Feminist Fare Friday: The #DUH Edition

If it is not clear as bloody day yet that I AM A FEMINIST, then I am so doing this whole blogging and online activism thing very, very poorly! #iamafeminist

Sometimes I am an angry feminist, sometimes a happy, lipstick wearing one, sometimes a barefoot-in-my-kitchen-making-dinner-for-my-family one and sometimes a loud, "what the holy heck is wrong with this world!!", activist-y one! But it is always a part of me, a BIG part....

Natasha - Writer, Feminist, Mother, Partner, Advocate, Activist. These are the words that I use to describe myself.

This week TIME magazine published their list of words that should be "banned" in 2015 and included FEMINIST on that list (Time Editor Nancy Gibb has since written an apology for this). It took all my strength on Wednesday to not curl up in a ball on my couch, repeating to myself, "why do I bother? why do I bother? why do I bother?".

And then I remembered why I bother.


So for today, all I want you to do is watch this video from my friend Jenni Chiu of Mommy Nani Booboo.

Because she too wants more of us say it loud and proud and truly UNDERSTAND what the word means!




Feminist Fare Friday: Edition #27.

The world doesn't stop. Even when life hands you a bowl full of mouldy strawberries, it still goes on growing new, fresh things. My world has been flipped upside down these past two months and we are just now getting back our equilibrium. I am reading {and writing} again and have found some very yummy fare for you this week. Enjoy!


1. Abstinence-only sex education. Yeah right. I was a teenager once and if you told me I couldn't or shouldn't do something, guess what? I liked to prove people wrong. Outside of being a typical jack-ass teenager though, I was an informed one. My mom made sure of that. Which is why I was very impressed to read about the Edmonton mom and daughter who launched a human rights complaint about the outsourcing of sex ed in public schools to the never-advertised-as-such-but-totally-religious-based Pregnancy Care Centre. Jessica Valenti examines why these programs don't work and the dangers of them in this piece from The Guardian.

These false, ideologically-driven programs are turning out sexually illiterate young people whose lives and health are put in literal danger by "educators" handing out false information. All this, just so your teenager might be scared straight enough to forgo sex for a few extra months.


2. I read this next one after a friend had posted it to her Facebook page. Two things - I had no idea who Kathleen Hanna and Melissa Febos are and I don't think it matters. What they had to say about the creative process and about feminism resonated with me. And yes, I did some googling shortly afterwards  and I am not sure how or why, but I seem to have somehow missed the whole Riot Grrrl era.

I think as women who consider ourselves feminists, there’s a legacy of responsibility, of feeling like there’s not enough of us and so we have to do things right. Just being women in male-dominated fields, we feel like ambassadors and we have to do a really good job. We have to not only make this great work, but we also have to instruct and educate.


3. THE BLOGGESS IS WRITING ABOUT FEMINISM! And yes, I meant that to be all shout-y! She also wrote some weird ass shark analogies - as she does. In other words, you should really just read this.

Here’s the thing: Do you think men and women should have equal rights politically, socially and economically? Then you’re probably a feminist. There are a million tiny aspects of this to break off into and I get it. It’s complicated. There’s not just one type of feminist, just as there’s not just one type of Christian or Muslim, or man or woman. Hell, there’s not even just one type of shark. Some are non-threatening and friendly.


4. The story of Debra Harrell, the South Carolina mother who was arrested for letting her nine-year old play at the park while she worked her shift a MacDonald's, is all over the news and the blogosphere. Some are saying that this is a free-range parenting issue and that we have become so much of a helicopter society that we can't see our children (the trees) through the arranged play-dates, supervised camps and scheduled activities (the forest). Others are seeing this situation from a different perspective, one of class and race and privilege. Rebecca Cuneo Keenan at Playground Confidential hits this one square on the head. I just wish the authorities and perhaps those parents at the park who reported Ms. Harrell could have seen it this way too.

...the real shame is that anybody should have to choose between going to work and their child’s well being. It’s shameful that in the richest country in the world, the poorest families are still left to fend for themselves.


5. Young feminists, we need more of them. Funny, young feminists? Yes, please! Meet Marina Watanabe everyone and go subscribe to her Youtube channel.


