"The white fathers told us, "I think, therefore, I am" and the black mother within each of us – the poet – whispers in our dreams, I feel, therefore I can be free."- Audre Lorde

Monday, November 23, 2009

Andrew & the turd.

By: Shannon Hope Gendron

Saturday, November 21, 2009


I know the anger that lies inside of me like I know the beat of my heart, and the taste of my spit.

Last night a friend told me, "the biggest problem with feminists is that you're always pissed off".
My response was, "we have alot to be legitimately 'pissed off' about".

The mythos of the merciless 'raging, man-hating, bra-burning radical feminist' infiltrates popular imagination. Our 'anger' has been co-opted and bastardized by this image in order to dismiss the seriousness our struggles.

The more "radical" and "outraged" the world can construct feminists to be, the easier it is for others to demonize who we are, rather than listen to our cries. When people render feminists to be mere angsty monsters it's easier for them to avoid having to look at how their own lives are implicated by and contribute to the oppression of those around us.

Their resistance to our rage, is a defense mechanism because they are threatened by what true liberation would mean.

Women are not allowed to be angry. We're taught it's a destructive and useless emotion that ought to be regulated, suppressed and "dealt away with" quietly. We're told to be afraid. To silence ourselves.
When a woman is angry for a just reason, she's simply "pms-ing", or "bitchy". When a man's angry at injustice, however, he's allowed to be deemed "passionate" or "charismatic".

I am angry.
and i will not be dismissed this easily.

I refuse to apologize for my rage. I refuse to suppress, to silence, to fear, and to deny this anger. I refuse to be dismissed because i give a shit.

How else do you respond to systems of racism. sexism. classism. heterosexism. How can you honestly look at the lives of those who suffer from the vices of this oppression, and NOT feel angry. how do you look at the raw oppression in your own life, and not respond with anger.

I am mad. Mad that somewhere in Canada a woman is battered every 15 seconds. I am mad that there have been 500 aboriginal women who have gone MISSING or have been murdered along the high way of tears in BC-- i am angry that this violence is largely invisible and ignored. That some bodies are considered more important than others. that some bodies are disposable and deserving of rape. i am pissed that there are laws in canada that criminalize sex workers and create dangerous working conditions. i am pissed that every 2 minutes in canada a woman is sexually assaulted. i am pissed that you think our bodies are something that can be conquered, owned and used. im pissed that she had to endure this pain. im pissed that it broke her spirit. I am angry that Harris' 22% welfare cut means that single-mothers can no longer support their families. that the system dehumanizes us all. im angry that we think its ok that so many people in our own country are living in the shackles of grinding soul crushing poverty. im angry that its still not safe to be a dyke. its still not safe to not fit into the strict binary of "male" or "female". bodies are still mocked, ridiculed, beaten and spit on for being "trans". hundreds of queer murders go unreported. unfound. im pissed that vaginas are still a swear word. that grown women blush at saying. im pissed that women aren't having nearly as many orgasms as they should be, simply because men's sexuality is laregley privileged over ours. im sick of the assumptions that men can be sexual because their "naturally" horny due to their alleged "hormones". im angry about exclusion. unquestioned privilege. distortions and epitaphs like "slut", "homo", "bum", "nigger" im angry about the misnaming. im angry that i find myself in a classroom of women every tuesday morning, that "don't see a need for feminism anymore" because they are afforded the luxury of being blinded by their own white class privilege. angry that because "they can get good jobs and vote" that they think, obviously "the role of feminism is dead and oppression musn't exist anymore". im angry that the cult of masculinity still dictates and informs how "men" should live and feel. im angry that the cultural myth of 'femininity' is often used to regulate us. im pissed we can't just love who we want to love. I am ANGRY that you are hurting and i cant stop your pain.

yes. i am angry. i have alot to be angry about. these things are NOT alright with me, nor should they be alright with you.

i cannot hide my anger to spare you guilt, nor hurt feelings; for to do so insults and trivializes all our efforts

I think anger can be a good thing. an important thing. a powerful beautiful thing. Anger gives us insight, into realms of our spirit that otherwise may go undiscovered. it reveals to us longings for change. it pushes us to resist. to act. to speak out against the injustices we experience and see. anger can be empowering- for when we listen to its rhythms, rather than deny them, anger can be transformed into solidarity, action and passion.

the question shouldn't be how do we "work through" or "avoid" our rage, but rather how can we use this rage to make something beautiful happen.

