International Women’s Day!

Happy International Women’s Day!

I love International Women’s Day. It makes me so damn happy that March 8th is marked as a day to celebrate and validate women. On the other hand, it makes me so damn sad that there is a need to set aside one day per year to celebrate women. One. Day. Per. Year.

I recently watched “Seeing Allred”, which chronicles the — highly impressive and incredibly inspiring — life of American women’s rights attorney Gloria Allred (if you didn’t know she existed prior to reading my blog, she’s the lawyer representing the women accusing Bill Cosby of sexual assault). Approximately halfway through watching the documentary, it hit me: it’s 2018, and we are still fighting for women’s rights. In my lifetime, it is doubtful that women will experience true equality to men. The human race is capable of shooting a Tesla into space, yet somehow it is not capable of acknowledging that women are equal to men (I hope you are simultaneously laughing and crying with me here).

(Note: while I definitely recommend watching “Seeing Allred”, I have to say that the point of view portrayed in this documentary is arguably very white and heteronormative; however, it is indeed the biography of a white, heterosexual woman. But seriously though, how are there documentaries about feminism that barely touch on intersectional feminism?)

When trying to decide what to write about for my International Women’s Day blog, I automatically gravitated towards sharing personal stories of how I have been mistreated as a woman. Every woman has these stories, and it’s infuriating.

But….

…it’s HAPPY International Women’s Day. So let’s fucking celebrate women.

Feminism is a powerful word. It scares people. It makes them uncomfortable, and in certain circumstances — such as the realization that there is a disparity between genders — it should be an uncomfortable word. But to me, it is also a happy word. The existence of the word ‘feminism’ shows that there is hope for change both now and in the future. It’s a word that women can stand behind and support each other with.

Celebrating your fellow woman doesn’t have to be a grand gesture. For example, my friend Hillary and I took a dance class to learn the choreography to Justin Bieber’s ‘Sorry’ (I know, I know, I’m rolling my eyes along with you- but trust me when I say it was SO much fun). Hillary and I took the class because we love to dance, and because we just wanted to have a fun girls’ night. We went into the class with no skills whatsoever, and encouraged each other each time we learned something new. We boosted each other’s confidence into the damn sky. The best part was when one of the other students came over to us, and told us that she adored our friendship, and how encouraging we were to each other. That was such a great moment.

Some really incredible ‘grand’ feminist moments can be found in this BBC article. There are certain movements that catch a lot of media attention, such as #MeToo, but there are so many more happening internationally that I was personally unaware of.

I could quite literally talk about feminism all day, and if you ever want to pick my brain, I will gladly oblige. For now though, I should probably finish up this post before I start rambling. So, again…

HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY.

We are awesome.

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That Time I Accidentally Went on a Date with a Nazi Sympathizer

Yesterday, I had the unfortunate (and trust me, completely accidental) experience of going on a date with a Nazi sympathizer.

This bizarre and highly unexpected situation had me thinking a thought that I’ve played with since moving to Toronto; the thought that I should start a blog. You just can’t make some of the situations up that I’ve found myself in since moving out of my hometown of Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada.

So why start a blog? My dad has his own blog here on WordPress (https://brainfoodcafeforthemind.com/), which has also been a huge source of inspiration for me. I’ve always been encouraged to use my words to speak my mind in a detailed—yet succinct—manner, thanks to my dad. Also, now that I’ve finished my MA degree, I find myself sorely missing the writing that used to consume so much of my time. Although admittedly I’m more familiar with research papers than blogs, there is no time like the present to try something new.

Speaking of trying new things, I’ve recently been trying to make more of an attempt to meet people and make some new friends. I’ve definitely made some fantastic friends here in Toronto, but as I’ve learned, you can never have enough friends.

Through this pursuit, I found myself agreeing to a sushi date with a guy who seemed decent over text. Even if the date himself wasn’t my Prince Charming, at least I would be eating some delicious sushi: and in my world, you really can’t go wrong with sushi.

I was wrong.

The sushi was delicious; all was well in the raw fish department. Things were going fine initially, but when it became apparent he thought Alberta was situated on the west coast of Canada, I knew he was not my true love. But hey, I’m all for meeting new people and eating sushi, so I continued on with the random conversation that often saturates first dates.

Partway through dinner, however, my date decided to start discussing World War II and how the world (particularly the United States) would have not squandered the world’s natural resources so thoroughly if Nazi Germany had been successful in its endeavors. Now I’m not a person who disregards other people’s opinions; however, if it involves a pro-genocide attitude, I’m going to speak up. To clarify, I asked my date if he was prioritizing natural resources over human life, to which he responded that in the long run, human destruction of the earth will eventually kill more people. More awful, racist, and discriminatory comments were made in his pro-Nazi argument, and they would be a waste of time for me to type out.

Worst. Date. Ever.

I’m not telling this story on my inaugural blog post to invoke shame on my date. Instead, I’m telling this story to show a few things:

  • I am a humanist. Several of my upcoming blog posts will involve social justice, and naturally, elements of criminology. As such, I will hopefully avoid going on dates in the future with people who do not share a similar point of view.
  • I like to share stories. If you know me personally, you will likely be aware that I like to tell long, detailed stories which (usually) have a point to them.
  • I like to find humor in every situation. Simply, life is short and I believe it’s important to laugh as often as possible.
  • I like to relate to others. I know that I’m not the only one who has gone on a date that has left much to be desired (those supporting the Holocaust included)!

So with that, my friends, I end my first blog post. Please share and comment below! I would love to hear of any wild first date stories. Meanwhile, I’ll be over here questioning my life decisions over a cup of tea.