Have a wonderful weekend everyone.


Feminist Fare Friday: Edition #26

Let's just get to it today shall we...


1. I have never watched Mad Men. I know, it's a great show, Jon Hamm is a wonderful actor, Christina Hendricks and Elizabeth Moss are brilliant in their roles and blah, blah, blah... I just can't. I am all for historical dramas, but the history of sexism on that show just isn't for me. In the following post, you'll see why. Advertising in the mid-twentieth century was enough to make you want to throw up a bit in your mouth. As my friend Kathleen says,

"But really, feminists just made up that entire misogynistic patriarchal paradigm crap. It's all a figment of our collective feminazi vagiocentric imagination..."



2. By now you know that Disney bought Lucasfilms last year and with it the rights to all things Star Wars. Walk into any Disney Store and you'll find that they are already capitalizing on merchandise sales from the films and the TV series. It seems that in their haste to get products on the shelves, they neglected to include one particular and rather important character in the mix. Princess Leia.

One mother asked about this last week and this was Disney's response:

Film scholar Natalie Wreyford took to Twitter last week to ask Disney why its online store doesn't sell any action figures of Princess Leia, one of the three co-leads in the original trilogy:


This week, Disney backtracked and has officially said that yes, in fact, there are plans for Leia merchandise in the pipeline. And if you have ever wondered about the power of Social Media, this might be one for the books - The #WeWantLeia hashtag started after Natalie's tweet was responded to and within a week, one of the largest companies in the world changed their tune.  I call that a win this week!


3. I like Jimmy Fallon. I really do. He's funny, he's multi-talented, he has epic lip-synch battles with some of my favourite actors. This week though, I am not impressed with him (or possibly the producers of The Tonight Show) for cutting out a part of his interview with Shailene Woodley in which she discussed gender politics.

"During the course of the piece, however, the interviewer — Lynn Hirschberg — attended a taping of The Tonight Show with Shailene Woodley, and noticed that a section in which Woodley had harshed the Fallon mellow had been cut. Fallon had asked Woodley how she felt about being compared to Jennifer Lawrence, and Woodley did not appreciate the question."

Way to just keep perpetuating the status quo Jimmy. I expect better of you next time!


4. And while we are talking about young Hollywood and gender politics, I have to give a shout out to Scout Willis. Her #FreetheNipple protest against Instagram's censorship (and deletion of her account) has garnered much attention this week from both critics and supporters and is further evidence of our younger generation "connecting the dots between nipple policing and larger issues of gender, sexuality, slut-shaming, victim-blaming, and body politics..." 

Willis is very clear that she’s not a persecuted minority or victim: “My situation was in no way unique; women are regularly kicked off Instagram for posting photos with any portion of the areola exposed, while photos sans nipple — degrading as they might be — remain unchallenged.” Nor does Willis portray herself as a revolutionary, trailblazing savior: “I am certainly not doing anything novel. A group here in New York called Topless Pulp gathers in parks to read topless regularly, and the Free The Nipple campaign has been protesting for the same rights for the last four years. If my coming from a high-profile family could help spread their message, so be it.”  


5.  Yesterday, my five year old daughter asked me if I have a job that I go to. It was the first time she has asked me this and it kind of caught me off guard. I am quite sure of my choices in life, but I do worry at times that I am not DOING enough to show my children that there are other equally valid and fulfilling choices in the world. Last week a study was published about gender roles in the home and the subsequent headlines were making the rounds on Facebook claiming that if Dads do more housework, their daughters are more likely to become scientists and doctors and engineers. I am not one to fall for such blatant click-baiting headlines and neither is my good friend Annie at Phd in Parenting.

Headlines are written for clicks, not to educate people. So when I read the news about this study last week, I didn't jump to write about it right away. Instead, I contacted the lead researcher Alyssa Croft and asked her to send me a copy of her paper and then I read it.

I'll admit I had some questions (or possibly assumptions) going into it. The one question in my mind as I read the study was "did it control for the mother's career?". Sure, it is nice to say that girls whose fathers do more housework are more likely to want to be scientists, but is that because their father is doing housework or is that because their mother is a scientist?


Have a great weekend everyone!