Spaaaaaaace! A Response to Cosmos: “Sisters of the Sun”

I like space.

I'm in space!

I’m in space!

No, really. You may or may not know this about me already, but I really really fucking love astronomy and astrophysics. They are by far my favourite branches of science. This is mostly due to having had the privilege of studying Astronomy with Vesna Milosevic-Zdjelar during my undergrad at the University of Winnipeg. She was the person who really opened up the world of science for me, and helped me realize that I do not need to know how to do all the equations to comprehend and appreciate, on at least a rudimentary level, the mechanics that drive our universe.

And holy shit, friends… What a beautiful universe we live in. Seriously.

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I mean come on, LOOK AT THIS. As if this actually exists in our universe. Amazing.

So how thrilled was I to discover that this past Sunday’s episode of Cosmos was all about stars? Super-dee-duper thrilled, that’s how much! It was like an exciting, beautiful refresher course. But if I were to choose my favourite thing about this episode, it would be the outstanding amount of attention given to the contributions of women in the development of the fields of astrophysics and astronomy. Continue reading

Sometimes I Get Angry.

It is not always easy being a feminist on the internet. Apart from explicitly feminist havens, most of the places I find myself online are pretty male-dominated domains. This isn’t always necessarily a bad thing; sometimes there are benefits to being the Unicorn in the room. Not all male communities are dominated by douchey, obnoxious, condescending patriarchy-worshipping cockswingers, either. There are a lot of really excellent, intelligent, well-spoken and politically progressive men out there in the Wild West of cyberspace, and I greatly enjoy interacting with them.

Unfortunately, in many, many online communities, these excellent men end up getting drowned out by a small but persistent chorus of patriarchy parrots determined to make the feminist look stupid, shut her up, and drive her out of the conversation, either by authoritatively declaring the conversation suddenly inappropriate and changing the subject, or simply by repetitively asserting that BITCHES BE CRAY CRAY, RITE GUYZ? HA HA HA.

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The Patriarchs have hereby thusly declared in their great eminence that SHUT THE FUCK UP.

Continue reading

The Sunday Jack!

(photo: Katie Sehl)

(photo: Katie Sehl)

It’s cool and rainy, I’m extremely short on sleep and shorter on patience (explanatory post forthcoming), and Jack and I are grumping together. Have a restful, restorative Sunday, friends.

Fetish Friday: Embracing and Inhabiting the Fantasy Space

For this week’s kinky conversation, I’d like to follow up on my article from two weeks ago that discussed how to deal with feelings of shame around our fetishes. Now that we’ve acknowledged that shame can sometimes throw a wet blanket on our sexy times, and can sometimes raise difficult and uncomfortable questions about the ways our fantasies represent parts of ourselves, let’s talk about some strategies that will help navigate these feelings and questions in a healthy, boner-edifying way.

I think one of the most important things to do when preparing to venture into the more taboo and risqué fantasies is to take some time to recognize the divide between the world of fantasy and the world of the real. Children do this all the time, as I have discussed before. They routinely flit between fantasy and real worlds in play, long after they’ve understood that Santa isn’t real and dragons are metaphors. The knowledge that the fantasy world isn’t “real” doesn’t constrict the joy of play; on the contrary, it enhances and liberates it. Knowing that their play-actions in fantasy will not ripple over into the real, they can explore fantastical scenarios, including those of danger and violence, without fearing any real harm.

keepcalmplaygame

Continue reading

So, Why Aren’t You a Feminist, Again?

There’s something bothering me.

It’s been eating away at me for years, countless conversations heaping one upon the other, layers upon layers of various configurations of the same, irritating qualifier: “I’m not a feminist, but….” Most of the time, the qualifier would be followed by a statement expressing a completely feminist sentiment; often, what they said was both reasonable and relevant to contemporary feminism, something like “I’m not a feminist, but I totally think that women shouldn’t have to worry about the length of their skirt affecting the likelihood of their getting raped.”

Uh, that sounds pretty fucking feminist to me, friend. Why aren’t you a feminist, again?

No seriously, I'm confused. (gif: persephonemagazine.com)

I’m confused. (gif: persephonemagazine.com)

No, seriously, why? Feminism is the belief in women’s political, social, and economical equality to men. Do you believe that a woman is entitled to the same pay for doing the same work as a man? Do you believe that women should be allowed to vote? Do you believe that a woman has the right to decide what to do with her own body? Did you answer “Yes”? I have good news for you! YOU ARE A FEMINIST OF SOME KIND!

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The Sunday Jack!

Birds! Birds! Birds! Spring! Birds! Squirrels! Birds!

Birds! Birds! Birds! Spring! Birds! Squirrels! Birds! (Jack in triplicate!)

Happy Sunday, everyone! If you’re Christian, happy Easter Sunday to you. It was always my favourite of the high holy days; the spirit of celebration was always so infectious.

“Get rid of death. Celebrate increase. Make it be Spring.” ~ Margaret Atwood, “February”

 

1000 Views!

Wow! Less than three weeks in the blogosphere, and people have come here to read one thousand times.

swansonparty

Thanks so much!

No, really, THANK YOU.

I’ll be honest, I haven’t written so much in years. Most of what I’ve written in the last 5 years has been academic essays and facebook comments, and in the last 18 months, I had barely written anything at all. Starting up this blog project, and being so encouraged by your gracious follows, likes, comments, and feedback, has given me an unprecedented burst of productivity and helped a great deal in my ongoing struggle to cope with depression and anxiety. It’s helped me rediscover my love of writing, and rebuild my confidence in my abilities as a writer. 

So thanks. I really appreciate it. 🙂