February 23, 2014
- “I notice when I’m in Canada people still say, “It’s a nice day but we deserve it.” Go to the Toronto zoo one day and watch how some people behave with the animals. They’re constantly bothering them, pestering them, and waking them up because they should be doing something. I remember seeing a sleeping tiger three years ago, and a woman rattling the cage and saying, “He’s lazy, that’s all he is, he’s lazy.”” The incredibly precise and reluctantly Canadian authour Mavis Gallant died this week at age 91. You can listen to Margaret Atwood reading “Voices Lost in Snow”, a Montreal story appropriate for this deep February on the New Yorker Fiction podcast, and over at Hazlitt, you can find this rueful appreciation of ‘our’ brilliant short story writer.
- Sex worker’s rights are worker’s rights: a few basics for thinking about sex work legislation.
- “Cisgender feminists … have to make it clear that our feminism loves and supports trans women and that we will fight against transphobia.” An important piece on feminism’s tangled relationship to trans* people.
- “I told myself I was just a weird kid who’d learned how to be normal, that the problem had been mine”: Molly Knefel’s personal essay on growing up gender non-conforming.
- Canadian actor Ellen Page came out publicly as a lesbian this week, and this Autostraddle article examines how much has changed in Hollywood over the past 20 years, and how Page’s Halifax roots helped make coming out just a little bit easier: “Ellen Page cites Nova Scotia’s “humility” and “calm” as primary influences on her own attitude. Page’s favorite show growing up was Degrassi, known for tackling tough teen issues like homosexuality and abortion with a frankness once foreign to American television shows.”
- “The solidarity, the feminism, the queerness, the politics, the rock n roll, and the sweaty, filthy sexuality makes for quite the experience”: Bitch’s primer on Toronto’s queer and feminist music scene.
- “It doesn’t much matter what line you take as a woman, if you venture into traditional male territory, the abuse comes anyway. It’s not what you say that prompts it, it’s the fact you’re saying it.” Mary Beard’s powerful essay on the historical context of women’s silencing in the public sphere pushes beyond “misogyny” to show the deep roots of our gendered expectations.
- Audre Lorde and Nina Simone’s birthdays would have been this week. Spend an amazing Sunday with them!