solidified in me a trifecta of pleasures that to this day I still value immensely: Candy, Puns, and Not Doing Math.

However, this did not last for long. The practice in school seemed to dissipate just in time for the emergence of pubic hair. There was no longer a mandatory suggestion the each and everyone was to receive a valentine, but instead school dances were introduced where the gymnasium lights would be at fifty percent with a sad disco ball spinning with psychotic consistency in the corner while someone’s parent volunteered to hand out cans of soda purchased in bulk from Costco.

The disappearance of the communal Valentine’s Day seemed to vanish overnight. Gone were the days where February 14th represented a time where all reveled in delight of a mutual exchange of harmonious affection, now that I had emerged from my cocoon of naïveté about what it really means to ask someone to actually, “be yours”. Romantic love, the kind that was explicitly to be shared between two and two alone, became the new norm. Being deemed a tall, awkward, and uniformly undesirable candidate for this monogamous display, this presented a problem. Standing alone as K-CI & JoJo’s “Crazy” crackled out of the gym’s sound system, sipping my off-brand cola and watching as those couples slow dance in tiny circles, I could not help at as a cynical teen to promptly call bullshit on the entire affair.


I can’t think, think about this crazy day-EH-EH.

This cynicism continued throughout my high school days where candy grams were sold and given out in homeroom. Undoubtedly a barometer for popularity, those classmates who were deemed the object of affection were awarded the sweet treats as the rest of us devoid of romantic engagement stared down at our agendas ready to face the day without the sugar rush of young love. I lamented for the days that my friends and I could exchange candy without them thinking that a foil wrapped chocolate heart meaning I wanted to get busy with them. I gleefully decided to cheat the system, purchasing myself a chocolate bar from the vending machine—a whole fifty cents cheaper than the coveted gram.

As I entered university and my early twenties, all I can to see the ugly side of Valentine’s Day. To me it was (and still is) a Hallmark holiday constructed by big business to sell products to the masses at a time right after the holidays where retail sales are notoriously low.

“I hate Valentine’s Day” is my typical attitude, even when I had a full time in-it-for-the-real-thing bf, which I did for seven years. My romantic life has never tainted by the practicing of any rituals around the martyred St. Valentine, and my reasons were soundly based in the idea that picking just one day to be all like, “I love you let’s go eat expensive tapas.” This invented holiday causes so much pressure for those scrambling to get dinner reservations or the perfect present, and alternatively isolation for those who find themselves single. Not mention the heteronormative gendered messages that dictate that because I’m a woman I like, really want a diamond, and the message to men if you don’t get her a present she’s gonna super pissed. Why is it okay to portray women as some sort of mythical goblin creatures whose thirst for gold must be appeased lest you incur their wrath? Or, you know, that if the offering of shiny gifts and smelly soaps ensures unlimited access to my tasty bits.


I think this might be proving my point somehow?

Traditionally speaking, it’s a day where I mount my soapbox, foaming at the mouth: “It’s all a scam! Don’t you people see what’s going on here? Laura Secord just wants your money! This day is STOOOOPID.” But I will admit I buy the candy when it goes on sale.


But there is something bothering me this year, more than any other. Something like an itch, an urge, a prick like a cupid’s bow stuck in my ass. There’s a tickle on my lips as I scan my social media looking at the faces of my family, friends, and acquaintances. The email my mother sent me this morning from her iPad reading, “Happy Valentines Day” produces a slightly uneasy feeling in my gut. It’s something on this day I have tended to repress or even ignore.

This feeling comes from an unabashed and sincere realization: I am in love.

I have been in love for years, decades, as long as I can remember.

It’s something that’s a part of me.

I am in love with my family.

My parents who gave me life (thanks!) but also loved me creatively, distinctly, and fiercely. My sisters who are unique and brave and connected to me in a way I can’t put into words. I am in love with my brother, the sweetest and most caring person I’ve ever encountered in my life. He has Down Syndrome and is non-verbal, but for someone without the use of words, I have never felt someone tell me that they love me so intensely and so honestly. I am in love with my extended family, living far away but constantly send words of encouragement over FaceBook and email. I am love with my family members who have passed away, forever leaving me with their wisdom, humour, and memories of affection.

I am love with my friends.

Without them I would die. Or be a weird shut-in lady who eats her own toenails and documents the dramatic goings on of the roughly twenty cats living in her bachelor apartment. My friends are beautiful, smart, sexy, funny, silly, brave, and dynamic, among other things. They let me be weird. They listen to me when I’m PMSing so hard that I start to cry about my childhood dog that passed away eight years ago (RIP Max), or when I’m excited about something. They don’t scold of judge me when I make mistakes. They make me brunch. They encourage me when I accomplish something. They celebrate when I am strong. They are there when I am fragile. They give me nourishment.

I am in love with perfect strangers.

Sometimes for only a few seconds. The woman I pass on the street and we exchange a smile. The man who tells me that I’ve dropped my TTC pass. The woman who let me stay at her home when I was visiting New York. The artists I see get up on stage and risk it all. I fall in love with their mystery and kindness. It happens all the time. I fall in love and simply put it out there, where the world can have it.

