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?

ROOMIES Rent Party!

INVITE-RENTPARTY

As some of you many know, Season One of Unladylike short shorts ROOMIES premiered earlier this year and we are excited to announce our plans to bring you another season of sex, lies, and hamburgers.

If you haven’t had a chance to see Season One, check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6hXi5ydN08&list=PLQvb97ahfeOyBKamb86nWrR8HKdAMS9nu

But we need your help! In order to bring you more hilarity we invite you to very unlady booze filled fun-raiser featuring special announcements, unladylike guests, musical performance by Midnight Vista, and a chance to dance off your pants on the dance floor with tunes provided by DJRay Ruby! Your support all goes to helping us pay out “rent” for the second season.

Join us at #Hashtag Gallery 801 Dundas St. West
Friday April 17th 8pm – 1am

Stay tuned for more info!

The Invisible Waitress

If you could choose any super power, what would it be?

Flight? Super strength? X-ray vision? Witnessing your parents murdered in front of your very eyes as a young child and channel you PTSD and billions of dollars into a barrage of various gadgets that enable you to fight crime under the cover of darkness?

 

Would you choose the power of invisibility?

As an emerging, aspiring, starving, struggling, artist, in order to supplement my income, I work in the service industry.

Unlike so many talented, ambitious, knowledgeable servers, bartenders, chefs, and entrepreneurs in this city, this position is not my passion. Therefore, I find myself in the category of service industry folks I will deem, “Take the Money and Run-ers”.

I wouldn’t classify myself as a great server. I’ve met them. They love what they do. They carry their own tea bags with special blends that they suggest to discerning customers, they have their own special Negroni recipes, own comfortable black shoes, call booze “spirits”, and like, do it without writing any orders down or missing a beat.

Seriously, they’re superstars.

 

I am not one of these people.

However, I like to think I have a pretty good sense of what it means to deliver you good service. I bring drinks and food and make small talk. Sometimes I crack jokes. I try to be affable, friendly, and attentive. I’ll suggest what to eat if you ask, or accommodate that special request (No Cheese, No Butter, No Oil, No Gluten, NO FUN).

I’ll look out for you, even asking if you’re driving after you slam six Alexander Keiths during a three-hour lunch meeting. Just making sure you get home safe—no judgment, I’m actually slightly in awe that a couple of middle-aged women have decided to get turnt before two on a Monday.

I polish and uncork and pepper and cheese and refill your water and point you to the direction of the washrooms. I do all of this in the name of investing in myself, paying rent, eating food, and occasionally going out. It’s easy enough to bring you a plate of calamari and GTFO.

Some days it gets to me.

Unravel me, moment by moment, like when you point out that crème brule is supposed to be warm or, “at least room temperature” when I set it in front of you and you decide to lecture me on the preferred warmth of a custard dessert and I go back to the kitchen to relay this news to the cooks who look at me with what can only be described as: WTF Face. I try not to get too stressed out about it. But you kind of ruined my day a little. Maybe you weren’t trying to. But you did.

I don’t mean to complain about this work. Like I said, it supplements my desires: to write, to create, to travel, maybe occasionally eat fancy fried chicken. I choose not work in an office or a 9-to-5 wearing panty hose and circulating to cat memes. I don’t have the kind of steady employment that provides health benefits and vacation days. At this point as a twenty-something with no kids, mortgage, spouse, or any other weighty responsibilities, it works for me.

With the shorter hours and cash tips it grants me the opportunity to spend the rest of my time typing away madly and trying to make my shit work. But this work has yet to pay in the dollar kind of currency that supports my lifestyle.

Let’s be clear: I don’t think I’m better than my job. I don’t think I’m better than a hard days work.

However, being a server (or waiter, or waitress, or “Excuse Me”, or “Honey”, or “Hi”, or whatever you’ve decided to call me today) there is something about this position that you the customer (or patron, or table, or “Hi There”, or whatever I’m going to call you today) endow me with a very specific kind of super power: INVISIBILITY.

