I’ve Just About Had Enough

*Trigger Warning – Rape, Roosh V.*

As I was scrolling through my Facebook feed, I saw an article about how Roosh V. (who is, in case some of you don’t know, is a misogynistic, sexist, homophobic, transphobic excuse of a human) is now targeting female journalists for making him out to be a bad guy.

As an inspiring female journalist, I don’t take this lightly. My job is to report the facts, true facts, back them up and share that to the public to inform them. When it comes to misogynistic men with an Internet fan base planning meet ups across the world, you bet journalists, female, male, non-identifying, will write about it.

Roosh, let me inform you on the eight aspects of newsworthiness.

Human Interest: Any woman, non-masculine man, a queer person that walks by your group of followers, will feel unsafe, fear and danger. Talking about your meet up day is a human interest and a safety concern.

Bizzare: Who the f*ck organizes group meeting across the globe for pathetic men who feel sorry for themselves? Don’t want women to turn you down? Be respectful and don’t write blog posts about why rape should be legal on private property.

Proximity: When you organize a meet up of creeps in populated cities across Canada and the world, you are in fact putting people in those areas in danger. I know, the definition of danger is a little confusing to you.

Currency: All anyone could talk about this week was you, which I’m sure you loved.

Timeliness: You announced at the beginning of this week that you were having an International Meet-Up Day…Then it got cancelled…Then you said YOU didn’t feel safe…Yup, people are going to talk about it.

Impact: You getting your little group of misogynistic man friends to meet at public places across Canada and the world and take videos or pictures of feminists confronting you so you can bash them online, impacts their lives.

Prominence: You’ve been talked about over the last year because of your blog post on legalizing rape. When there’s news that people who look up to you are coming to places where, you know, people live, it matters to them to know about that.

Conflict: You think it’s OK to set up meetings across the globe so small-minded people like yourself could sit in circles and bash feminists and people who don’t fit into your archaic definitions of “man,” “woman,” and “society.”

 Clearly, you don’t understand any of this, which is why you think your safety is at risk and you get mad when journalists, female, journalists, write about you.

I still haven’t even mentioned the best part of all of this.

You are mad at women journalists because “Dozens of reporters have now blatantly lied about all of us being ‘pro rape’ and have a ‘rape advocacy platform,’” the man who previously claimed rape should be legal on private property wrote on his forum.”

http://canadalandshow.com/article/roosh-v-noted-misogynist-trying-threaten-journalists

Interesting. Because all I had to do was search for this article and I found it no problem. Sure you have a “disclaimer” at the top saying it’s satire, except that the latter article said “He took particular offense to having been labeled “pro-rape,” insisting that the pro-rape post he wrote on his website Return of Kings was satire. It was labelled as such a year after posting.”

Now I can only assume that this reporter is telling the truth since I can’t go back and look for myself. Maybe the reporter is lying and you did make the post satiric.

One small problem with that, IT’S NOT SOMETHING YOU MAKE SATTIRICAL.

Blaming women, assuming only women can be raped, suggesting that rape be legalized, telling women they don’t have the free-will to drink, and claiming their rape accusations are false, are serious issues. Issues that impact people. Issues that you can’t understand, so you think it’s OK to make light of the situation and make a satirical post about.

*Trigger Warning – Rapehttp://www.rooshv.com/how-to-stop-rape

You don’t realize that you are in fact the problem. You are not making any wrongs right – you are making the wrongs worse.

Honestly, I wish you wouldn’t have cancelled the meet-ups. I wish I could’ve seen a team of women boxers kick your ass. Maybe in that moment, where you felt unsafe and scared for your life, you would’ve been able to shift perspectives and realize that’s how us women feel every time a creepy guy comes up to us and asks for our number 100 times after saying no each time.

When a guy thinks he can just lay his hands on our bodies because we “owe” that to him.

When you blame victims of sexual assault and rape and worry about the men behind bars who deserve to be there.

When you bash women on the Internet for standing up for what they believe in.

When you say my free will to drink should be taken away because when I drink, I’m asking to be raped.

When I hear that you are coming to a neighbourhood I grew up, a place where I know women, gay men, queer people, men who don’t fit your description of “men” will walk by, I get a knot in my stomach.