I suppose this is the day to reflect on that love, to put a magnifying glass on the ways that I love and how I am in love DESPITE what a dictatorship this holiday has about how we express out affection. Perhaps I’m drinking the pink coloured Kool Aid that is the aggressive marketing campaigns of multi-million dollar companies. I suppose I am too tired to rant against something that’s obviously not going to go away.

I’m an atheist and every December I give gifts to my loved ones and wish a, “Merry Christmas” without the slightest interest or belief in Jesus Christ. I have a problem with the institutions of religions, a discussion I’m happy to have with my peers. But every Decemeber 25th instead of going to church and thanking the lord, I sit with my family and drink wine and eat stuff and enjoy their company.

In the same vein, I’ve decided this year that I won’t put any stock into the idea that this day is just for the coupled, just for romance, just to get your money. Instead, in the most secular and inclusive way possible, reminiscent of the days of my childhood, I want to wish all a very Happy Valentine’s Day, because even though there’s a lot to hate about it, what’s not to love about love?



Susan xo

What Friends’ Ross and Rachel Taught Me About Love (Nothing)


Have you ever had those moments when you’re watching a film or television show you grew up loving and you take a pause— with your life experience, feminist sensibilities, and refined critical thinking skills—and you’re like, “Well this is kind of a bullshit message.”

Just me?

For example, a few years ago I sat with my three-year-old niece watching Disney’s Snow White. A previously whimsical tale in my mind, I now watched in indignation the story of a young woman who is the target of a hit by her jealous stepmother who’s like, “Stupid talking mirror, nobody’s prettier than me!”

After Snow White’s murderer-to-be can’t do the deed and let’s her know of these plans, she runs off into woods screaming with her hands in the air. She stumbles upon a small cottage where she comes upon seven little, weird, dirty men. Instead of maybe taking a second to be like, “Wait a minute, I’m the rightful heir to the throne who can talk to animals, for crying out loud! I need to figure out what my next move here is.” She’s like, “Welp, I’ll just cook and clean and take care of these dudes because, that’s what women do.”

And don’t even get me started on the fact that her main goal in life is to have her prince come and…. fulfill her destiny of being in love, or something.

Bitch, you just escaped death.

Her ability to eat and apple and be paralyzed to the point where she is mistaken for a corpse and the Prince’s (arguably necrophilia-ish) impulse to kiss her, ultimately breaking the spell, leads to her desired fate of getting on the back of his horse and live happily ever after or… whatever.


It’s also pretty lucky those tiny men didn’t bury her in the ground, considering they’ve got all the mining and digging equipment so readily available.

These kinds of love stories and fairy tales are so plump with tropes of the helpless woman who is ready to be swept off her feet, if only that jealous older woman would just back off, are pretty common and as a little girl is something I ingested without a second thought, until, you know: LIFE HAPPENED.

Being a child of the 90’s, Friends was one of my favourite shows. Like millions of others, I tuned in every week, laughing and guffawing at Chandler’s sarcastic wit, Phoebe’s unabashed quirkiness, Monica’s persnickety nature, Joey’s stupidity and rakish posturing, Rachel’s progression from spoiled princess to self actualized career woman, and the ever persistent geeky nature of the slick haired, dinosaur loving Ross.

I owned whole seasons on DVD. Rachel was my hair idol. I once knew all the words to Phoebe’s “Smelly Cat”. I watched it over and over again, able to quote punch lines. Like so many others, some the show’s idioms are still in my lexicon: I’m sure every time I’ve moved or help someone move I still quote Ross’ manic “PIVOT” instruction, or when talking with buddies about things in the boudoir, Monica’s “SEVEN! SEVEN! SEVEN!” when it comes to the erogenous zones of a woman’s body. Like, could I BE anymore of a Friends fan? Probably not.


Now that the series has been recently released on Netflix and I’ve been tuning into some episodes.

Let me just say: Friends is a funny show. It was funny when it first came out, and it still stands up today. However, besides the jarring laugh track that has been mostly phased out of comedies along with the “movie guy” narration for movie trailers, there are a few issues I can see with the show now that I didn’t really think about when I was a thirteen-year-old super fan.

Most notably: The glaring lack of diversity (all straight white people), rampant fatphobia, the heteronormative and prescriptive gender roles on which much of the comedy relies upon (“men are like this” haha, “women are like this” HAHAHAHAHA).

Also the fact that there is no way that these people could possibly afford to live in their fucking huge apartments in New York City when four of them work part-time gigs.

Although I could go on about any of these issues in the show, there’s something that has grabbed my attention and was mentioned by a very good friend of mine: Ross Gellar is kind of a misogynist asshole.

I mean, all the characters are kind of dicks to one another. The premise where one friend has lied to, or tries to manipulate the other, is found in many episodes. They tease one another relentlessly, and it’s that kind of sardonic banter that I like about the show.

But Ross, Ross is different in the way that he perceives, treats, and approaches women. Specifically when it comes to the “Ross and Rachel” saga which is pretty much the tale of a stubborn, unapologetic, disingenuous, man who “finally” ends up with a woman who’s put up with her fair share of his shit and I can’t believe we’re supposed to just accept this as the conclusion to a great love story.