I notice this power when I approach your table, strategically trying to find a moment where there is a natural pause in the conversation so that I can ask you if the food is okay, knowing there is a time limit before I can remedy any kind of mishap. You’re all fucking chatty Kathys and there is no aforementioned break so I slide myself over, refilling your glasses of ice water and politely inquire whether everything is copasetic.

Then it’s happened. Unknowingly draped with a cloak of invisibility.

It is nothing like this.

Your conversation goes on, surprisingly without you remarking on the fact that your water glasses seem to be refilling themselves.

I ask again. “Is everything alright?” This time struggling to not let me my frustration come through in my tone of voice. Like the Who trying to speak to Horton I try to permeate the orb of perceived silence.

You ever so slightly, slowly, shift your head up and down in a somewhat approving manner.

Perhaps you are worried that you’re the only one who can see me? Maybe you’re worried that because your companions have not responded then I might be some kind of apparition? “Just be cool” you might be telling yourself as you bob your head faintly.

I attempt to make eye contact simply to discern some semblance of a response to my question from this minuscule action. I am ultimately successful when your companions finally notice me, staring as though I have waltzed into a private living room and taken a huge shit on your carpet that was a gift from your aunt Mildred or something and your one friend finally says, “Yep.”

I think this might be why the standard costume, er, uniform for servers is black because of this fact: a preparedness to be both be seen and unseen. So this kind of acknowledgment/non acknowledgment is something I’m used to.

For example:

Scene
Restaurant. Lunch. Winter. A chime sounds as you enter. You feel the warmth on your reddened cheeks. I approach you, menu in hand and gesture towards a table. You remove you coat and jacket and pull up a chair. Music plays in the background. Most likely, “The Girl from Ipanema”

 

ME:             How are you today?

YOU:             A cranberry soda.
I leave you huddled over your Smart Phone to pour your drink. I’m just going to assume that you’re “Good.”

 

This power of invisibility is not one that I can control and is something that can be quickly and abruptly removed.

Like at the end of your meal when I lean ever so slightly to remove the empty dish that once held a fairly large amount of risotto and you stare at me in disgust, “That was really under seasoned, it wasn’t really very good at all.”

Oh, now you want to talk to me. NOW I am worthy of more that a monosyllabic interaction?

Bitch, you ate the WHOLE THING.

Did you consume this under duress? Is there some force I am unable to perceive that has commanded you to eat the entire fucking half-pound of rice and butter sauce? How could I possibly help you with this problem now? My heart and soul may not be dedicated to supplementing your every whim and quelling each and every one of your deepest culinary dissatisfactions, but I could have helped you.

Perhaps there was some kind of confusion because when I asked you way back, “Is everything okay?” I was talking about the FOOD.

Although my position as one who ferries dishes back and forth from the kitchen to your table is not one of great social standing, I have the power—limited as it might be—to right the culinary wrongs you find so appalling as it slides down your gullet.

Then you proceed to drink a bunch of wine and talk about how you and Greg are just “Caj” and like, you’re just trying to “Figur yourself aoght” but it’s like, “Rilly fun.” And once again you do that weird non-nod to my question, “More Pinot?”

I don’t exactly hate you. You are a stranger, after all, and this is just one glimpse of who you are as an individual. But know that I do not like you.

This hatred is solidified when you tip 6% (just to reinforce that you are completely disappointed with your service and how fucking dare I do this to you).

At this moment I am invisible once more as I stare, nonplussed, handing you your copy of your debit receipt and again you look everywhere but me. Maybe you, specifically, are an asshole, but there is something to be said about the customer who seems oblivious to the person who is there. I can’t help but hope that Greg dumps you. On your birthday. When you thought he was going to propose. While someone films the whole thing… My mind wanders in a state of rage.

Despite this, I just smile. I say thank you. I acknowledge your departure.

This invisibility doesn’t only apply to the consumer who is obviously just not nice, but also to those who while still seeming to need your assistance with procuring food and beverages, yet still has a hard time conceding the reality of your presence. Don’t misunderstand me; I’m not asking for lengthy conversation, we needn’t swap life stories, I don’t want you to gaze into my eyes and lovingly relish each and every moment of our interaction. I don’t desire fanfare for bringing the bread quickly. But I would ask for some manners. Some consideration.

