Halloween Costumes

This weekend is Halloween and I’m sending out a friendly feminist reminder to everyone:

DO NOT WEAR COSTUMES THAT ARE RACIST, HOMOPHOBIC, TRANSPHOBIC, CULTURAL APPROPRIATION OR OFFENSIVE.

1. There is a fine line between funny and offensive and if you aren’t sure you are crossing it, check out Google. This Halloween season has supplied great articles and sources on why some costumes are not costumes or not appropriate to wear as a costume.Recently, CBC ran a local article talking about the Caitlyn Jenner costume. It is being sold in 1,100 stores across Canada but Spirit Halloween doesn’t understand the issue with it. They classify it has a costume of a role model. The transgender community feels a different way. This costume takes away the real life experiences transgender people face. Being transgender  is not a joke, a costume, playing dress up – it’s a reality for a lot of people and should be taken seriously and with respect.

Please read this article if you want to read more information: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/caitlyn-and-bruce-jenner-halloween-costume-sparks-controversy-1.3282625

2. Okkkkkk. Next up, “Indian” costumes. Like is this for real right now? I need to explain why this is bad? What year it is again…2015….Why do we still have this need to be ignorant and racist and dress up as a group of people? This isn’t a costume, this is someone’s culture, someone’s life. Dressing up in costumes that disrespect indigenous culture is as bad as wearing Blackface. (which is mentioned in 3.) Here is a video that has been circulating from BuzzFeed that has Native Americans giving you their opinions on the costumes:

There are numerous sources for this issue as well if you still find you don’t understand the issue.

3. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT WEAR BLACKFACE AS A COSTUME/PART OF A COSTUME.

Do not do it. If you see someone doing it, explain to them why it’s bad. Explain to them it’s racist. If you work at an establishment/have a house party/go to a social and you see someone in Blackface, do not let them stay and make other people in deal with the racial discrimination. Their feelings are more important that the ignorant person in Blackface.

The main takeaway from this post:

If you think your  costume could potentially be 1% offensive, DO NOT WEAR IT.

If you wear a costume and someone takes offence to it, LISTEN TO THEM AND TAKE IT OFF OR LEAVE. You’re ignorance is no excuse to make someone around you feel uncomfortable.

If you ignore everyone telling you it’s offensive, ignore the sources that say it’s offensive, ignore you’re own ignorance….YOU SHOULD BE BANNED FROM HALLOWEEN AND SHOULD RETHINK YOUR MORAL CODE.

To everyone, please have a SAFE and RESPECTFUL and RESPONSIBLE Halloween.

It’s 2015, let’s get with the times, educate ourselves and move on from ignorance.

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Freeheld Review

Freeheld is a film about a lesbian couple, Stacie (Ellen Page) and Laurel (Julianne Moore), who are fighting for the right, under the domestic partner act, to have Laurel’s pension go to Stacie when she dies. It’s based on a true story and set in New Jersey in 2002.

Laurel is a detective and has kept her sexuality a secret from her colleagues. Stacie is a mechanic who falls for Laurel the first time she sees her. The movie portrays homophobia, the way Laurel’s colleagues don’t support her and how Stacie isn’t taken seriously because they are lesbians. It also portrays how the heteronormative mindset of society is unwilling to change and learn that the definition of love is bigger than a woman and a man.

It highlights important issues that surround gay marriage and the ignorance around it by showing that the domestic partnership act was a law that wasn’t taken very seriously. It’s hard to believe that only a decade ago, same-sex couples weren’t considered equal to heterosexual couples when it came to marriage.

When Laurel gets sick, she asks the local court to grant her partner, Stacie, her pension. The local court is made up of five white, heterosexual men and the film shows how politics, personal opinions and status have an impact on laws and people’s lives.

The film does a really good job at balancing scenes based on importance and emotions. The relationship between Stacie and Laurel builds at a fast pace but there is so much emphasis on its strengths and love. When Stacie talks in front of the courthouse for the first time, the emotion she pours out and the quietness of the scene that surrounds it has an impact that moves you.