The series begins with Ross’ total devastation due to the end of his marriage to Carol who has come to the realization she’s a lesbian. In comes Rachel, just having left Barry at the altar ready to emerge from the cocoon of a sheltered life where she would have been financially provided for by a wealthy, yet douchey, husband. Instead she chooses to move to the city and start anew. We quickly find out that Ross LOVES Rachel and has since high school, but was always too nervous to ask her out.

This doesn’t change throughout the first two seasons and we see him silently struggle with his perceived unrequited love that produces some comedic moments. Then Rachel finds out, and she digs him too, but then he’s with Julie, and then he finds out and can’t decide between the two and…


After compiling a list of pros and cons when deciding between Rachel and Julie (because he’s just so desirable) “Just a waitress” is a con for Rachel. Ross judges Rachel on her occupation of being a server as a reason not to be with her. Despite the fact that she’s taken a huge step away from a privileged life and is trying to make her own way in the world, Ross thinks he’s better than her because he’s a dinosaur doctor.

She finds out, and her feelings are hurt (understandably) but, blah, blah, they still get together even though there’s an overlap when he’s still technically with Julie. ButIguessweforgivehimbecausehelovesRachelSOmuch

After he deigns to go out with said waitress and the two start a relationship, because I guess he’s cool if she serves him.

Shortly after, she gets a dream job offer at Bloomingdale’s. But WAIT—a man (Mark) offered her the position and it must be because of his desire to stick it inside of her. Even Chandler and Joey agree and, I would argue, are complicit in Ross’ obsession with the possibility that another man might find his super hot, talented, funny, and ambitious girlfriend desirable (heaven forbid!). Therefore, he should be inserting himself into every aspect of her waking life so that everybody knows that she belongs to him.

For a show the was regarded as “progressive” for its time, Ross’ possessive attitude towards her borders on something from the 1920’s and instead of moving past this he’s all, “Guys and broads can’t work together, see. He just wants to jump ya, that’s all.”


Instead of listening to her assertions that she is not interested in Mark, Ross smothers Rachel with his unrelenting affection rooted in possessive jealousy that manifests itself in flowers, gifts, and even a barbershop quartet.

This is psychotic behaviour.

This attitude of ownership over women in his life also extends to his sister Monica when he realizes (and witnesses) the secret relationship between her and Chandler, “MY SISTER?!” And later on when he’s dating a young student and joins her on summer break after realizing that she’ll be wearing a bikini—the notorious garb of the unfaithful woman.

We’re supposed to take the idea that Ross’ ex-wife is to blame for his mistrust of Rachel because he encouraged Carol’s friendship with her lover Susan. I guess I can believe this for a second or two until his jealousy ultimately ends his relationship with Rachel, and the whole “We were on a break” when he sleeps with someone else TRIES TO COVER IT UP and then, instead of apologizing and showing legitimate remorse he fights tooth and nail over what it meant to be on “a break” instead of consoling his wounded soon-to-be-ex-partner.

He spent fucking months being insanely jealous of the fact that she sat across from a man at her job, and acts like that fact that he fucked a hot girl the night before is like, no biggie.


Ross and Rachel’s relationship waxes and wanes over the rest of the series, he proceeds to marry again, and divorce. Yet we never see any kind of emotional growth from Mr. Gellar. When they reunite at the beach house (where he, again, is involved with another woman) he neglects to read Rachel’s lengthy letter about her feelings about them getting back together. When he realizes Rachel is asking him to admit to his mistake and “infidelity” that broke them up, he freaks out and refuses to take any agency.

When Rachel and Ross get wasted and marry in Vegas, he tells her that they are divorced. But doesn’t because he just doesn’t want to be a guy who’s had three divorces.

Good question, Ross. Good question.

That gets settled, and you think it’s finally over and they can just both move on with their lives, but Rachel becomes pregnant with their child after a one-night stand. He not only has a delinquent first reaction (going on about the effectiveness of condoms) when she first tells him, but when they live together (to like, simulate a family unit or something) she takes a night off and he babysits. A prospective suitor calls for her and he neglects to tell her even though they aren’t romantically involved. When she finds out this I think fourth or fifth HUGE lie Ross has told her, instead of apologizing he complains that she shouldn’t be going out with her friends because she has a baby to take care of and shouldn’t be having a life of her own…

Excuse me?

Now, I understand that the writers and producers of the show intentionally draw out this story to keep fans waiting with bated breath to see if they end up together, but honestly, after watching the series again with fresh eyes, I have to ask: What it is about Ross that Rachel is supposed to find so attractive? What it about the “Ross and Rachel” thing that we are rooting for?

Rachel has put herself out there so many times for this cockface: from offering to fulfill his sexual fantasies (Princess Leia in a gold bikini), supporting his career, clearly articulating her thoughts and feelings, and even offering to raise his child without his help, and she’s only been met with next level emotional manipulation, flagrant displays of disrespect, and inability to approach her with earnestness.

So when the series ends (SPOILER ALERT… but like, it’s been twenty years, get over it) Rachel decides to move to Paris, another evolution in her growth as an individual, Ross crashes the party at the last minute, stopping her at the airport to profess his undying love for her. Instead of saying, “Gee Ross that’s really sweet but we’ve tried this a few times and even though I do love you and have a child with you, a fact that means we will forever be linked, I think maybe we’re better as friends.” Rachel decides to “get off the plane” to be with Ross. She shows up at his place imbuing him with “I love yous” and “Let’s do this.”