When I’ve learnt to walk at a faster pace than anyone around me so when I notice a guy following me I can go straight into a run if I need to and pray I have an advantage.

When I’ve learnt that even looking at a guy somehow gives him permission to hit on me.

When I have to explain that I’m not interested because I’m queer, and wouldn’t be interested even if I wasn’t, and have to brace myself for homophobic slurs.

When I know my gay friends are out at night and heaven forbid they run into someone who will throw homophobic slurs at them or worse, their fists.

You, sitting at your computer in your mom’s basement, do not know what fear is.

You cancelling your events online, do not know what fear is.

You targeting women journalists, do not know what fear is.

I know what fear is.

All of my friends know what fear is.

And you are helping to project that fear.

So, Roosh, congratulations. You have been talked about on another medium, by another women. Your popularity is growing.

But, guess what?

People like you push the feminist in me to work harder. To talk louder. To write faster. To never give up.

So again, Roosh, congratulations. You’ve pissed off a lot of feminists, and people who don’t identify as feminists but who believe in equality, to fight harder to make people like you extinct.

 

A Letter To Myself

I know it’s hard.

I know that not every week will be like this last week.

I know that working hard pays off.

I also know that working hard sometimes takes everything you have and buries it deep down.

When your best friend tells you she has to put her dog down that she’s had for 15 years, and that you’ve known for 13, down, you’ll feel empty. You’ll support her and check in on her, but you won’t feel sad.

When your partner is trying not to cry because their dog is sick and their little sister is crying, you’ll offer to drive to Kenora and pick up the dog and bring her here. You’ll have little sleep,  you’ll have had a long exhausting day, you’ll drive to meet their dad, drive back home with the dog, your partner and their brother. You won’t talk a lot becuase you’re tired and your back hurts.

When you have to explain to your mom what anxiety attacks are and how your brother might be having them becuase of the PTSD he feels from his hard life, you’ll get annoyed when she asks too many questions. You’ll get mad when she needs to talk more but you have to go.

Today you will watch a Grey’s Anatomy episode where everyone deals with grief and you will go have a shower and cry until it hurts.

You’ll grieve for Oreo and Danielle and feel sad and wish you had gone to take pictures of them so Danielle could cherish them.

You’ll feel sad knowing Raina might not be around much longer, and Court is going to need you.

You’ll think of a bunch of ways to say you love your mom, but you won’t say it.

You’ll want to text your brother, but you won’t.

You’ll try to remember that not every week is going to be this hard, and struggle to understand why some are.

You will go celebrate your best friend’s 25 birthday and come home to Raina, who needs to be the little spoon, and hold her for a bit.

You’ll relax, take a deep breath, and try again tomorrow.

You can do this.

I can figure out the rain

I’ve been thinking about Andrea Gibson. Many people have probably seen me posting about them on Facebook because I’m hosting an event for them in March.

But I don’t think people know what they mean to me. So I want to explain that today.

My mom and I used to share a room in a small apartment because that’s the only option we had at the time. I had just had a concussion that led me to dropping out of school. I started hanging out with my best friend’s friends and they changed my life; my mom didn’t see it that way though.

I came home late one night and woke my mom up coming into our room. For some reason, me having a life just pissed her off. She wouldn’t stop talking about how stupid I was or how I was a failure. These types of arguments weren’t anything new, and the only way I could get away, was to run away.

I called my friend, we’ll call him B, who just dropped me off if he could come back to get me. He did. On the way to his house, he asked me if I’ve ever listened to slam poetry. I said no and was thinking what the heck is that? I don’t understand poetry normally and now I have to listen to slam poetry?

Then I heard their voice:

*********Trigger Warnings**********

The Pursuit of Hapiness

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZTm6ENWT2I

Thank Goodness

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03FDbQvJ75I

I do

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8oGYyLDxFI

Birthday

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvaV6h2r4-o

The Nutritionsit

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UokkCApoB4

And I haven’t stopped listening for four years.

A Letter to White Queers, a Letter to Myself

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gpBUenMIe8U

Pansy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZjekwfgMrUw

After my concussion, it took me a long time to heal and be able to participate in heavy conversations or to not stare off into the void for who knows how long. B would play their poetry and their words helped my brain attach to them and think about the meanings.