Overall, the film was brilliant and reminds us of how far the gay community has come and the battles we have won. This film also reminds us that we still have a way to go until we reach complete equality in society. And most importantly, it reminds us all that love is love.

Feminism should start at a younger age

When I was 20 years old, a friend introduced me to feminism. I realized that my opinions had a home in a community of people that shared them. When I started taking Women and Gender Studies courses in university, I was introduced to new concepts and learnt that I had some growing to do.

Four years later and I’m still growing everyday and am able to see how I practice feminism in my everyday life. My partner’s 11-year-old sister is the smartest kid I have ever met. She has ideas and knowledge that some of my friends don’t. She has an opinion about the federal election, animal rights, women’s rights, and the world around her. Every time I talk with her, I learn something new.

I think feminism should be taught at a younger age so kids like my partner’s sister have that sense of community. She shouldn’t have to wait until she’s 20 or in university to find people who share her thoughts and opinions. If kids were taught the values of feminism, inclusivity, understanding, knowledge, equality, having a voice, making a difference, the world would be so much better.

I can’t wait to watch my partner’s sister grow up and change the world.

Pro-Choice

*Trigger Warnings: abortion, sexual assault, rape*

The debate that never ends, and will never end, was brought to light again today when an anti-choice group, run by a cisgender male, put blue and pink flags up in Memorial Park to show how many babies lost their unborn lives to abortion.

The group is fighting for rights for the unborn…while taking away rights for women….

The thing that anti-choice/pro-life activist don’t understand is that there are many reasons why a woman might chose to have an abortion. Was she a victim of rape? Can she not afford birth control and can’t afford to take car of herself? Is there a medical reasons to terminate the pregnancy? Is she in an abusive relationship?

These current life issues that women face are never considered. Women are instead shamed, degraded and have their rights and needs ignored.

All these anti-choice/pro-life people usually have sayings like “what if this unborn child was the doctor who cured cancer?” There’s also a flip side to that. What if this unborn child was gay? Transgender? A person of colour? From a religion you disagree with? What if this child grew up to be a mass murderer? A school shooter? A rapist?

Would their lives still matter this much? Marginalized groups of people are treated horribly in this society and the majority of the time their lives don’t matter.

What about the kids, in our own city, that are starving and homeless? What about the thousands of kids in foster care? What about the thousands of gay and trans kids being bullied to death? Do their lives not matter?

You want to make a difference for a child’s life? Try fostering one, donating to homeless shelters, teach anti-bullying workshops, teach girls that they matter.

One of the quotes from the article says, “Canada affords no legal protection for children in the womb, at any stage of pregnancy. This means that pre-born girls are targeted for abortion simply because they are female.” Pre-born girls are targeted in the womb, yet these people are targeting   women in society. The hipocrocy is enough to show how invalid their opinions are.

I am pro-choice and I support women who chose and don’t chose to get abortions. Until you are in that position where you need to make that decision, you have absolutely no place to judge someone.

Link to the article cited,

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/anti-abortionists-flag-winnipeg-park-1.3262598

*Trigger Warning*

This week I was going to talk about a really cool website that sells feminist clothing but my heart is so heavy this morning with the tragedy of the Oregon school shooting that I need to say something.

Why. It’s such a small word but it carries so much meaning. Why has another nine people lost their lives. Why has another man decided to kill people. Why is America not doing more. Why is no one asking WHY this keeps happening. Why is no one looking society and this Western culture in the eye and saying, you are the problem.

Why is it that society enforces these gender roles onto men that violence is the answer to everything. That if you don’t act tough or be strong you are weak, like a woman. So be a man. Why is this seen as not a big deal. Why is this not seen as problematic.

Why is there a stigma around mental health. Why aren’t issues dealt with and accepted. Why is it  people only plea insanity when it can save their lives but people who plea it everyday are dying.

Maybe instead of asking questions we need to say statements.

I haven’t read anything else about this shooting other than the initial news yesterday. I can’t handle reading the same story over and over again but with a different name. These are my thoughts about the shooting and I hope conversations will either start or keep going to help this problem.