* * * * * * *

My anger is a molten pond at the core of me, my most fiercely guarded secret. It is an electric thread woven into every emotional tapestry upon which I set the essentials of my life—a boiling hot spring likely to erupt at any point, leaping out of my consciousness like a fire on the landscape. How to train that anger with accuracy rather than deny it has been one of the major tasks of my life. -- Audre Lorde.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

nostril met a friend


Don't tell my mom. :)

(it's a surprise for her birthday...haha)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


last Week was my Six-Year vegetarian-anniversary.
i found this in an old email Andrew sent me, before we started dating.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

ramblin', gambilin' man: a confession of sorts

last year at this time a little black star came into the world. on a lonely ivory wrist, little star made its home and met its companion. ink, met needle, met skin and a life-long light was born.

yesterday, in honor of little star's one year anniversary les and i hit the slots. not being regular patrons, we were rather inexperienced in the realm of appropriate casino etiquette. "the man" took our money, but we got free drinks, and some prime people-watching out of it.

It's fun to experience new places. It's fun to play 2 cent machines. and drinking cups of free creamer. i like the lights and the noises. i can totally understand how easy it is to get hooked though. im glad i only had 10bucks. im noticing more and more that i have a really addictive personality. sometimes i really really lack self-control, simply because i have a creepy amount of defiance and superstition. (if i close my left eye, and sing two lines of "here comes the sun" in my head, and count to six, then obviously i'll win.... if i give the cop a finger while wearing mittens, it doesn't count as not "loving my enemies", if i eat grapes after smoking a cigar, then it won't hurt me... if i mutter about the ills of capitalism when i walk by "urban outfitters", i won't be tempted to covet $60 sweaters that i could find at value village for $4). At the end of the day I loose. I hate. I smell. and i am left still wanting.

Someday I'd like to play Roulette with smarties instead of cash.

but luckily, thanks to les, i no longer want to play "Russian Roulette"...
* *

you cant judge
love or pain.

Friday, November 6, 2009

that wall just told me to "F off".

graffiti on stall doors in public bathrooms, fascinate me. even if it's just a penciled scribble that says "fuck you". i love it. I get genuinely excited when i discover new additions to my regular stall. sometimes i find myself just hanging out on the toilette, in the library, studying walls instead of my school work. i like that each word has its own story. its own history. i m fascinated by people's hand-writing. i love that it feels like im reading something i shouldn't be. i like that the words, no matter how lame they are, feel like secrets. like ive stumbled upon somone's diary. i love feeling mildly offended by a bathroom wall. i love when strangers respond in different coloured ink. i love imagining who the author was, when walking down the halls. i love the anonymity. i love to wonder what it was that drove people to write what they did in the first place.if i had creepy magic powers, i would secretly be an omnipresent spirit in women's washrooms. i would watch the scribblers, the doodlers, the profanity-writers, in delight.
I've developed a strange bathroom superstition. i've come to know which stalls at queens have my favorite words to look at, and i will go out of my way, even if it means an extra two flight of stairs at staufer, to get the stall that will most amuse me. Even if its being used and others are available, I'll make up some lame excuse to wait for it, like washing my hands for a long time, until its free.
Someday I would very much like to travel the world, taking pictures of various bathroom scribbles from every place i go. and then compile them into a book. (the book cover would look like a bathroom door).
The only thing I ever "vandalized" was a study cubicle at Algoma University. Amid the collage of "your gay"s, "screw yous", and "Amanda loves Daniel"s, i scribbled in black ink "I know nothing, but of my own ignorance". it's a quote by Socrates. i was convinced it was the most profound words ever spoken. Despite my fascination with amateur bathroom graffiti, I haven't yet worked up the courage myself to contribute to the stall walls. theres something seemingly more sacred about the women's washroom. Im still waiting for the perfect thing to write. or draw.
Any suggestions?
Until i figure it out, I suppose I'll just keep indulging in my shameful bathroom art voyeurism.
but first, i'd like to thank all the sneaky bathroom scribblers out there, for making my pee excursions so delightful. If ever you've written your initials, a curse word, poems, or the answers to your algebra test on stall doors/ walls, thank you. sincerely.
please don't stop.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

kingdom on earth

if i had to choose only one day to remember of my twenty-somethings, it would have been today.