Teenage me reacted with a, “Finally, they’re together!” but current day me was all like, “Rachel, he’s an asshole. GO TO PARIS.”

This love story is supposed to give us some sort of catharsis, a reinforced belief that true love conquers all, and Ross states, “We’re done being stupid.” Um, I’m sorry WE? WE are done? I’m left thinking that the story that’s being told isn’t actually about mutual love and support, but rather that grand gestures are the be-all and end-all of love, instead of the hard work and emotional intelligence it takes to foster a successful relationship (which, I mean, I’m not perfect at or anything).

Looking back on the examples of love that I watched as a child and then young adult, I can’t help but think that maybe there has to be something better than waiting to be kissed alive, or putting up with a decade’s worth of assholery to end up in a “Happily Ever After” sort of situation.

Maybe one day.

If you want to read more about what most likely happens after the series concludes, you should most definitely check out The Belle Jar’s brillant article:

Seriously, it’s perfect.

Like A Virgin


The holidays happened and I apologize to you readers (if you’re still out there) that I haven’t posted in a while (thank you for reading!). I hope your New Year and holiday season was full of love and fun.

Now, I’m an atheist. A non-believer in the sense that I don’t hold stock in any kind of higher power, god, force in the universe…what have you. I was raised Catholic, but don’t practice any religion. I’m fine with people that do have a faith they find important to their lives, as long as they aren’t using it as a way to attempt to hurt or shame others (which happens way too frequently I think). Despite my non-beliefs, I still really dig Christmas and it kind of makes me a hypocrite when I wish my loved ones a, “Merry Christmas” but the parties, the drinking, the food, visiting family and friends is the just too good to pass up.

Being a dutiful daughter this year, I agreed to attend the Christmas Eve service at the United Church my mother is a part of. For probably the millionth time in my life, I listened to the story of the Virgin Mary and Joseph looking for room at the inn, the baby Jesus in the manger, the Three Kings… blah blah blah… which was punctuated by my four year old niece whispering, “Two more songs and then we can go open presents!” I was with her on that.

My mind drifted away during the reading, I started to think about how fantastical this story really is and how shitty it must have been for Mary. Think about it: a fourteen-year-old girl who has never had sex awaiting her pending marriage is visited by an angel in the middle of the night who’s like, “You’ve been chosen to have the son of god.” Then bam, she’s pregnant. Then she has to explain to her fiancé, who at first is all like, “Imma dismiss her quietly” (instead of stoning her for being a hussy, I guess?) He doesn’t believe her and how lonely and sad she must have felt. He doesn’t get on board until an angel talks to him and is all like, “Nah, don’t do that. She’s got god inside of her.” So then he decides to stick with her. Then, they have to travel for a really long time and she’s riding a donkey at nine months pregnant, then there’s no room at the inn and has to have her baby in a stable full of animals, and everyone is like, “Look how magnificent this baby is.” I would be thinking, “Look how fucking resilient this teenage girl is.”

This poor girl who’s never had a chance to even know her body by the way of sex or intimacy goes through literally one of the most painful experiences she’s ever had, and she didn’t even get the chance to have the fun that goes along with conceiving a child? Shit, that is one huge undertaking. Her virginity is so important to the story that it’s now permanently part of her name, the Virgin Mary. Not the Strong Mary, or Resourceful Mary, or Dedicated Mary, the virgin part is what defines her. I couldn’t help thinking with my pervy brain, did she just never have sex with her husband after the baby was born? What is it about virginity that bears such importance?


I’ve mentioned this before, I attended Catholic School, and since I could remember this idea of virginity as pure and righteous and sex as a means to procreation was the party line. In high school we were inundated with the message that you only had sex once you were married and if you didn’t wait, you were sinning. The virgin/whore dichotomy was pretty set in stone.

But what sex meant in a heteronormative Christian context was a very clear cut P in V action, and for many this is the marker for losing one’s V card. Needless to say, this doesn’t cover homosexual sex and as Dan Savage points out in his commenting on the phenomenon of Christian teens engaging in unprotected anal sex in order to preserve their virginities, then his husband would be a ‘virgin’ too.

I can understand why these folks look for these kind of loopholes (no pun intended—but you should watch this hilarious video full of glorious puns on the subject).

I was an awkward teenager and completely nervous about boys and even though I actually never had sex during this time, I developed a pretty strong attitude that all this fuss about staying a virgin was out of the question for me, and I really didn’t understand why god would care so much about what I did with my vagina.

Then I went away to university and frosh week was basically someone handing you a condom every four minutes. I was still pretty nervous about dating and just didn’t do it. Then the next year rolled around and all my friends seemed to be having sex. Then I, ironically enough, started working at The Condom Shack, a sex boutique.

Yes, I was a virgin working at a sex store. I felt almost like I’d skipped a step somewhere, selling dildos, lubes, condoms, oils, having never really used them myself. The women I worked with were tenacious and knowledgeable and I really did get an education. I was given a sense of empowerment about how to protect my body from pregnancy, able to explain the inner working of products that could (and would) give me pleasure, and a voyeuristic glimpse into the sex lives of many, many people.