For example:

Scene
It’s the first week of summer. You’re wearing your new Prada sunglasses and they look FAB-U-LOUS. You haven’t seen Gladys in… too long. Once you embrace outside the restaurant you decide on the table closest to the window. After Gladys remarks on how it must be, “so great to look natural all the time”, you remember what a bitch she is. Why did you even ask her out for lunch?

ME:                         Can I get you something to drink to start?

YOU:                         What’s the soup of the day?

GLADYS:             It’s too warm for soup.

YOU:                         I had the chowder last time, it was so good.

GLADYS:             That sounds so heavy, though.

YOU:                         I think we’ll get some wine.

GLADYS:             Did you want wine? This early?

YOU:                         Did you not want to drink?

GLADYS:             Oh, I will if you will. It’s two o’clock… sure. Just not red.

YOU:                         I thought you liked red.

GLADYS:             (nods head) Tannins.

ME:                         We’re actually out of chowder.

YOU:                         OH. Oh. Oh. Um. (looks at wine list) Oh no.

GLADYS:            You know when Larry got his gallbladder removed. We just both decided to  go clean you know. Just clear things. You know?

ME:                         I’ll come back.

YOU:                         When did Larry have his gallbladder out?!

I leave. Feeling ignored, but also I didn’t know you could live without your gallbladder. What does your gallbladder even do?

 

This invisibility thing has some perks: I get to be the pervy voyeur all my closest friends know me to be. It allows me to obsessively check Twitter while you talk amongst yourselves. Sometimes I sneak out for a smoke, unbeknownst to all.

On the other hand, it does leave me feeling as though there might be something about my psyche that may be affected when, on almost a daily basis, I have an interaction where I’m in a state of semi-seeness.

It hits me most on the days where my spirits are as low as my bank account. Trying to reconcile my dreams and goals with bringing you extra sauce. So just a friendly reminder from your local mediocre waitress: Act like a normal person who is able to interaction with a direct question and answer interaction. I am not a piece of furniture. I am a human. Treat me thusly.

 

P.S.

I will say there are many folks that are great. You are courteous, direct, answer my queries, and politely get my attention. Even, as I have found, those who will say “thank-you” each and every time I come to the table. With you, I know I am there when I’m there, and my invisibility is my own which I only I only ever use for good leaving you to your meal in peace. To you, I would like to extend my appreciation.

 

Like A Boy

Last week I watched SuperBowl for what was probably the third time in my life. No judgment—I’m just not a football fan. However, if there’s alcohol, pulled pork sandwiches, chips, and/or chicken wings I. AM. THERE.

For the sake of the sport, I decided to go all out and root for the SeaHawks, mostly just because that’s the team Dan Savage roots for. It really did look like they were going to take it.

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Sorry bae.

 

Like any other entertainment hungry consumer-slut, I was excited to see the commercials. Lindsay Lohan? I forget what she was selling, but I wonder what she’s doing right now… Liam Niesson is a BAWS. I’m totally going to watch Taken again.  Always’ “Like A Girl” commercial aired.

This ad is not new. It’s been making its rounds on the Internet for sometime now and in terms of airing during this prime time slot, it seemed a perfect fit. It essentially looks at how the term “like a girl” is negatively applied to both boys and girls, and simply taking a second look at how it actually functions to undermine the abilities of girls (they can throw and walk like normal human beings, OMG).

In terms of the ever present media this is most definitely better than say an ad that utilizes the body of a woman solely as an object, muted, the gaze upon her body in order to sell perfume or a luxury watch.

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You smell like this. She’ll gaze upon you thusly.

Considering that the media has a huge effect on the way we see ourselves and those around us, this “Like A Girl” ad seems really positive, not aiming to hurt or undermine anyone, just simply trying to sell feminine hygiene without making you feel like total shit about yourself, right? Right? WRONG.

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For like… pads?

 

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THIS IS NOT ABOUT YOU

 

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Then throw the ball, not a fucking tantrum.

What’s with the outrage? It’s been pointed out by folks before me, and seems obvious that you can’t really compare the “like a girl” label to “like a boy” because if someone said to a cis gendered man or boy that they were going something, “like a boy” this would not be an insult… So you can’t have it. Because you are already empowered. We could try to re-power you with positive stereotypes, but can you just let this one fucking thing go?