Friday, October 30, 2009


Despite my pacifist convictions, I still often fantasize about violently running over Queen's boys, with my old little brown bicycle. Despite my desire for peace, this fantasy never fails to make me smile.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

lamentations of poverty: the day i met Erika

[Preface- for my gender&poverty class we had to take on an identity someone struggiling with poverty, and write a reflective paper about our experience. it was an extremely helpful excersize in empathy, and it really helpt me understand the corruption of the welfare system... which prior to the class i had no idea existed. the following are some experts from my experience. i was assigned the identity of erika- a young, First nations woman who moved to kingston in hopes of finding a "better" life, but instead finds herself without employment, lacking support and on welfare. Dealing with invasive welfare policies and racism, Erikas story is the story of many women whose lived realities are bound by the shackles of grinding poverty]
Erika taught me that poverty is soul crushing. She taught me Desperation. Hopelessness. Fear. Worry. Humiliation. Vulnerability. Anger. Suspicion. The emotions embedded in poverty are truly raw and truly debilitating. Erika taught me that we live in a world that scorns us as failures if we can’t “find” work. We live within a system that makes us feel guilty for being poor. We exist in a society where being on welfare makes you feel like an unwanted burden—an undeserving baby suckling desperately at the dried up teat of a loveless government. We live in a country where the day-to-day anxieties of mere survival are silenced and ignored, yet they consume our every thought. While the rest of society pretends we don’t exist, our hungry stomachs remind us of the aching reality of our own existence. Our existence feels raw and naked, as the welfare system strips us of dignity, dehumanizes us, invades us, mocks us, and breaks us. Instead of hope, we are filled with fear. Because to be poor, to be Aboriginal, is to be criminal.
* * *
As a single-woman, my welfare cheque was only $572/month, which meant within only the first week I was already $143 short to even pay for basic rent/utilities. Realistically on that little amount of monthly income I would not have no money leftover for food/laundry/phone/savings. The meager amount of welfare payments set us up for failure. How do you possibly survive off of $572 a month?!
I think that’s the point. Poor, Aboriginal “dependent” women were “never meant to survive”. Our histories and experiences of violent colonialism remind us that our survival was merely an obstacle in the path of the development of the Canadian nation. Our present realities of continued oppression reminds us that native bodies are disposable –we see it in the lax law enforcement regarding violence against aboriginal women, particularly in the murder of Pamela George, (Wallis and Kwok 2008, p. 249), we see it in the government’s failure to recognize the unique needs of First Nations peoples, we see it in the system’s complete disregard of poverty as racialized. We are being crushed by the fist of poverty because we were not meant to survive.
I remained in poverty because I could not find viable employment. I could not find viable employment, not because I was lazy or lacked ambition but because “…there simply are not enough jobs to go around” (Swanson 1997, p. 151). Society blamed me for my struggles. This is a society convoluted with the myth of success defined by individualism. This is a society polluted with the toxic illusion that we all start off having “equal” opportunities. A society that overlooks the disproportionate amount of racialized/immigrant women who are experiencing the death-grip of systemic social exclusion and poverty.While I am not entirely dismissing my own agency, I am saying that the welfare system and policy is self-deprecating and makes it very difficult to see an out. It shifts all fault on the individual, rather than focusing on the reason why such crippling poverty exists in the first place. The government has significantly transformed the welfare system in response to a supposed “need” to clamp down on welfare “frauds”, but yet turns a blind eye to the system that produces the need to “cheat” in order to survive. The focus on “cheating the system” obscures the more important issue of all –the filthy rotten system of capitalism itself. Why is a “.3% fraud rate” in Canada (Little 2001, p. 30) more disconcerting than the fact that “the richest 10% of ‘our nation’ own more than half of Canada’s wealth”?!?! Perhaps in attempting to “combat poverty” and “reduce the need for welfare” federal governments should invest time in deconstructing and destabilizing the very system that creates the inequalities of poverty in the first place.. As Swanson argues, many factors push the unemployment (and hence poverty) rate up into a double digit range: such as free trade, and the ability of multinational companies to move quickly around the world to encourage jobs in countries where wages are lowest…” (Swanson 1997, p. 151). Rather than tackling these devastating issues, the government refuses responsibility by blaming and pathologizing ‘victims’ and denying systemic racism rather than supporting those being affected most by the vice of capitalism. This is why welfare was unable to remove me from poverty.


I believe that the Government pries open our jaws, and crams a fistful of “independency” down our throats…. forcing us to swallow the nauseating propaganda of “individualism”. This is the greatest flaw of the welfare policy changes— the myth of mandatory independency. What we need is to relearn the value of a radical-interdependency. We need to learn and VALUE the significance that community can bring into our lives. We need to recognize the truly revolutionary power of community, mutuality and relationships in working towards resistance, dignity, healing, survival and our collective struggle for equality. We need one another. Desperately.