Their words stuck in my soul and were there for me when I couldn’t get out of bed, when I couldn’t stop crying or when I couldn’t cry.

Their words were there the morning after my partner slept over the first time and I knew I wanted to be with them forever.

They came to Winnipeg last June and I got to sit in the front row and make eye contact with them. Then I hugged them and they signed my book and put a heart in it.

My life changed.

Meeting people who touch your soul is priceless.

Meeting them for a second time is all I can think about.

I’ve grown a lot as a person in the last four years. Without B or Andrea Gibson, I’m not too sure where I would be.

“Ya’ll, I know this world is far from perfect.

I am not the type to mistake a streetlight for the moon.

I know our wounds are deep as the Atlantic.

But every ocean has a shoreline

and every shoreline has a tide

that is constantly returning

to wake the songbirds in our hands,

to wake the music in our bones,

to place one fearless kiss on the mouth of that brave river

that has to run through the center of our hearts

to find its way home.”

-Andrea Gibson

Feminism is lovely

Throughout this week I’ve been running into feminist inspiration and I want to share them with you.

1. On Sunday, it was my beautiful partner’s birthday and I hosted an event that featured a talented, goosebump-giving performer named Ashtyn Walker and a local queer band that should be famous and have their songs featured in dance scenes in movies. They’re called Falaxies and if I were to sum them up in one sentence it would be “inclusively giving everyone listening a good soul shaking and a smile.”

Check them out: https://www.facebook.com/Falaxies/?fref=ts

2.Confession time: If I had cable I would be all over The Bachelor.

Bigger confession time: I once applied to be a contestant on The Bachelor. (That would have been funny, “no I can’t marry you Brad I’m GAY, not happy, GAY.”)

Jodie Layne wrote an article on Bustle 2 days ago about The Bachelor and being body positive. Turning off my brain off sometimes to watch shows that go against my better judgment happens, but just because my brain is off, it doesn’t mean the problems in shows stop existing.

Layne talks about how the show focuses mostly on one body type that women have and how it excludes many women, but women keep watching it.

Layne ties in The Bachelor with being body positive when she says, “While the TV program that has its place in delivering me wistful and unrealistic romance (plus tear-stained drama) that I use for blissful escapism on Monday nights isn’t going away any time soon, neither are the women who are excluded from its definition of beauty.”

Read Layne’s full article here: http://www.bustle.com/articles/134979-yes-you-can-be-body-positive-still-enjoy-the-bachelor

3.Instagram is a magical place where popular photos appear on a page where you can discover people. Yesterday, I stumbled upon Steph Jael’s Instagram and was mesmerized by her beautiful photos. I usually never follow someone I don’t know, but this time I let go of my social media shyness and hit the follow button. I also noticed she had a blog, so I went to check it out.

Queer feminist blogs that are open and honest, and talk about issues that I go “hmm yes, that happened to me, ooo good point, f*ck Facebook and their censorship policies,” inspire me to keep blogging about feminism. Supporting other feminist is also important and a great way to learn new things and grow.

Check out her blog here: http://shirtsareforboys.wordpress.com

4.Now, for the icing on the cake, today I was added to a group on Facebook. This group is founded on intersectional feminism (where people from oppressed groups intersect and work together to understand each other’s oppressions) and I’m looking forward to meeting new feminists and queer people in the upcoming months.

I’ve been feeling lazy when it comes to feminism and thankfully, this week has re-lit that spark.

Thanks to everyone supporting me and helping me grow in feminism.

You all mean so much; never forget it.

Trigger Warnings

Hello Friends!

Welcome back to my feminist blog. Coming into a new year, I think it’s important to talk about trigger warnings.

Trigger warnings can be described as either a topic, words, videos, articles that have informtion that can bring the reader or listener back to a place of trauma or uncomfortablilty.

I will use a personal trigger warning as an example, so if you continue reading, please read cautiously.

I’ve had this trigger warning for a few years now but it wasn’t until a class at university that I even knew I had one or what a trigger warning was. If there were sirens or a car accident, I would freeze up or cry or panic. When I hear or see these things, it’s brings me back to the place where I first dealt with the death of someone I knew.