Stumbling down the rabbit hole of social media outrage against small women just trying to be themselves, I was delivered to the  “Men Rights Activists” or the “meninist” movement/t-shirt franchise. It’s something I’ve been aware of, but haven’t given too much clout because I remember what it’s like to be ten years old and not be allowed into certain discussions or clubs because, you know, NO GIRLS ALLOWED.

The fact that an advertisement by a huge cooperation looking to sell sterilized cotton intended to soak up menstrual blood has brought about a flurry of anti-feminist sentiments and brought my attention to a group of people that stand for the this kind of shit seems ridiculous, but I guess this is the world I live in.

I think that whoever you are, you have the right to your opinion, but when there is a group of people providing a platform for hateful, disrespectful, ugly messages like this:

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Something has to be said.

Instead of giving it a name like a “movement” it more just seems like a collection of trolling heteronormative idiots who are angry with women in general, and what the Wild West that is the Internet has done is give them a platform where they can post shitty comments without the fear of any kind of consequence.

 

After more close observation there seems to be a deeply misguided logic that somehow blames feminism for the problems faced by men based on the idea that feminism and feminists are a) only women and b) those women specifically want to ensure that men are forever enslaved as a less superior sex and forced to bow down to their undeniable power, and like, they want you to buy us shit.

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I agree… except for the “picked up” thing… do you mean like picked up like a girl hitting on you, or like picked up in a car, or picked up like a baby?

 

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OMG SOOOO FUNNY

Let me take a second to clear that up: Feminism specially looks at the issues of inequality when it comes to the sexes and works to investigates the injustices that stem from treating women as thought they are less. Personally, this extends beyond the binary of “men and women” but also takes into consideration: class, race, queerness, and ability. Working to challenge the patriarchy in all it’s shortcomings. It’s intended to ensure that there is equality and justice for all. MEN: aligning yourself with this identity is a good thing.

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Now, I don’t have a penis.

Because I do not have a penis I will never know what it’s like to walk around with one, effortlessly pee standing up, or what it’s like to have a sensitive sexual organ dangling outside of my body.

I also have no experience of what it means to reconcile the appearance and functions of my body with a standardized and prescriptive notion of what it means to be “a man.” I will also never know what it must feel like to not be born with a body that includes the physical attributes that are socially constructed to mean “maleness” and have a journey where my gender and sexuality is constantly questioned, regulated, and challenged in that way. However, I am conscious and sympathetic to what implications and pressures someone might face under these notions about gender and sexuality.

For straight men, I see the societal pressures they face: to provide for women, bottle their emotions, be physically strong, be a lone wolf,  have masculine hair—but not too much, depending on the culture there are a very many number of things that a “real man” should and should not be…

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Like, that y’all should have to look like this in your underthings

I get it.  It must be difficult to “conform to the norm”, as the kids are saying (okay they’re not saying that, but it’s hip to question the squareness of the boxes we put our identities in, kay?)

But to suggest that there is no inherent privileged given to men is simply not true. Case-in-point: the fact that this tampon ad got so much attention and objection. If men and women were really equal there would be no stigma of what it means to be “like a girl” to dispel in the first place, and we would just be watching how much of the blue liquid one pad can take and how flexible the wings are.

As a lover, fan, and supporter of men, I want to be able to talk about what the pitfalls, pressures, and injustices are faced by men  but not in a way that blames women. In the same way that I want to be free to talk about how I feel that at times my identity as a woman can bring a whole bag of shit upon my house.  That’s because I AM A FEMINIST.

Can we just have a conversation about this without blaming each other?

Is this really so hard to ask? Or maybe, ONCE AGAIN, I’m just being such a girl about this whole thing?

 

The F***ing F Word

This may be old news to some, but this past week TIME magazine release a poll, “Which Word Should be Banned in 2015?”

The fourth annual banishment poll written by Katy Steinmetz asked readers to vote a word offends so much, so deeply it will prompt you to, “seek out the nearest pair of chopsticks and thrust them through your eardrums like straws through plastic lids”. With that lovely imagery to illustrate the amount of disdain for said word to be annexed from the English language with previous year’s words being OMG, YOLO and twerk, TIME released this year’s candidates.

