Feminist Fare Fridays: Edition #5

This week kind of kicked my butt. I fell completely off the Summer Blog Challenge wagon and managed to only publish a couple of picture posts of my kids being super adorable. And yes, this post is now 2 days late, something I vowed not to do. {le grand sigh} Oh well. My husband keeps telling me I need to be more liquid and just to go with the flow (also, he may have been watching a bit of You, Me and Dupree earlier this week.). So while I may not have been writing a whole lot this week, I was still reading and here are my thoughts on a few compelling posts I found this week!

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1. A few weeks ago we were downtown enjoying our wonderful City Centre farmer's market. We had just picked up some watermelon iced tea (yes, it was as good as it sounds) and the kids and I were sitting on a bench enjoying our treat and taking in the sights and sounds of the market. A man in his late twenties walked up to us, went up to my 6 year old son and motioned for a fist bump (which C kind of shrugged off) and then pointed to my 4 year old daughter and said in a booming voice, "YOU, little girl are GORGEOUS!" and then he walked off. The kids both looked at me wondering how to react to this and I was a little taken aback at that moment and just shrugged it off too. But maybe I shouldn't have. Had I read this post about street harassment by Soraya Chemaly earlier I may have even used it as a teachable moment for my kids. A moment to teach them about respect for others and about respect for themselves. Because all too often I have been subjected to various forms of street harassment and...

"After the thin veneer of flattery wears off, what is left is a sometimes-daily awareness of vulnerability, sexual objectification, shame at being targeted, and shame at not fighting back." 

 

2. And GOOD NEWS everyone!! In case you haven't heard.... the Patriarchy is dead!!!

No really, according to writer and "The End of Men" author Hanna Rosin, we killed it. For reals!

And if you can't read my dripping sarcasm in the above lines, then you are on the wrong page of the internet. I still am wrapping my head around Ms. Rosin's essay (an updated epilogue to her book) and in doing so I have come across some great commentary about her {ahem} take on our current feminist world. One very compelling post is from Nora Caplan-Bricker at The New Republic;

"There’s a long and storied tradition of people (usually men) telling women what they think—“You may be under the impression you think this, but it’s really that.” In recent years, this has been referred to as “mansplaining,” but it used to go by another word: “patriarchy.” And women can be instruments of the patriarchy, too. Rosin isn’t the first to tell members of her own sex that there’s a simple, right way to go about things, and to scold them for doing it wrong."

 

3. Speaking of people telling other people how to do things and trying to LEGISLATE their tyranny too...

The Parti Quebecois and its leader, Premier Pauline Marois, have devised a plan called the "Charter of Values" that calls to secularize (is that a word?) all public sector workers and make it a law that they can not wear any garment or jewelry that symbolizes their religious beliefs. No turbans, no hijab, no Star of David, no kippah and supposedly no crucifixes either (but the big one at Quebec's Legistlature building is still OK).  Here is a quick FAQ post for you to get up to speed on this bigoted ridiculousness and then please read this beautifully written post by Fariha Naqvi-Mohamed, who has a lot to say to Premier Marois about HER Quebec.

"Despite the ludicrous nature of this proposed charter of values, I refuse to be ashamed of my Quebec. You see, somewhere along the years it became excusable to not discuss the staggering debt of our province, the moon-like roads, the ingrained corruption that has permeated most levels of government, the future of our healthcare system. Instead you have opted for us to focus on a piece of cloth and other religious symbols."

 

4. My last book club book was 'The Red Tent', by Anita Diamant. I had never read it before and was completely enthralled with the world of Dinah and her mothers and the traditions and rituals of their lives. As I read the book and afterwards I longed for a red tent of my own, of a celebration of womanhood and of time to retreat and not worry about everything and everyone. And it seems I am not the only one...

"What I wouldn’t give for a red tent. An excuse to withdraw and release and be weepy and mopey in peace, and in communion. To stop pretending that my monthly cycles don’t affect my emotions. To stop pretending I am stronger than the need for good sleep and consistent meals. To allow that physical pain stops me in my tracks and makes me want to curl into a ball, and to do so. To acknowledge that bleeding between my legs makes me want to slow down instead of doing a tampon commercial showing how I can still swim and teach aerobics and run a marathon. To admit that, sometimes, I get cranky when I’m on the rag, and that that’s OK. Because it isn’t a contest, and I haven’t let our side down.

 

That's all I've got for this week everyone. I kind of had too much sangria at our annual block party last night and I told a whole bunch of my neighbours that I am a feminist writer/blogger. I am all about making friends and influencing people.... Let's just hope I get an invitation to the party again next year.

Otherwise who is going to build one heck of a wicked fire for everyone to roast marshmallows over!!

 ImadeFIRE

'Til next week,

natasha~