The bathroom use of transgender people has been a topic that’s hard to avoid, especially on social media. Here in Canada, the following video began to circulate after Alberta’s 61 school boards decided to “revise regulations and hash out new policies by March 31 to protect the rights of LGBTQ students and teachers, support gay-straight alliances and create a safe learning environment.”
And in the U.S., the American Family Association recently began a boycott of Target after the organization stated that transgender visitors should be allowed to use the bathroom they feel most comfortable in. Meanwhile, several States have attempted to pass bills that would force “transgender people to use restrooms that don’t match the gender they live every day”.
Along with the debate, a variety of memes have popped up on both sides of the conversation. While it irritates me to see the particularly popular Chuck Norris-themed meme belittle transgender experiences, I thought trans activists were easily holding their own in the meme department by reminding readers of how difficult it can be to spot a transgender person, and therefore how ridiculous it is to police who enters which bathroom.
Unfortunately, there have already been several cases of bathroom policing, where women who aren’t deemed feminine enough are challenged for entering their bathroom (as might be expected, the video below includes some strong language).
Posted in crime, feminism, gender, lgbt, politics
Tagged Bathroom, bathrooms, cis-gender, discrimination, Equality, female, gender, Girls, lgbt, male, memes, non-binary, protect, rap, safety, Sexual Assault, target boycott, trans, Transgender, transgender bathroom use, women
The culture war is a conversation.
While it is ultimately a conflict, more often than not this takes the form of ideas and criticism being slung back and forth across the trenches. To be heard is a minor success, but to be actually understood is victory.
Within this conversation it’s undoubtedly artists, especially those who have garnered celebrity status, who have the most powerful voices.
In 2014 the eponymous host of The Colbert Report featured a segment on his show about “The Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever”. Given his popularity it reached far and wide, and was eventually viewed by a Twitter activist who created the hashtag #CancelColbert in response.
As it was meant to call attention to and ridicule the outrageous fact that a national sports team is named after an ethnic slur the response was out of line. It was a classic case of [obvious] satire being taken the wrong way, but by inadvertently contributing to what has been dubbed “a fake year of outrage’ this person’s misstep resulted in others who campaign for better representation and the like being worse than silenced, which is to say, ignored.
Despite calling out from what is ostensibly the same side, the misstep of a single loud voice meant that others were unheard.
The exchange between artist and critic is rarely ever an even one, and only becomes more difficult given the sensitivity surrounding such personal creative endeavours.
Lena Dunham is the star and creator of HBO’s Girls, and received enough disapproval about the lack of diversity in a show set in New York City that she was asked about it by NPR. She responded that “[she takes] that criticism very seriously,” and that very same year had Donald Glover playing Hannah’s Black boyfriend on the show.
While the presence of Sandy on the dramedy was a beneficial one, with arguments between the two capturing the tension that can be present in interracial relationships [including such exchanges as: “I never thought about the fact that you were black once.” / “That’s insane. You should, because that’s what I am.”], Glover’s character faltered in that he was very much a response to criticism. Continue reading
Posted in art, celebrity, Comedy, communication, race, television, writing
Tagged #CancelColbert, activist, apology, art, asian, Asian-American, comedy, conversation, criticism, critics, Culture War, Ghost In The Shell, Girls, Kimmy Goes to a Play!, Kimono You Didn't, Lena Dunham, netflix, offence, outrage, race, racism, rape, Respectful Asian Portrayals in Entertainment, Scarlett Johannson, Tina Fey, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, voice, whitewashing, yellowface
Today, on International Women’s Day, I’ve been reminded of how grateful I should be. Maybe it’s because I’ve been flipping through images of women’s protests around the world. Maybe it’s because I’ve been watching sentimental videos that make me feel inspired (even if they are marketing ploys by Google). Either way, I can’t help but feel grateful.
By the time this post goes up around midnight tonight, it will no longer be International Women’s Day. Before then, I’d like to take a moment to be thankful, and highlight ways we can support other women in their fight to win these privileges too.
1. Freedom and Safety
When I get up in the morning, I do not feel afraid. My country is not at war. My physical safety is not threatened. Throughout history, this was not something most women could take for granted. In many countries around the world this is still something women cannot take for granted.
There are many organizations working to ensure women’s safety. There are a variety of organizations that are working to help women (and men and children) from areas like Syria that have been affected by war. Unfortunately, in unstable situations like these, rape and sexual violence become weapons of war. The Stop Rape Now website highlights a variety of organizations that work with victims of sexual assault and promote rape prevention education. Continue reading
Posted in feminism
Tagged #WomenYouShoulHaveHeardOf, able-bodied, access, afraid, aspire, Canadian, career, cis-gender, criticism, domestic violence, Education, Education for girls, employment, encourage, family, female, feminism, fight like a girl, freedom, Friends, gender, Girls, Hilary Clinton, inspire, International Women's Day, invest, job, Kiva, Malala fund, Malala Yousafzai, manhood, microloans, middle class, Niger, organization, physical, physical security, president, privilege, rape, Refugee, role models, safe, safety, sexual violence, spouse, succeed, threatened, Violence, vocational school, war, white, women, Women's Day, work
I’m currently living with my in-laws. At our house John and I almost never watch the news, but living with them means that most evenings I take in at least an hour or two of current events. For weeks I’ve been listening to CNN run flight simulations to try and guess where the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 went. I’ve also seen hours of footage from the South Korean ferry accident, including the gut-wrenching clips of the young kids saying goodbye to their parents. Despite all of that it was only recently that I heard the first report of the group of girls kidnapped in Nigeria.
It’s possible that I just wasn’t watching at the right time, or that it wasn’t featured on Western news stations over the past few weeks because of attempts by the Nigerian government to downplay the situation. I’m definitely not saying that the case hasn’t been reported at all, since African and international media were reporting on this case long before we were over here. Continue reading
Posted in Africa, Islam, news
Tagged #bringbackourgirls, 9/11, Africa, African, Allah, Boko Harem, Christian, cnn, Corruption, economic, Fear, Girls, Goodluck Jonathan, hate, Islam, Islamophobia, kidnapping, Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, Muslim, news, Niger, Nigeria, paternalism, sex slave, Slate, slavery, South Korean Ferry accident, terrorism, Time, unrest, voluntourist, Western Education is a Sin
Not so long ago a friend sent me an article called “6 Reasons Female Nudity can be Powerful” by Soraya Chemaly. He wanted to know what I thought of it.
To give you some context I should tell you that this friend and I have debated on issues regarding sexuality and nudity since we were teenagers. Back in high school we would have probably taken polar opposite stances on an issue like this. I was a fairly indignant teenager who wanted her gender to be taken seriously, and since he was a teenage boy and boobs held a certain appeal for him I didn’t think his opinion could ever be unbiased. While we continue to debate on these issues now and then, I think we are both coming to slightly less extreme, and maybe more realistic, perspectives. And when it comes to this article I have to agree with him. Female nudity can be a powerful tool.
According to legend, Lady Godiva rode through town naked in order to convince her husband to lower his taxes on the people of Coventry. This rendition is by Jules Joseph Lefebvre
Posted in feminism, media, politics, pornography, sex
Tagged advertising, anger, boobs, breasts, debat, Femen, feminism, feminists, Girls, Hijab, Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction, Justin Timberlake, media, Muslim, Naked Ladies, Niger Delta, nude, nudity, police, politics, power, Problem with Cute, Problem with Pink, Protest, pubic hair on manniquins, Salon, sex, Soraya Chemblay, Victoria's secret, women