Obvi, when perusing this list of possible terms up for execution, there are a number you can trace their lineage directly to the Interwebs, popular songs, and marketing campaigns. These despicable suspects were chosen to conjure the ire of those who wish to create some kind of standard for language and to suss out those utterances to be dumped post-haste with, “no salvation nor return.”

Maybe I could point out the mild irony of a publication calling for censorship? Perhaps I should note that some of these, “words” are in fact, phrases? But hey, I don’t to knit pick. I guess I could discuss the idea that the English language, since it has been recorded has been constantly evolving and if it didn’t, thou wouldst speaketh thusly, or…whatever. Or, possibly there is something larger, more immediately pressing about this article that I should call attention to?

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What… might… seem… wrong…

 

Oh, think I found it—one of the vigorously and passionately chosen words to be abolished from our every day speech: feminist.

I can’t even…

The sound wisdom and reasoning behind this choice:

“You have nothing against feminism itself, but when did it become a thing that every celebrity had to state their position on whether this word applies to them, like some politician declaring a party? Let’s stick to the issues and quit throwing this label around like ticker tape at a Susan B. Anthony parade.”

 

First of all, why you trying to take my Susie B parade away from me?! It’s literally the only time where it’s socially acceptable for me to wear my lady cravat and drink malt liquor from a mason jar in public.

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Turn down for what? Indeed.

 

I just want one fucking day where I can get turnt on equality.

 

A resounding, “What The Actual Fuck?” exploded in reaction to the inclusion of this term in the poll, with many calling shame upon the house of TIME. There was a general call to disrupt this kind of casual misogyny, and the outrage was noted by the editors at Time with a note updated on the top of the list on November 12th,

 

“Editor’s Note:

TIME apologizes for the execution of this poll; the word ‘feminist’ should not have been included in a list of words to ban. While we meant to invite debate about some ways the word was used this year, that nuance was lost, and we regret that its inclusion has become a distraction from the important debate over equality and justice.

–Nancy Gibbs”

 

This “apology” is listed on the top the list on the website and for a second when reading it I thought, “Yeah okay Nancy, even though your justification is bullshit and reeks of privilege and ignorance, thanks for apologizing bae.”

But then, as I looked down the list—I assumed was now edited—and was momentarily distracted by the question that if, “kale” was banished what would we than call kale, because I mean the plant still exists right? Maybe something like, ugly-health-plant, wrinkled-fountain-of-youth-thing, or yucky-good-for-you-leaves, or I’m-better-than-you-om-nom-nom-nom? Okay, so some of those still need some work.

 

And wouldn’t you believe it, even after this apology, “feminist” is still on the motha fucking list!

So basically ‘Nuance Nancy’ was all, “sorry not sorry” crying crocodile tears on November 12th when they detailed that the results would be posted on the 19th. Do you honestly not have the technology to just take it off?

“Feminist” actually ended up being the word most voted for. Now, this could be due to trolling by 4chan, as some suggest, but why was it alright for a major publication to feel like it was okay to ban this word?

Going back to the reasoning Time lists to get rid of this term, that you have “no problem with feminism” but can’t stand the word feminist, is a really fucking stupid thing to say.

It’s like, “I have no problem with freedom, but I don’t like the word free” –said no one ever.

By having a problem with people using this word with pride and affection strongly suggests that you DO you DO have a problem with it.

You have a such a enormous problem with it that the idea that “every” (But feminism is for EVERYONE that’s what makes it so GREAAAT) famous folk is proclaiming themselves as a feminist, and you’re so tired of constantly hearing these beautiful celebrities espousing the idea that we are equal and that we shouldn’t treat girls or women differently simply because of your sex is so assaulting that you’re done with the word all together, and it also makes you sound like an ASSHOLE.

joe

Just shut up and take off your shirt Joe. GAWD.

 

I don’t see any urgent call to shut up celebrities when they’re selling us perfume, soft drinks, phones, or shoes, but as soon as they start to articulate an identity that could perhaps do some good for the cultural awareness of issues—then you be all ugh, stap it!