The most important thing I learned from this exercise is that even in my own state of class privilege as a white educated student, I am not free. This activity resolidified my favorite quote by Audre Lorde, in Sister Outsider: “I am not free when any woman is unfree, even if her shackles are very different from my own. And I am not free as long as one person of Color remains chained. Nor is any one of you” (Lorde 1984, p. 133). This excercise is a lesson in compassion, empathy and freedom. It is a lesson that our own liberation is inextricably bound in the liberation of those around us who remain burned and bruised by an unjust system. Our own freedom will never happen, as long as stories like Erika's are ignored and forgotten.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

damn your naked arms

my wildly untamable aloe vera plant is deeply in love with the tree outside my bedroom window. aloe vera sits on the sill, his tiny green plant-arms press up against the glass, trying desperately to reach the hands of his lover--the enormous tree that lives on the other side. at night, when the wind is near, her branches quietly tap secrets on the window. i suspect thats how trees share love poems. sometimes she casts shadows that dance on my walls. aloe vera can't dance, but he watches thoughtfully. we notice even in her charcoal reflection, that she is beautifully grace full and beautifully strong.

they want to hold eachother, i can tell. sometimes when i lay in bed, i feel sad for them. In the summer, with windows open, they nearly touch. they breathe the same air. grow in the same sun. but this, this is the closest to embrace they'll ever get. the distance between them is a mere thin pane of glass-- small, and seemingly transparent, but distance none the less. and because of this distance... they'll never be real lovers.
- - -
i love this tree outside my window. partly because i see the same beauty my aloe vera plant sees in her. and partly because the painful love story her and aloe vera share.
sometimes i fear her gentle enormity. its a "god fearing" fear of amazement. i often dream of crawling out my window, and onto her branches, curling up to be rocked to sleep in her mighty outstretched arms. to be cradled. to hide in her leaves. to dance along her shadow. to bury myself beneath her roots.
i love that autumn has kissed her crimson and gold. I love that i can study each golden vein of her many leaves while laying in bed. I love that each tarnished leaf has a memory. a beginning. a story. memories and stories i ache to hear, but somehow already seem to understand.
i woke up the other day to notice her naked.
i literally felt panic, when i realized her last leaf left had fallen dead to join the others on the earth bellow. i secretly want to scotch tape them all back on. i hate that's she's naked. i hate that her branches can no longer reach inside my window. i hate the grey horizon of the soon imposing november sky. it doesn't do her justice. it robs her of the beauty and glory i clung to.
i hate that her naked limbs remind me that my own world is changing. her spar city reminds me of the inevitability's of transition. i hate change. i hate that her beauty is a memory.
As this season passes, I am reminded of the distance between you and i. i am reminded together we are getting ready to fall. i don't want us to be a memory. i dont wan't us to be separated by a thin, god-awful pane of glass. but i remember i cant bare to reach out to you. a dying tree.
your shadow dances on my bedroom wall, and i have to look away.

Sometimes death takes many forms,
even while alive.

Friday, October 23, 2009

coming out: a rant from outside the closet.

I did it. Finally. I came out to a roomful of queer-minded, sex-positive, anti-oppressit, liberal feminists.
They didn't stone me alive. or mock me. they didnt spit on my shoes. or shatter my spirit. they also didn't collectively boo me, with choir like precision.
Instead they listened, as i fumbled nervously for the right words to say.
risk. there is an enormous risk involved, in any coming out- a daunting vulnerability that can either leave you broken with humiliation and pain, or can leave you with more freedom and confidence than you started off having.

in this case, I left the room, with more wholeness, than I had coming in.

It sucks living a fragmented life. It sucks having an internal civil war between your own identities-- a constant struggle, that leaves you aching for peace. but that peace doesn't come when your in a space that makes you feel unsafe. when your in a space that makes you feel ashamed to be who you are. guarded and on trial. when you exist in two worlds that battle one another, until you are so divided it hurts to claim allegiance to anything at all. It's a relentless inner monologue of fear. A fear that their hostile words, burning glares, troubling sarcasm and patronizing dismissive assumptions create. After five years of hiding. Five years of denying one part of my self in the classroom, and the other-part of myself at home, IM DONE.
Im desperate to harmonize my conflicting identitites. Im despserate to stop living in the confines of a closet.
Im desperate enough, that I'll step out and just say it.
Im..... a......a....... c.hr...is...t..ia...n.

I shannon hope gendron, friggin love jesus. and his radical teachings of love. I love the Creator with a a love that shouldn't be apologetic or guilty. with a love that i am proud of. with a love that i believe will change the world.

i shannon beleive that the god i worship has alot to say about feminism, social justice and freedom. the god i praise is a god of love, a love so radical and so political that it becomes revolutionary. my god is an anti-racist, anti-capitalist, peace-monger, who wants to "stick-it-to the man" just as much as any feminist i know does. My jesus isn't silent about oppression. he isnt silent about a system that screws, and dehumanizes us all. he isnt silent about the chains wealth, greed, hatred, power and war create. he offers a new way, a new life, a kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. why do i have to be ashamed of this? why do i let people tell me i can't/shouldn't be both a "christian", AND a queer-minded, anti-colonialist, sex-positive, class conscious feminist.