But this started a panic in me. Shouldn’t I have sex? It looks like everyone else is having it. It was the complete opposite pressure that I had felt in school. It was a confusing time, and again, the P in V was the ultimate thing. It was like I was living a lie, and in my panic and conflicting ideas I just kind of, got it over with. I was dating someone for a while and it just… happened. He wasn’t a bad guy, but after I felt like it was supposed to have more decorum, more of a feeling like a milestone had passed. I’d felt so much pressure from either side about it and now that it was over I wasn’t even sure if I felt different.

I didn’t have the tools to really negotiate what it is I wanted from sex. It took some experience and growing up to really figure out what it was about being a “virgin” that really bothered me, that I am many things and that this is not the be all an end all of my existence. Now I can honestly say that sex is not something I “get out of the way” and that I have a lot of love and respect for myself and have a healthy sex positive attitude. I even proudly call myself a slut for crying out loud.

I can only hope that Mary, if only the way that I finish this grand tale in my mind, was able to move past this label of being a virginal woman in her own mind, and that she could be a mother, wife, woman, and sexual being. Maybe even after Jesus’ went off to “spread the word” her and Joseph were able to find a room at an inn all to themselves.

Yep…I’m a slut.

As a six-year-old, my favourite past time during recess in the schoolyard wasn’t double dutch, hide-and-go-seek, or kickball. I mean I did do those things, but there was something above all these that I preferred most to engage in. With great pleasure and delight my favourite game to play was: kiss the boys.

Or more specifically, chase and kiss the boys because they regarded girls as “gross” and my mushroom-cut-jumper-wearing self would run around like a maniac doling out deplorable pecks once I’d corner my selected boy of interest. It wasn’t because I liked these boys, it was because they hated it so much that made it fun. I most relished taunting one red haired boy named Shawn who would scream in terror and disgust as I aimed to plant a fat one on him.

Picture 3

Who wouldn’t want THIS?


It was something that became a bit of a problem and I still have a report card from that year that reads, “Susie is a good student, but she needs to stop kissing all the boys.”

This statement from my educational institution worried my mother and she sat me down, and in retrospect, she did a great job in gently explaining why this wasn’t appropriate behaviour. Thinking back to this report card now I chuckle at how I was, “slut shamed” as a first grader (my teacher totally had a point, I mean, forcing someone to kiss you against their will is… not great).

You’ll be happy to know, I did grow out of this phase and now I get a more positive reactions from the people I try to French (THANK GAWD). However, with this freedom of partaking in consensual smooches real slut shaming is something that has become a reality.

This past summer I was having a conversation with a friend she talked about her dating life and stated, “I think I’m a bit of a slut” she said in a tone that wasn’t sure if it was a good thing or a bad thing. I could relate. In a slut shaming culture I’ve had my fill of moments like in high school (when I was a VIRGIN) because I was open about the idea of sex before marriage (Catholic School) people had a certain “ideas” about me, and in day to day things like how much make up I wear or if my skirt is too short. “Well I mean you don’t need to use the word slut if it has bad connotations, how about ‘intercourse enthusiast?’” I joked.

I’m of two minds about the term “slut”. On the one hand, it’s an absolutely heinous epithet used to degrade, devalue, insult, and undermine women. It’s part of a culture where specifically women who exercise their right to be sexual beings, or are just rumoured to get down in the bedroom, are punished for these acts or perception of these acts. Whereas, speaking in a heterosexual context here, men who have the same amount of sexual experience are called a stud or a player or something that is not nearly as damning or demeaning. Within this binary where sexual promiscuous women or girls are labeled as immoral or dissolute, men are regarded as virile and masculine (the sentiment boys will be boys comes to mind) the balance of power and agency is uneven.

On the other hand, as events like Slutwalk, and even some celebrities and organizations have moved to reclaim the word slut as a positive term, allowing for a reworking and reframing of the notion to enable women to take pride in their sexual agency. Re-shifting the power of the word as opposed to keeping it in the negative realm where it’s used to reiterate and replicate misogynist ideas that are harmful to our society as a whole is a truly paramount and I think admirable task.

There was a point where I decided that calling myself a slut was just fine with me. A few months about I was chatting with a male friend and was relaying a story about a hook up I’d had. I talked about how my date and I spent a few hours before hand just asking one another questions about our sexual histories, flirty questions like, “When did you lose your virginity?”, “Where’s the craziest place you’ve had sex?” etc, etc until we ended back at his place…



…I had a really great time and it was just understood that we weren’t dating and unless we ran into one another at the grocery store we weren’t going to see one another again.

My friend looked at me. “I think you were tricked.”

“What?” I responded.

“I think he tricked you into sleeping with him.”

“Oh you mean the super hot guy who I wanted to get weird with tricked me into it? Was I BAMBOOZLED into intercourse? The whole thing was just his magical powers taking effect so that I had no choice in the matter?”

My friend’s logic relied on the concept that all men want from women is sex and that women are somehow “giving it away” if they succumb to this. He didn’t consider my desire in this situation, and in the back my mind all I could think was “I’M A SLUT DEAL WITH IT.”

It felt really empowering. The more I thought of myself this way and took the meaning of the word to be positive it was something I just… dug.