I guess there are no “feminist tampons” or “misogyny free moisturizer” for these people to peddle. Maybe this is the problem? This seems to confuse. The discerning few step back, but wait—this is just about boosting your popularity, right? Why is feminism so popular. Get it outta ma face. Time suggests we should just stop using this word and start talking about the issues, then everything will sort itself out. Right. Because taking away a term for a person to identify with a certain cause, credo, belief, or institution is the first building block for that particular ideology to thrive, right?

I believe that feminism and feminist are tricky words, labels that are misunderstood, misused, and as we can see, maligned. It’s not something you can cover quickly and in no uncertain terms.

To simply call for the doing away with this term, instead of say, using your position as an editor or journalist for a national magazine to discuss the intersectionality of race, gender, sexuality, class, and cultural background and how feminism or being a “feminist” operates differently within these frames, or the problem with creating an umbrella term for a complex and complicated movement? I mean, as an influencer, you do have some power to start a discussion, yaasssss?

I don’t mean to be bossy, or be accused of bullying here, but this is a big fucking deal. . The consequences of suggesting that this is futile word that is something to be shuffled off is a basic* affront for all those trying to articulate a way to say equal rights for all.

I am a feminist (if you haven’t guessed).

To me, it means that everyone is privy to the same rights and privileges as anyone else. These equalities include and are not limited to: equal pay for equal work, freedom from harassment or discrimination, control over ones own body and choices, the right to vote, drive, proper education, resources, unbiased healthcare, the ability to move throughout the world without the threat of danger due simply to the way one chooses to look and act, freedom from unwanted objectification, the right to sexual expression.

As a feminist, I believe all of these rights belong to all genders, sexualities, races, and cultures, so why should I stop calling myself one?

 

*I don’t think I used this one right. The “basic bitch” thing escapes me.

 

 

 

 

Made of Honour: How Do You Wedding?

My little sister is engaged. She asked me to be her Maid of Honour. Immediately I was all like, “YUSSS”—

And then, “Wait. How do you do that?”

I’ve never been in a wedding party. I’ve only been to a handful of weddings, mostly family. I’m not really sure how to start. All of a sudden it’s weird I don’t have a Pintrest board about cute wedding ideas, of which there are like a million. When is everyone Pininterting these things? Maybe I’m missing something. But maybe it’s because, personally, I don’t aspire to get married or have children.

Sure, I can remember being a little girl and fantasizing about a wedding imagining the flowers (orchids), the dress (PRINCESS), and the thought of my husband waiting for me at the altar (Eric from The Little Mermaid). However, that fantasy started to lose it’s allure as I entered puberty.

Sorry, Eric.

Even when I was in a long-term monogamous relationship, I was never itching to walk down the aisle. If someone would ask if he and I were going to get married I’d usually say something like, “We pretty much already are. We live together. We share everything. Basically we just haven’t had this big party.” I meant it. I did feel like we were married. The only thing missing was the marriage license and cake.

Now that I’m currently single, these questions gets a little tougher to answer, “Don’t you want someone to take care of you when you’re old?” Ugh, life is not The Notebook, and statistically speaking; if I married a man he’d be dead years before I kick the bucket.

“Don’t you want to get married?” I feel when this question is posed, if I say no, the burden to argue against the institution as a whole is somehow placed on me (don’t even get me started on the not wanting kids thing, another post perhaps). As though I’m saying marriage is bad. But that’s not what I’m saying. What I am saying is the traditional notion of marriage, as I understand it in Western Culture, specifically for me as an ex-Catholic Torontonian, is not for me.

I’m fine with being alone. I’m fine with the idea of spending a long time with a partner. I don’t think all relationships that I’ll have are going to last, “til death” and I’m somewhat dubious about why there’s so much pressure around tying the knot. I do believe in love, but I don’t really need the marriage or wedding thing—and if I did ultimately get married, I think it would be for other people (family, friends), legal reasons, or to maybe even to finally get a Kitchen Aid mixer as a wedding gift.

Picture 15

I love you. More than you’ll ever know.

