The Wedding and the Gender Police

The first time I went out in public in men’s formal wear was the day of my graduation from University of Winnipeg. A great deal of the time I was wearing my robes and regalia, but when the suit itself was revealed, the compliments began flowing. I was happy, I felt confident, I felt comfortable, and I felt a delicious sense of inner consistency. I wasn’t just celebrating my academic achievements that day. I was celebrating my growth, owning and occupying my identity. I felt beautiful. I felt handsome. I felt loved. I felt AWESOME.

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I considered this the outfit’s dry-run before its main debut event the following weekend: a Mennonite wedding. Now, before you go leaping to any conclusions about covered heads, barns, farmer sausage and borscht, I should qualify that it wasn’t that much different from your standard modern Christian wedding. The bride and groom were (and are) both wonderful, socially progressive, compassionate, cool people, and that is why I accepted the invitation to celebrate their wedding with them.

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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.

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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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Butch with Boobs: A Sartorial Retrospective

If you read my opening throwback post about the Very Dykey Haircut, you’ll know that at that time, I dreamed about wearing a suit to an occasion, anxiously curious about how it would feel to go out dressed up as my dapper, increasingly butch-ish self. Since my first formal outing in masculine dress back in 2011, I have had many such opportunities, and I currently boast a magnificent collection of over 30 neckties. But let me tell you; finding masculine dress clothing to fit my very feminine body was an adventure all in itself. Let me tell you about my very first butch-style shopping trip for formal dude-wear.

You see, I’m not one of those slight, willowy androgynous girls who can just hop into the men’s section and pick out a smashing vest or suit jacket.

Exhibit A (Image credit pinterest.com, Via Rebecca Andruszka)

Exhibit A (Image credit pinterest.com, Via Rebecca Andruszka)

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Fetish Friday: When Sexy and Shameful Collide

There are a lot of different kinks and fetishes out there. The intricate tapestry of our genes, social contexts, upbringings, and sexual histories can contain myriad combinations of interconnecting factors that make any one thing or circumstance particularly arousing or exciting to think about. Feet, tickling, human furniture, cuckolding, anal play, watersports…  It’s different for everyone, and that is okay! But one thing that many of us kinksters have to think very critically about at some point is the inevitable moment when our arousal steers our fantasies into territory that normally, we’d find pretty uncomfortable.

Santa is a metaphor for Foucault's Panopticon

For a long time, I struggled with a great deal of shame and guilt over what I’d find myself fantasizing about late at night.

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Losing My Religion (and Finding My Empathy)

Religion is a touchy subject. It’s difficult to speak with critical distance about something that so many feel is deeply personal without stepping on too many toes. Especially when the things one has to say may not always be particularly charitable. I have had a long and complicated relationship with Protestant Christianity that began in seventh grade, and persists today. I’m no longer a member of any church, and I consider myself an agnostic/soft atheist; that is to say, I don’t believe that there are any gods or supernatural forces governing the universe, but I believe that I cannot know that for certain. However, I am still interested in the cultural phenomenon of Christianity, my boyfriend is a Christian, many of my dearest friends are Christians, and I still draw significantly from my experiences as a Christian, so I think it’s fair to say that I still have a relationship with Christianity.

Okay, guys, maybe I needed to be a little clearer on the whole "love" concept.

We’re cool.

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