I don’t actively tell people about this and sometimes it happens to me and I’m not aware of what is actually going on.

This happened to me in a class the other day. I dislike my body and want to change it: I want a flatter stomach, thinner arms, more cheek bones, a smaller rib cage. I know some things, like my bone structure, will never change, but I do have control over other things. So when I was triggered, I wasn’t expectig it nor did I know this was a trigger for me.

After reading an absurd memo written by a guy about how a female model on a cover of the magazine had all these “flaws,” my insecurity went through the roof. I can rationalize that this handout was for learning purposes, but a warning before hand would have been nice.

Or would it have been? I think some people don’t always know what triggers them until it does. And everyonce can be triggered by different things or the same things. Some people don’t even believe in trigger warnings and think it’s some feminist way to stop people from sharing opinions.

When there are discussion around sensitive topics, it’s important to use judgement and be aware that some people participating could be triggered. By all means, express your opinions. Just remember that what doesn’t seem to be a sensitive topic or big deal to you, could be to someone else. And that someone else deserves to share their opinions in a safe space.

Over the course of this semester, I will most likely cover topics that contain trigger warnings, like some last semester. Because of a few things I experienced this week, I wanted to take the time to explain this concept, rather than just noting it at the beginning of a post.

Thanks for reading and keeping this blog a safe space for discussions. Let’s hope that 2016 will be a year where feminism grows and Donald Trump stops!

 

International Human Rights Day

Hello everyone!

This will be my last blog post for the semester, but starting in January, I’ll be back with more feminism topics.

Since today is International Human Rights Day and Thursday, I thought I would do a throw back Thursday to the first piece I wrote for OutWords magazine. Ironically enough, it was about International Human Rights Day.

http://outwords.ca/2014/issue-december-january-2014-15/danelles-thoughts/

“December 10, 2014 is National Human Rights Day. As I was scrolling through my social media, I realized that with recent events I’ve been swallowed up by such as the non-indictment of Michael Browns in Ferguson Mo., among other race related hate crimes by police in the United States of America, a lesbian couple being targeted through Google maps to have their home say “faggots live here,” to in our own city of Winnipeg a young aboriginal girl was severally beaten and raped and now is the face of change for the Aboriginal community, to a black transgender woman who was murdered in the United States; I thought, “How can today be a day of celebration of how far we have come to promote equality when equality is the farthest thing away from many people’s mind?”

I also realize that I am privileged and that without basic human rights I wouldn’t be able to sit and write about this. So, there are thanks to be given to those of the past for making this world better than it was and I don’t want to diminish these people and places for giving me and you this opportunity to question, learn, reject, understand and change things that are still corrupt and unjust. But for me, today isn’t a day of celebration. Today is a day that I realize that for the rest of my life I will have to fight for equality for myself, people around me and for our future generations.

In the last few weeks, the only good news I’ve read, and maybe it’s just because I’ve been focusing on the negatives, was that parents of a transgender boy who reissued his birth in their city’s newspaper. This gave me hope and enlightened me that change is being made in households and if that change continues to grow, it will soon be impossible to ignore the change that needs to happen on a political and global level.

As I read and learn things about our world that utterly disturbs and disgusts me, the same events surprise and inspire me because these events, for example the non-indictment of Michael Brown’s murderer in Ferguson, have sparked protests not only in Ferguson, but across the globe in support of them. Along with this protest, we see protests in Mexico about the missing school children, Thailand wanting a new democratic government because theirs is currently corrupt, France protesting the murder of a French activist, and the list goes on! It is absolutely astonishing the power behind the people, and maybe some countries are more fortunate than others and their protests will make political change where others will only result in more killing and less solutions.

Some people are skeptical towards these protests because protests this big have been done in the past, for example the Stonewall Riots for gay rights or the Occupy Wall Street protest to stop capitalism. But in my opinion, the world needs to listen to people now because these kinds of numbers in protests are enormous. People all over the world are fighting for the better and I don’t know about you but every time, good always trumps evil.”

Ps. On a sidenote, I feel like my grammar has improved. Yay CreComm!

Personal Brand

This week in Ad class, we had to write about our personal brand and create a Prezi.