So yeah, I do think that calling myself a slut in the right context is something I would like at my disposal. I refer to a, “really slutty weekend” with friends in a completely affectionate and joking way. I wouldn’t use it in a derogatory way towards another or myself and that’s how it works for me.

However, I can understand why others wouldn’t want to. Words, labels, epithets, and monikers carry a lot of weight in the way that we identify ourselves. For other individuals out there, to be called forward to “reclaim their inner slut”, or embrace this term maybe marred with too much violence, nuance, and consequence and they simply decide it’s not for them. I think that’s just fine too.

I may be a slut, but I do try to not be an ignorant slut.

Should I Stop Being Such A Girl? (Date Me)

So, I’m fourteen years old and wake in the middle of the night to the most intense stomach pain I have ever experienced. Holding my abdomen, thoroughly convinced that my appendix is about to burst, I walk into my parent’s bedroom and shake my mom awake, “My stomach hurts really, really bad.”

She blinks a few times looking at me in the dark, not impressed or convinced, “You’ll be fine, just go back to sleep.”

“I think I need to go to the hospital.”

“Susan, you are fine!”

I am not fine. I am dying, and she won’t believe me. I’m so angry with her and that after chugging down some Pepto Bismol I curl up in bed, my stomach aching, convinced this is how I was gonna go. I relished with teenage angst the thought that she would come to wake me up in the morning, but I would not stir, for I would never wake again, because I would be DEAD. Oh, how she regret not heeding my warnings about my impending departure. She’d berate herself for her dismissive tone and wish she could go back in time and get me the medical attention I needed.

Yep, she would be so fucking sorry.

In the morning, I realize I had just gotten my first period.

Embarrassed, I sheepishly tell her the news. Handing me a pad the size of a hamburger, she proclaimed, “You’re a woman now.”


It’s a funny idea: that I’d crossed some kind of thresh hold simply by being afflicted with fertility. The grand concept she was presenting me with was that I was a girl when I went to sleep, but a woman when I woke (alive). Making my way through my early twenties I cannot say that there was a solid moment where I actually felt that I came into, “womanhood.” Most of my adult life has been more about thinking about how these traditional ideas of gender and sexuality intersect with identity. But let’s say if I was to play along with this, my coming of age has been fraught with moments I suppose I could say were when I could claim I was now, “Woman”; Maybe it was when I moved out of my parents house for good? When I first paid my taxes? When I lost my virginity? The first time I called myself one?

I’m really not sure. It’s almost like… I used to think…I had the answers to everything…But now I know… Life doesn’t always go my way…yeah.

I know I’m not a lady.

I know I’m not a “good girl.”

Perhaps I’m, like Britney so eloquently articulates, both. Or neither. Words are fluid. Gender is constructed. Identity if an ongoing process. I think I’m cool with that. I can be many things at once…

BUT WAIT, my FAVOURITE publication, Elite Daily Douchebag Binaries has provided me with another brilliantly written, culturally impactful, cutting edge article: “10 Signs You’re Dating a Woman, Not A Girl” that would disagree with that. Especially if I’m going to attempt to mack on dudes.

Oh, it’s bad to girl?

The title of this article might be misleading to some, as it may suggest that it catalogues ways to avoid committing statutory rape: (Sign #1: Her DOB.) However, this wise man points out the label of “girl” and “woman” have nothing to do with age (whew!) but rather warns that there are humans with fully matured female bodies roaming the world, never actually having achieved this fabled womanhood, that sacred and coveted point where they are no longer just a “girl” (blech). I’m so happy that a man (not a boy, he states) has the gumption and knowledge to alert me and others to the perilous traps of finding yourself dating one—because that’s a bad thing to be right? The more I think about it, there are a lot of examples proving that to talk, act, or throw like a girl is obviously rilly, rilly bad.

So perhaps I can glean some tips from this list?


  1. Girls like to dress in revealing clothes because they think they look sexy – women know they look sexy no matter what they wear.

Girls think. Women know.

Okay, so as I understand it, my body is open to public scrutiny to men because, like, how else would I know how to dress and act?

I’ve been told over and over again not to dress like a slut, but I should be sexy though right?

I never considered that when I put on a tight skirt or low cut top I should not think I look sexy. I should never think I am attractive in any way. I thought that thinking something looked good on me was an empowering step. I didn’t even realize how wrong I was. I’m thinking about it the wrong way; because I’m THINKING. Stupid girl thoughts—get outta here!

I should just know. I must, like Neo in The Matrix, embrace a higher way of perceiving myself and the world.

Picture 38

There is no spoon, er, hot skirt.



  1. Girls expect their men to know how they feel and what they’re thinking – women use their words.

Girls be bitchy.

I mean, it’s not like females are under societal pressures to be agreeable and appeasing. Nope. I mean all he’s saying is to not be a girl you just, like, can never be a person who may have difficult time articulating your thoughts and feelings.

Girls only do this, not like, just people in relationships in general.

And I mean, it’s not like there is a chance that speaking up about my wants and needs might make me appear vulnerable and needy in a way that’s condemned as clingy and emotional—hysterical even. That never happens. Obviously, I should be more a woman about this, and accept this writer’s alert to the fact that men are emotionally stunted and are not going to be able to open themselves up to starting a dialogue with me, and we women should all, “accept their counterparts’ shortcomings”, while having none my girly own.