i wish i had a t-shirt, that said these things on it. so every time i have to explain what i believe to someone, i can avoid the , "oh, but im not one of those christians. the 'in-your-face, anti-abortion, anti-fag, conservative, bigoted white-washed, middle-classed, heterosexist, evengelical, "you and your post-modernist/liberal politics are going to hell"', suburban sort of christians", speech.

if i had it on a-t shirt, i could just point to my chest and smile quietly.

people like this frustrate me. sometimes i feel their ruining the "god thing" for the rest of us.

their actions/histories humiliate me. they tarnish something beautiful. for a long time, (and still) i have a hard time identifying as a "christian" because immediately non-christians tack on the meaning for me. because of the unfortunate actions of "churches" and people. the meaning people attach to the term "christian", often in a feminist environment is the shitty and limiting stereotype of the crazy conservative evengelical rawwing about how god created adam and eve, not adam and steve. our histories as christians have given a black eye to the god of love. our histories of war, genocide, colonization, exclusion, homophobia, corruption, they are real histories whose legacies haunt us today. but they are things we ought to step up and OWN.

If im going to come out as a christian, or rather, as someone who professes a love for following jesus, then I've got to take responsibility for, rather than deny the shit "the people of god" have done to create the (often justified) negative view the rest of the world has of us. we've burned people really bad, in the name of god.

It's easy for me to separate myself from those types of christians. its easy for me to other them, and blame them for screwing up everything. but as hard as it is, "people like that" need to become "people like us". If we're all following jesus, we're in it together.
the church is a whore, but she's my mother. is slowly becoming my anthem. The crazy conservative middle-class Evangelical man down the road, who has a bumper sticker of the jesus fish, and beside it "support our troops" sticker, and who spends his Tuesday mornings protesting abortion outside the clinic, while wearing expensive name-brand middle-aged man pants, made by children in the "third world", makes me cringe. but this man, this conservative, frustratingly upsetting man, is my brother. and even though i disagree with his expression of faith, I've got to love. and realize again, we're in it together.
And if Im going to make any change, at all, the best thing to do is come out. Come out as a feminist, to the dress-pant wearing church goer, with the fancy car and homophobic and sexist attitudes, and come out to the feminists, the lesbians, the academics, who inferioirize my faith and my god.
my only solution is to come out. come out and dance. write. and speak, fearlessly and without apology, for what i believe in, on both sides, with the hope that somebody, somewhere will be challenged. that somebody somewhere and some point will have to rethink, and reimagine a broader face for both christianity and feminism.
I will come out because
the closet is stuffy. and far too small to dance in.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


i like brendan.
i like liz.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


i like my house-mate todd.

Friday, October 16, 2009


i used my jack-knife to open a bottle of wine. and it imploded. on my face.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Im not sure why people feel the need to grow out of them.
They really do make life fantastick. a good slumber party is like adding extra tasty cheese ontop of the pizza of friendship
. :) its a glass a wine. or a few. for an evening of gigling and secrets.. another glass for breakfast come morning. its the agreed gluttony of late night pizza. its enjoying one another's conversation so much that you forget to notice your pumpkin's nose growing bigger and bigger, until it takes up half of his face. its falling alseep during sex and the city, and waking up the next day, where you left off. lazily slumpt on a fouton in pajamas, with feet soaking in small tubs of water and epsom salt, while dead feet skin cells, dance with cat fur on the carept floor. and all is well with the world. its knowing there's someone next to you, who is for that moment the only other person in the world sharing the same thoughts, the same worries and the same laughs as you.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

harvest moon*

I strongly recommend listening to the following link while looking at these pictures. http//www.youtube.com/watch?v=D3FkaN0HQgs

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


i find it funny that i see him everywhere i go at queens.
he's about 6 feet tall now, with a halo of curly curly strawberry blond hair.
he wasnt always that tall, but his hair was always that untamed. that's how i recognized him six years later. and 13 hours away from where we first met.
its funny that of all the people i would see from the Soo, its him. and its extra amusing that he doesn't even know or likely remember i exist.
It was grade nine. my first high school dance and my bestfriend christina had a huge crush on this "hot" foodball player, whose name i forget. she decided that she would only work up the courage to dance with him, if i volunteered to dance with his slightly less "hotter", red-afroed friend, who at the time was less than five feet tall. I decided i would, although it was very awkward.
i did what i thought was dirty dancing at the time.however years later i realized that shaking your arm ontop of your other arm, is slightly less provocative than i thought it was.
he was nonetheless my first dirty-dance partner. even if we didn't really do it right.
and six years later, i see him walking down union street.
i secretly giggle inside every time i see him.
i like imagining that in the midst of all of the students, all of the strangers, hundreds and hundreds of them, there's that one out there, that attempted to awkwardly grind with my 14-year old self.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

the holy virgin mary

Painting of the week:

by chris ofili

Monday, September 21, 2009

my friend white man.