To me, marriage is more  like a distant country I’m not particularly keen on visiting (Antarctica. Not hatin’ just sayin’ and you’re a continent, I know) or a television show everyone else is obsessed with that I just can’t get into (House of Cards—I’m the WORST). I know I’m poking fun here, but I’m not putting any judgment on people who get married and humans who place importance on it. This is just how I feel.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love going to weddings. I fucking adore planning parties. There are really wonderful weddings and truly successful marriages. It’s a beautiful thing to want to be part of someone’s life so intrinsically, so fully, that you stand up in front of everyone you know and love just to let them know. Hell, the last wedding I went to I almost starting bawling the moment I saw the bride. She was so beautiful and so in love and I can’t wait to see that for my baby sister, and more friends and family who get married in the future.

That being said, I understand being a Maid of Honour is not the same as choosing to have a wedding and I’ve gone on a little bit of a tangent about myself, but let’s keep talking about me and back to my original question:

What does it mean to be a Maid of Honour?

Starting from the basics, I decided to literally find out what a Maid of Honour is. I looked it up in ever so up-to-date Merriam Webster dictionary:

 “ an unmarried lady usually of noble birth whose duty it is to attend a queen or a princess”

Unmarried: Check. (SEE ABOVE)

Noble Birth: What year is this?

Attend a Queen or Princess: I say this in the best way possible: my sister is a princess.

Just in case you were wondering, the “Matron of Honour” is someone who is married, because we really must ensure that a woman’s marital status is constantly defined because if we don’t know if she’s married or not how do we know if she belongs to someone?

 

I promised I wouldn’t get worked up about this.

The last couple of weeks of  looking through bridal magazines, online forums, and Women’s Health (apparently) for the duties of a MOH (we short form, we busy) it appears that my main responsibilities are to help organize, plan, co-ordinate, and ensure it’s a good time.

Also did you know the MOH gets to:

“Make sure you taste everything for the caterer. Go to all bridal fairs and cake tastings.”

SO, eat a bunch of free food and cake? However will I manage to struggle through it.

“Help shop for dresses (the bride’s and the bridesmaids’). And the MOH pays for her own entire wedding outfit (including shoes).”

I like shopping. I’m really excited to help my sister find the dress for her. Not gonna lie, I’m pumped to pick out a kick ass dress for myself. The paying doesn’t bother me, I mean, weddings are expensive so I don’t mind buying a dress, as long as it isn’t hideous (vain!).

I love the emphasis here on paying for the entire outfit –including shoes! Like there’s been someone who’s like, “Okay, I’ll buy this dress but I mean, you’re making me where my OWN shoes for this!” Who are these people who draw the line at footwear?

“Attend all pre-wedding parties.”

Uh, yeah duh, sounds awesome. Planning parties? Getting people together? Serving up miniature food and specialty cocktails. This is my jam. I’m so ready.

 

 

The downsides seem to include:

Apparently my mother is going to turn into a monster and she needs to be medicated.

And finally, what most articles suggest is that the stress of holy matrimony will send my sister spiraling into a kind of stress frenzy where she is constantly overwhelmed and it is my duty that she be, “kept hydrated”, “feed”, and helped to get dressed and go to the bathroom. I also need to make sure to “plump” and “shake out” her dress, and keep people from talking to her for too long at the reception line. I know my sister is an adult and is going to manage this just fine, but it makes me giggle to think of her turning into some kind of deranged infant in a unmanageable dress with some kind of anxiety disorder who you mustn’t try to spook.

Even though I would appear to be ultimately unqualified given my personal perspective on marriage, my inexperience with weddings, and my apparent irreverence and ignorance, I will try my very best to make sure to not be a MOD (Maid of Dishonour) about any of this. Like, say, making one of the happiest occasions in my sister and my fiancé-in-law(?)’s life all about me in a blog post? Oops, sorry won’t be such a navel gazing piece of shit, it’s all about you from now on, okay?

With that, I reiterate my answer to my sister’s query if I will be a supportive, loving, excited, and not so sassy right-hand unlady to her at the event she is so thrilled about and deserving of—regardless of my own personal issues—if I can be there with her through this process and celebrate her love:

I do.