Okay, so men don’t like that. Stop it. Never be angry. Never have conflicting feelings. Just, fucking, take a lesson from Socrates and know thyself,  so thoroughly and completely in every single waking moment so he doesn’t have to put up with my bitchy shit.



  1. Girls expect you to pay the tab – women are financially independent.

Girls are greedy spoiled brats who only respect men for money.

Only girls have the capability and tendency to want free shit. Just girls. Nobody else.

I can’t write about this again. I just…I can’t.


  1. Girls go out and get wasted – women can hold their liquor and know their limits.

Girls are alcoholics.

Don’t be an alcoholic.

Got it.

But only because I don’t want him to think he’s dating a girl.

Only because of that.

  1. Girls can’t wait to update their Facebook status to “In a relationship” – women forget they have a Facebook.

Girls internet bad.

Perhaps I shall smack my head on something in order to develop some sort of amnesia about what social networking sites I am signed up for? That might help. If I have a concussion maybe I’ll refrain from celebrating any of my life events on the interwebs, until of course, my womanly instincts kick in and I wait the appropriate amount of time (3 man weeks?) before mentioning anything.

Because girls are like, “yeah!” and women are like, “meh.” Right?

  1. Girls watch junk TV – women read.

Girls are dumb.

Never keep up with pop-culture in any way. Cool.

I don’t know who Kim Kardashian is and I have never seen her butt.


  1. Girls talk about trivial matters – women know how to hold a stimulating conversation.

Girls are dumb. Super dumb. So dumb. Like stop being a dumb girl.

Yeah, I mean I guess it’s very true that there are no girls that demonstrate any kind of intelligence.


  1. Girls eat salads – women eat whatever the hell they want.

Girls eat salads.

Girls eat salads?


First of all, he states that girls, “just to go home afterwards and chow down on a pint of ice cream.”

How does he know what I’m eating after the date is over? Did we not say goodbye?

I wonder if this includes all salad. Like is potato salad girly? Would caprese be off the table? What if I add steak? What does it say about my specific gendered label if I got ambroisa salad?

Picture 39

Nah, just kidding, ambrosia salad is asexual.


I am so glad he’s telling me what to eat. I cannot for the life of me find any other example on the internet where someone is trying to tell me that the food I eat says something so intrinsically fundamental about me as a person. I was having a hard time figuring out how my eating habits are directly linked to an arbitrary label for my gender, but now I have this.

Thank you. I’ll just shut up and eat my chicken McNuggets with sweet and sour sauce, AND ranch. Like a woman.

  1. Girls stick to what they know – women are always searching to widen their horizons.

Only girls tend to not widen their horizons, and “they’re hoping to find a man to pick them up and show them the way.”

Like, to tell them what’s wrong with the way they are acting?

Like, an article that lists off, say 10 signs of what it means to act in a way that is unappealing to them?

Like, perhaps an articulation of how dissatisfied they are with behaviours they’ve witnessed from having the “unfortunate luck” of dating these reprehensible creatures we shall now categorize under the umbrella of, “Girls”.

I should stop listening to things like that?


  1. Girls need guardians – women don’t need anybody but themselves.

Girls need friends, mentors, and a community.

Just like stop being such a girl and be a lone wolf and shit, right? I’ll just wipe out all my contacts in my phone now.


I think I got it. I’ll live by this list making sure to purge myself of any tendencies that may mark me as the dreaded girl. I will now be an ideal candidate for the romances of a toenail painting self-actualized man choosing me out of the hoards of tyrannical girls who so blemish the dating lives of men.

Would I then be your girlfriend?… Wait.

And now, I call bullshit.

Would it really have been so hard, to simply write an article listing off signs that you might possibly be in a relationship with someone who is not meeting your needs? Instead of involving the pitting of terms “girls” vs. “women” essentially infantilizing the way females act, maybe he could just say, “Hey ladies, I don’t like it when some of you do this.” He obviously has an idea of what he wants from an ideal partner: eats salad sometimes, not just because she thinks she has to, does not go home and eat anything else (and supposedly he will KNOW), is interesting and intelligent and has some guilty pleasures, emotionally mature so he doesn’t have to be, women who know what they want… but I cannot for the life of me figure out what it was or is about being a girl that would make me incapable of these things.

This kind of Goldilocks misogyny (he wants these ladies to be JUST right) is a dizzying example of how perceptions of gender, specifically for females, can be damaging. By reinforcing a pathologizing and condescending perceptions of women and how they act as directly correlated to a moniker associated with their gender creates a world in which binaries define us, and ultimately hurt us. The same can be said about “acting like a man” thus creating a conception of masculinity that disallows males to articulate their emotions, for example.

And what the fuck is so wrong about being a girl? Why do we have to take this word and flip it around and make it synonymous with stupidity, assholery, and general shittiness? There are millions of girls in the world who are strong, independent, curious, dynamic individuals, and to use this term to malign those you don’t like undermines their attributes and achievements.

I don’t want to feel that when I did identify more with the term “girl” meant it was a bad thing. I don’t want young women in my life to feel that they should be ashamed of saying they are a girl, and when they are ready to be called a “woman” it is not as though they are shuffling off some ugly cocoon.