in sunday school the classic answer was always "jesus". answer "jesus" to any question and your bound to get it right. or at the very least, you'd be granted approval from the sundayschool teacher.
answer, "white, middle-class, heterosexual, men" with disdain, to any question in women's studies, and the whole room will nod. yes. that is the correct answer. and if your feeling extra saucy, throw "evangelical" beside "heterosexual man", and the equation gets even uglier. and you become even smarter. we all know it. this is our enemy. it's come up in every single class. who has the power? who writes/decides history? whose experiences count as legitimate in society? who gets to be the subject? who gets agency? whose knowledge is seen as "Truth"? Who ruined the world? who is the oppressor? whose to blame... for capitalism, patriarchy, racism, sexism, heterosexism, transphobia, and all of the social ills of this world? who is the bane of our liberation and freedom? answer----- white, middle-class, heterosexual evangelical men. this is the answer, you can't get it wrong. the more you say it, the more profound it sounds.
each... and every.....time.
i use to really dig this. to a lot of people on the surface, this is feminism's mantra. this isn't my kind of feminism. blame the dude with a penis, and white skin. who digs females. makes reasonable money. and claims to know a God.
this way, it gave less onus on me. on women. on the marginalized, who i clung to like an over-protective mother, seeing no wrong in her children. but, i've discovered we all suck sometimes. we're all broken. we all oppress, as much as we are oppressed. white men have f.c.k.ed. up. im not disagreeing that this demographic has caused and continues to cause alot of poop. it is a problem that these privileged strands of identities, (straight, white, able-bodied) are for the most part assumed and unquestioned in our western society. it is a problem that this cultural production of westernized stampt hegemonic masculinity is as powerful as it is, at the sake of marginalizing others. these issues haunt me. but the answer shouldn't end with a pointed finger, "they did it". rather it should be a beginning point--- an opportunity for further dialogue. or deeper exploration. for critical thought.
if, the "white, middle-class, able-bodied, heterosexual, evangelical, man" is the irrevocable enemy, how will change ever really happen. by proclaiming academic war on the "oppressor", and by making all men who fit this category into enemies, we're jibbing ourselves. we're missing the point.
it's beginning to really tick me off that alot of women's studies students have this sentiment of dismissal, when-ever the white man is mentioned. Immediately their not taken seriously. their trouble. if an amazing article happens to be written by a rich straight Caucasian guy, their experiences, their knowledge is suddenly less worthy or deligitimate, because of their histories of power. if that same article is written by a first-nations, lesbian transwoman, suddenly it becomes more truthful. more valuable and legit. more sacred.
i feel its like reverse racism in a way. we're trying so hard to incorporate and celebrate and reclaim the voices of the oppressed, that in the process we're doing the same thing to our oppressor as He did to us. what is so revolutionary about an eye-for-an-eye? there won't be change, there wont be liberation until we're all in it together. men. women. and all of us who are floating beyond or in between. all of these voices matter. all of these voices can speak resistance. if we name someone the enemy, if we blame instead of discuss, if we discount what anyone says based on their gender, sexuality, race, class etc., even if that means they are male, then we're being exclusionary. my feminism isnt about exclusion.
we need to all take responsibility. we need to all recognize that there is, even from the cracks of the margins, pockets of power. agency. resistance. there is power in solidarity. there is power in difference. it's not okay with me when students disregard, or roll their fresh feminist eyes at white-straight-men. its not okay with me to silence even those who have silenced us.
perhaps if the answer is "white-middle-class-heterosexual-able-bodied- (and heaven forbid) evengelical men", than the question should be, "who do we need to carve space for in feminism and feminsit discourse? who do we need to actively love and forgive? who do we need to connect with, to unite with? whose liberation is bound in ours?".
perhaps we all need to learn to love.
a love that can transcend social categories.
a love that sees value in all. and rejects none.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


the other day, while riding the train, i noticed that the cute elderly lady next to me, in the turquoise pant suit, and the cherry red lipstick, gave me a lot of shifty, suspicious and perplexed looks.
i realized later that the cover of the queer poetry book i was reading had a giant picture of a strap-on penis on it.
i really ought to be more careful about my choice of public reading materials.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

the sixties gives me joyous heart palpitations.

yesterday i squirmed blissfully in my chair, attempting to politely suppress any inappropriate bouts of happy laughter. i sat cross legged, to insure that pee of excitement wouldn't escape from any unmentionable places. i sat even though i wanted to stand. stand in the middle of the classroom, up on the table, and dance, whip my shirt off and dance, while frantically squealing "I love school!".