Here is my Prezi and how I feel about my brand.

https://prezi.com/gbpqqnf-4wgh/danelles-personal-brand/

  1. Brand personality:
  • Savannah Kelly – “I’d say warm, easy going, ambitious, feminist badass, and extreme cat lover.”
  • Arlee Velasco – “Gentle, laid-back, genuine.’
  • Joy Balmana – “ Sexy, passionate, feminism, cats, determined.”
  • James Doroshuk – “Advocate, big heart”
  • DJ Sawchuk – “fucking hilarious driver, good-hearted”
  • Courtney Frenette – “ genuine, selfless, dedicated, open-minded, fluid, natural”

Hearing all these positive attributes and people being sincere about them, brought tears to my eyes. It’s taken me a long time to get to this point in my personal brand, and I’m happy people see me for who I am. I agree with them, not to sound vain, but this is who I am and want to be. I am surprised nobody said queer or gay. Those words don’t define me, but they are a part of me.

  1. Brand differentiation:

My personal brand sticks out because I’ve learnt that being authentic and true to myself is the best and fullest way to live my life. I’ve experienced a lot to be where and who I am today. Brands take time to develop and my brand is on a trajectory that keeps improving each day. Each day, I wake up and face a new challenge or have a new discussion or chose to be vulnerable or chose to follow my heart instead of my head.

My feminism grounds me and is one of the most important aspects of my brand. Once you open your eyes, heart, soul and mind to the world and people around you your perspectives change. My love for cats brings me to tears and I think it’s what I love most about myself.

Not everyone likes feminists or queer people, and it’s something I deal with daily. This aspect of my brand is what can keep me back, but if someone doesn’t appreciate or accepts who I am, I’m better off not being a part of their life.

My brand competes in the market with other feminists and queer people. In my opinion, queer feminist are a small portion of the population and we do all have our own way of being feminists, but people aren’t always aware of that. Bringing my feminism and queerness to their attention is a possible solution.

3. Brand Values:

My core values are equality, acceptance, open-mindedness, honesty, vulnerability, love, and authenticity. I value the things that not everyone values me for. It’s important to be open to everyone in life and be aware of how you affect society. Knowing where you sit in the hierarchy of oppression can help with all of the latter, and that is something I will always hold in the core of my values.

  1. Brand Promise:

I can promise to always be honest with people and open to people who may not see the world through my perspective. I want people to feel empathetic to people who aren’t like them. I want people to have that feeling of realization that the world and society are bigger then we know, and it’s our job as human beings to fix the things that are wrong in them.

  1. Brand Vision:

I want to be famous for having the most cats and being an advocate for feminism and queer issues. I want to write about stories that go unreported and help queer people feel safe in society. I want to aspire to change society to be accepting to queer people. I want queer people to never feel like ending their lives is the only way to fix things.

  1. Brand Name:

People mostly mispronounce my name and call me Danielle. The first thing that comes to people’s minds is feminist. That’s my brand name.

  1. Brand Image:

All colours match my brand because people come in all colours and every colour represents someone, somewhere. Positive, safe, moving pictures that evoke thought and emotions from people are key to my brand. Any type of music that can literally make someone get up and move or bring tears to their eyes is my brand. Cats. Any kind of cats.

  1. Brand Logo:

Cats, feminism, queer.

  1. Brand Story:

When I was in grade 5, I had my first girlfriend. At the time I had no idea that’s what was going on, but nobody else was carrying around their best friend in their arms. I would also kiss girls on their cheeks if they asked me to, but every time I did, they would make fun of me. When I was in grade 8, my then best friend and I would kiss for fun.

When I was 21, I came out because I had my first real adult girl crush. It didn’t go very far but that’s when I found myself. I had a whole new queer group of friends and I had never felt so at home. I learnt what the word feminism means and had intense in-depth conversations with people that changed my life.

Later that year, I met the love of my life. Being in a queer relationship scared me because I didn’t know how labels work. I’ve never identified as a lesbian because women are only part of who I find attractive.

A year and a half into my relationship, my partner told me they were questioning their gender. A whole new level of feminism, transgender issues, queer as an umbrellas term, and how fucked up society is when it comes to its constructed gender norms, came into my life.