I think whether or not you call yourself a girl, boy, man, woman, or something in between or outside of this, you should be able to without some dirt bag using it as a way to shame you.


Okay, Stupid-AGAIN! Even Stupider. Or, Why my Vagina is worth more than a G&T

Earlier this week I was casually looking through my OKCupid messages, and THIS happened.02-001



Let’s take a second to unpack this bag of shit, shall we?

Now, why did I respond to this in the first place you might ask? I suppose I was curious as to why this guy would reference the—somewhat outdated— Borat quote that is meant to be a satire on this kind of misogynic attitude. He was just trying to get my attention, and in a moment of weakness and annoyance, he did. I decided to inquire if this fuckhead thought he was being HI-LARIOUS, but his subsequent messages surpassed any kind of real assholery I could have imagined.

The logic here is staggering. It depends on three things:

1) He has a valid point. (NOPE)

2) If we did go out on a, “date” and not just, “skip to the sex” I would expect him to pay for everything. (NOT TRUE)

3) Then the gigantic leap of a notion that when women accept a man’s offer to purchase her something she is inherently entering into some kind of contract wherein her body is now openly available to him because he dished out some cash for her apple martini and appeteaser, and this makes her just like a, “prostitute.” (DEAR LORD!)


Now, I am not placing judgment on sex workers. I respect their choices. I don’t think there is anything morally or ethically wrong with those choices. But I am not a sex worker. I have made that clear to some individuals in a polite and in no uncertain terms through this dating site, without judgment. Really, I mean if that’s what you’re looking for, cool, I’m just not it.

But this uncouth human being is not actually asking me for services as sex worker. He’s using the term, “prostitute” in a negative sense to somehow convince me to have sex with him (for free!) lest be a labeled a whore.

Obviously this dude has MAJOR issues with women and how to treat them (like people, maybe?) but this message did get me thinking about dating, gender roles, and money (what else would I be thinking about?) When I stop to think about it, I have two conclusions:


I like when my date pays for things.

I do.

I think it’s nice. They grab your dinner or drinks and or tickets to a show. I always offer to pay, and it is nice to have someone simply just want to take you out and show you a good time. I like the feeling of being treated.

Doesn’t everyone?

I like paying for things for my date.

I do.

Especially when the date is going well. I like when the bill comes and I wave my hand in objection, “I got this.” There’s a pleasure I feel when I can offer something to someone I think is interesting, fun, and attractive.

Doesn’t everyone?

In neither of these circumstances am I thinking about this as an exchange for sex.

For me, there has never been a time where I’ve thought, “Oh, he paid for the tapas, I’m not that into him, but I’ll throw him a spitty HJ for the monetary trouble he’s gone through.”

Nor am I thinking, “Yeah, boy. You better eat that poutine I’ve purchased for you. You’re gonna have to eat something else* later to pay me back.”

*My pussy.

I understand that this there is a social construction that does set up the expectation—in a heterosexual relationship—the man pays to signal that he is interested in his partner, and that, opposed to two friends catching a movie, it’s a way to connotate a romantic interest. It is, in fact, a social construction I participate in all the time. But it doesn’t me a hooker.

It’s about chivalry (not dead, just sick?) like when a man opens a door for me, or let’s me take the only cab on the street at 2 am. This behavior is motivated by the fact that I am a woman, “Ladies first” is the phrase that comes to mind. I am very happy to receive these gestures (even though I’m not a lady).


I know, Judy.

But personally, I do believe, like paying for stuff,  chivalry should not only be exclusive to men. We can all be generous.  We can all be polite. No matter what our bits are.

That being said, I don’t think there’s anything wrong if, say, there’s a relationship where there is one partner who pays more than the other. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it being split right down the middle. This is just a personal preference I’m talking about here. But I don’t think there should ever be a underlying power dynamic that the person who accepts free drinks, or gifts, or whatever is somehow expected to return the favour through sex. Or, on the other hand one partner is paying not because they want to, but because they think they HAVE to. That just spells disaster. Case in point: this message I received.

Obviously this doo-doo has lived his life in such a way that he has some to resent the very notion of buying something for a woman. Maybe I’m going too hard on him? Perhaps the pressure of financing every single sexual opportunity has driven him to the point of believing all women who take any kind of gift from him is a sex worker. The societal pressure of being, “the provider” simply because he has a penis may have just pushed him over the edge.

Maybe you might think I was overreacting by telling him off. Maybe, you think I’m just being a silly feminist (ugh) who just can’t face the truth and if I intend on living in the world I should just suck it up. I mean, he does think I’m hawt.


I awt nawt be such a twat about his awffer.

Maybe, as he says, I’m just being “rude”….

…Hmm…. NOPE. Dravid67, I don’t take it back. I refuse.

I don’t want to live in a world where someone thinks they can buy me a G&T and get a full tour of my concavity for the night. Or even worse, turns this logic around on me like it’s fucking MY FAULT he’s using this tactic to sleep with women, disrespecting and resenting them for it, and then telling me I should just forgo the whole thing so I can have the supreme pleasure of a sexual encounter with this:


100% Asshole.

Why do you bring me these things internet? WHY INTERNET?

I promise next week I’ll write something that isn’t a huge rant against a hideous stranger.