i wanted to kiss every page of the text book.
i wanted to capture every word my prof said, in a tiny inconspicuous bottle, and then bring it home and put it into my bath water. i wanted to soak myself in it. marinate in it even.
yesterday i sat in my DREAM class- a 4th year seminar on the Global Sixties.
the sixties gives me heart palpitations.

womens liberation. stonewall riot. gay lib. civil rights. martin luther king. active non violence. black panthers. beat poets. counter-cultures. communes. drugs. free love. protests. anti-colonial discourse. Woodstock. cuban revolution. che. castro. lesbian separatists. Vietnam. anti-war movements. Malcolm x. student movements. sex. lots of sex. sit ins. cold war. Fanon. civil disobedience. the questioning and subversion of the 'American Dream', liberation. arty. beauty. justice. legacy. and most importantly passion. the sixties had passion. a passion i ache to see in the world today.

i am so excited. i secretly was praying "please be a 30 page essay, please be a 30 page esssay, pleleease", before he handed out the syllabus.
mmm the syllabus. i have a serious love interest in syllabuses. i could read and re read them over and over again, every half and hour for an entire year and never get bored. i secretly want to snuggle with them in bed. and eat cereal with them come morning.
oo i am so happy. plus the professor is lovely. i like when grad students teach classes for the first time. ive got a major weakness for nervous first timers. i love how adorable
his insecurity can be. when he stumbles on his words. or laughs awkwardly at his own jokes and then realizes the class is just staring at him blankly. i find it comforting and wonderful. he passes my prof scrutiny with flying colors. plus, he wear brown cords.

Once upon a time... last year, i was a women studies major. i noticed a history class on american social history and thought, hmm, there is a possibility the sixties will be mentioned in this class. i must take it.
the School said no.
i had to be a history major to take it.
so i became a history major too.

so i could take one class, that mentioned the sixties only once, for 3 hours the entire year.

as you can probably see, to discover i was able to take an entire years worth of sixties history this year, i was flabbergasted and literally got tears in my eyes when i saw it added officially to my course list on Q card.

i left class yesterday with a little drool on my chin.

Monday, September 14, 2009

i use to share my secrets with the lake.
somehow i believed that way god wouldn't hear them.
if i whispered into the stillness of each wave, quietly enough god would't know. nor would the world.
the lake was safe. calm. still. gentle.
when no one was near.
but sometimes i get a little nervous that they'll tell on me. they'll give me away, expose me. so as much as i trusted the water, i feared it.
id fear it'd drown me. eat me. the words i couldnt share with anyone. the feelings. the thoughts. the fears.
just ask the lake, she knows it all.
yesterday at the union station i thought alot about secrets. the hold they have on our lives. the bondage, the freedom, the pain, the guilt, the glory, the joy, the comfort that they can bring. looking at the hundreds of people all around me i wondered what they were hiding. hurting.running from.
we wear secrets like money-belts for travelers. strapped firmly underneath our clothes. protecting what both what we treasure and hate the most. hiding our secrets away from the untrusted. the thief. who will leave us empty. we want them near so we can feel them when we breathe. but sometimes it hurts. and you wish someone would just take your damn money.
sometimes secrets are more like ghosts. that haunt you when you least expect it. when your brushing your teeth. crossing the street. looking at the stars. they creep up.
sometimes their like bees and tacks. that you've swallowed.
they sting and scrape their way down.
sometimes they leave you nauseous in a 10 hour car ride home.
and frightened when your alone.
unfortunately the lake told god my secrets. i suppose s/he knew them all along. still i cant bring myself to talk. so instead, i wait till midnight, and snuggle at the Creator's feet. God sits on a big comfy arm chair and drinks green tea late at night. s/he waits to share. s/he waits for me to sit and there i cry. my god doesn't need words. defenses. pretending. s/he just holds me till the morning.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

aubergine the eggplant painting.

Aubergine woke up from a dreamless sleep on that Tuesday. she couldn't tell time, even though a big red clock arrogantly hung to her left. she only experienced time, slowly.... and inevitably, with a tinge of regret. the clock reminded her daily that she was a one dimensional piece of art, imprisoned on a canvas, in the kitchen of her enemy. this afternoon seemed to be no different than any other. she simply hung, in the same place, on the same yellow wall, venturing only into her thoughts. on afternoons like these she'd think of love and family. she'd wonder if other eggplants were ever immortalized with pain. aubergine would, in these long hours of boredom imagine what life would have been like if she still lived in the garden, as a young tangible vegie. BUT THEN.... her musings were interrupted by the violent odor of something that smelled like burning.... flesh? aubergine started to panic. her painted contours began to tremble. she had no real flesh to burn.... where was this stench coming from?

the fire alarm started its usual summoning of dinner, and from the darkness of the next room emerged the Vegetarian. then aubergine saw her--- laying lifelessly on the frying pan.
what an unforeseen conflict aubergine thought sadly.