I am queer, because I don’t fit into a box or a label, but I am certainly not straight. I am a feminist, because the people closest to me are reasons I fight for equality every day. My story isn’t over, it’s still progressing, but I’ve never been so sure of who I am in my life.

Empow(Her)Ment

On Friday I had the pleasure to go to The Park Theatre and laughed for two hours straight. Comedy is great, but what’s even better, is local female and queer female comedy.

The best thing about it is that it’s honest. All the women joked about serious issues in society and how they affect women. Women having a space to share their voices in a way that makes people laugh at how stupid society can be is, is powerful.

Women can talk about their bodies, sex, feminism, cultural appropriation, transitions, their queerness, without bringing other people down. I find in comedy, some comedians will attack other people, usually minorities, for a good joke. These women just joked about their experiences and tore society down, which needs happen every now and again.

Next year there’s a comedy writing class and I’ve been on the fence about whether or not I should sign up for it. After seeing these women, I was inspired. I joke about similar stuff everyday anyway, performing it would be pretty cool.

Yay to female comedians.

 

Period

This weeks blog post is dedicated to my period and every other period out there.

Periods are honestly one of the worst things. I get bloated, I’m in so much pain from cramps, I cry at any baby, puppy, cat, or how comfy I am in bed, and all I want is pizza and sex ALL THE TIME. I also get extreme low back pain to the point where I can’t stand up straight. Somehow I’m expected to cope with all the above and still function normally in society.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, do you know how fucking expensive tampons and pads are? Sometimes I have to debate between eating for a week and bleeding everywhere or buying tampons and starving.

One time, I had just enough money for a small box of tampons, a cheap wine, and a small bucket of ice cream that I cried into.

The one saving grace I have as a woman on her period, is that all of the above is totally accepted in society. Society knows that no matter what they charge for tampons, I still need to buy them. Society knows that when I’m bloated and weeping at everything, I’m on my period and I’m expected to act that way.

What society doesn’t accept is that some periods are so fucking bad, that some women aren’t able to get up and go to work. Some women can’t afford tampons or pads. Some women in some cultures aren’t allowed to go to school when they’re on their periods. Some women can’t openly talk about their periods because it’s so stigmatized.

What society doesn’t accept, is that some MEN have periods too. Replace women with MEN in my last paragraph. Both MEN and WOMEN deal with periods.

http://www.shethinx.com/pages/people-with-periods

This amazing team of three women have developed an underwear line specific for periods. In each style of underwear, there are four layers: moisture-wicking, anti-microbial, absorbent, and leak-resistant. Now depending on your flow, you might be OK to just wear the underwear or you might still need to use a tampon or pad. But with these underwear, you don’t have to stress about leaking or people knowing you are on your period.

Check out their amazing website:

http://www.shethinx.com/pages/how-it-works

Last Saturday THINX launched their boyshort style for trans men, non-binary people, or any person who doesn’t identify as a cisgender woman, as an honour to transgender awareness week.

Yesterday, Nov. 20, was Transgender Day of Remembrance. This post is also dedicated to all the trans men and women we’ve lost in the year due to violence and hate. Trans men and women are people just like you and I.

Let’s keep this open conversation about periods going and help stop the stigma surrounding women on their periods along with trans men, non-binary people, and anyone else who doesn’t identify as a cisgender woman.

I know that the trans community deals with many other issues other than periods, but with more people educated on this matter, hopefully the less trans people will have to suffer in a shitty society.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Starbucks Cup Controversy

It’s the holiday season and what would it be without some type of controversy?

This year’s issue: Starbucks cups. Heaven forbid an organization be respectful of people other than the Christian majority and want to give customers’ the freedom to portray any holiday onto their cup.

I find it ironic when a white man decides to make videos and complain how Starbucks is taking away Christmas and hates Jesus Christ, when they’re actually the reason why so many minorities have lost their religions/cultures/freedoms.

My one word of advice to anyone complaining that Starbucks ruined Christmas: SHUSH.

Also, Ellen DeGeneres, if you read this, marry me.

Happy beginning of the holiday season everyone!

*On a side note, I’m not the biggest fan of Starbucks as a corporation, BUT I support them in their red cup decision*