November 23, 2014
Thursday was the Transgender Day of Remembrance, commemorating trans* people who have lost their lives to violence in a discriminatory society. There were many powerful reflections published, here are a few:
“Our Transecestors gave us LIFE! They gave us life on ballroom floors, in classrooms, in prisons, on the block, in the bars, on park benches, on the train and… Let us remember to remember (and if we only have our imagination, let us use that) the glorious laughter of queens sitting and chatting together holding space for one another. Let us remember to remember the stone butches walking heads high, three-piece suits, suspenders, hats tilted—she was the man and everyone knew it.”
- “We deserve to feel like it is not just trans people who are moved and outraged by the culture of violence and abuse towards us here and around the world.” Anger and persistence while living in a state of exception.
- “I am a transgender, agender teenager living in New York City”. Voices of transgender youth.
- A long, tragic list of names to remember.
- “Remember me as a revolutionary communist.” Brilliant thinker and tireless activist Leslie Feinberg died this week after a long illness. The author of Stone Butch Blues and Transgender Warriors was also a strong advocate of intersectional anti-opression, and a committed anti-racist and socialist. Read hir moving and inspiring obituary here.
- As Ferguson waits for a grand jury decision in the killing of Michael Brown, and the police declare a preemptive state of emergency, many feel that the verdict on the community has already come down. Brittney Cooper writes about how “black folks each day make a way out of no way”, and Molly Crabapple produced this beautifully illustrated primer on how Ferguson has revealed the truth of America’s police state.
- Some new books that force Canadians to confront the impact of our ongoing colonization of Indigenous people, and a helpful infographic from Idle No More on the termination tables.
- How to reduce harassment in the workplace, from our own Ella Bedard.
- We were so excited to hear about The Butter, an offshoot of The Toast, headed by Roxane Gay, and their first week started off strong. Stacey May Fowles wrote about a feminist child abuse memoir Canadians have forgotten about, Michelle Dean wrote about a nervous breakdown brought on by a book deal, and Gay wrote about the necessary challenge of giving up a hero, and what the Bill Cosby rape allegations mean for a generation who grew up with him as a father figure. On The Toast side, we loved the advice on “clopen relationships” – helpful tips on monogamy, polyamory, and everything in between.
- A history of men defining rape.
- Short Skirts and Niqab Bans: what does femininity mean in a secular society?
- #YouKnowHerName, and hiding it isn’t helping the victim or society.
- “There we were, five women, one dead. My aunt unfolded the sari and from that moment on, all I heard was: nothing. Nobody spoke. I will never unhear that nothing. It was the loudest nothing I’ve ever experienced.” Durga Chew-Bose on things you cannot unhear.
- Don’t get rid of ‘feminist’ – here are some things we need words for instead.
- Stoya in the morning.
- The stories of Canadian women who have had abortions, and the history of the abortion debate in Canada. Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights was formed this week, to help fight for the reproductive rights of Canadians.
- On being the only black face in a white space, a dispatch from the token:
“Are all of your friends boys. Are all of your friends white. You don’t act black. You’re an Oreo cookie: black on the outside but soft, sweet white on the inside. You’re not like a regular girl. I don’t think of you like that.
For my role I am presented with two options: woman and black. I am on stage tapping my feet. I am a number in a count. I am more tired than I am angry. I fill a void. I turn into the void. This is called being accepted.”
- An excellent, sexy comic on consent (one of our favourite topics) from Oh Joy Sex Toy (one of our favourite sites)!
- This week on The Feminist Wire was a symposium on Toni Cade Bambara, novelist, activist, essayist, filmmaker and Black feminist. There’s an incredible, diverse range of writing and responses to her life and work, check it all out here.
- Sexual assault on campuses across North America is finally coming into the light, and the stories that have been revealed are horrifying. Equally disturbing is the overall failure of schools to protect their students with any sort of policies on sexual assault, which means that those culpable far too often go unpunished, while the victims are offered little support. The Toronto Star and Rolling Stone both published horrifying, graphic examples of this hard truth this week.
- Finally, if you haven’t yet, be sure to participate in our sex survey! It’s completely anonymous, and you can find out all about it here. We’re so grateful for all the honest, funny, moving responses we’ve received already, and we’re hoping to publish the first batch (on getting “the talk”) this week. If you have a story about how you learned about the birds and the bees, be sure to share it with us!