Part II.

aubergine couldn't toss in her sleep because she couldn't actually move. but if she could have tossed during those dreams she would have. tossed, and danced and even giggled. in those dreams she would be 3 D, and five feet tall; she would have little purple arms and lovely purple hands. she'd be mincing that Vegetarian. She would be smothering her with tomato sauce, and cloaking her with cheese. In a Pyrex coffin. the Vegetarian wouldn't cry or smile or talk or plea, she'd just lay there, marinating in basil and olive oil from the night before. Aubergine would feel empowered and alive, as she'd slide the vegetarian in the preheated oven to cook for the next 45 minutes. aubergine would then dust off her lovely little eggplant hands, on her lovely little purple apron and smile. but before eating, she'd take out her paints and create an immortalizing portrait of the vegetarian now broiled in damn sauce and cheese. There on the yellow wall she'd hang her painting in the empty space where aubergine herself once hung.
for this was aubergine's dream. her immortal hope.

Monday, August 31, 2009

79 (non-violent) things to do with my jack knife.

For my birthday Andrew got me a beautiful beautiful knife, which he carved my name into along with some gorgeous designs. (a sunshine, and a dinosaur, and even a little snail)
Ive always wanted a jackknife. Ever since i was 4. Apart from the obvious forceful conquering of my enemies, i never really knew what exactly i'd do with a knife. i just dreamt of having one to call my very own.
While driving back to Kingston from the Soo i made myself a list 79 of non-violent things to do with my new knife. however for the sake of sharing, i have narrowed it down to the top 29 things i intend to do:

1. remove a bullet from the open wound of a suffering bystander
2. amputation, (only if requested, and if necessary)
3. intimidate leeches.
4. covert slashing of authorities tires, ie( corrupt capitalist politicians, war mongers and police) the greater good of the environment.
5. give brendan a haircut, or a quick shave. (preferably while he sleeps)
6. fillet eggplants
7. uncouth decision making.
8. create vintage shorts
9. ethical "persuasion"
10. archaeological digs
11. cut strangulation devices and ropes, to free strangled subjects.
12. pick locks that lead to secret and forbidden areas (preferably penitentiaries. so i can free the captives)
13. stop eminent explosions by releasing air or gas pressure
14. butter breads with various spreads, such as hummus, tzekiki, babaganoush etc.
15. give amateur body piercings to loved ones
16. chisel ice into wedding sculptures.
17. make a hole in someone's flesh to suck out venom (if asked to)
18. censor books and or vinyl records
19. make pelts out of raodkill, for the less fortunate.
20. add breathing holes to cages and terrariums
21. sign checks/legal documents with my own blood
22. (warrented adult) circumcision (in emergency case only)
23. relieve the uncomfortableness of tight clothing
24. covertly end all sports. (deflating sports balls mid game)
25. pick wild flowers (its a good one 'cause sometimes they're in there pretty good)
26. peacefully hot wire buses or small motorcycles
27. mince fine garlic
28. cut chelsea's son's umbilical cord
29. harvest pearls from clams. (its the only precious stone made through hardship).

lake fight.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


22 years ago, on sunday i was an overweight purple fat baby struggling to live.
they put me in a plastic tank. with wires on my head. i lived.
so i dance. every year i dance to remember that its great to be born.
dancing barefoot on the beach, at dusk while weaving in and out of tiki torches with loved ones is one of my many little birthday rituals.
in these moments, once a year, i am free. i am reminded im loved. i reminded i am alive.

this year some traditions were kept. some were broken. some were made.

* traditional 'Orange Dream' cheers with my mom & favorite aunt and my cousin Jay. (they havnt missed a single birthday) :)

* the traditional rad cake.
this year - DINOSAUR and volcano

* Family friends Yvonne& Juhanni have celebrated with me for the past 15 years. This year they couldn't make it in physical body, so as a gift they made full sized masks of themselves. i love having middle-aged friends. :)

Andrew spoiled me.....with the gift of a JACKKNIFE. (my lifelong dream) ( the knife in fact is so wonderful it deserves its own blog entry tommorrow)Andrew also surprised me with my very own DINOSAUR outfit! the teeth and the eyes GLOW in the dark! good gracious im lucky.

we danced. to CCR and James brown.we danced as good as any t-rex can dance. and i was a very very happy girl.

snail coitus makes me smile