Thursday, February 26, 2009

Story of My Life

"Women Still Feel Neglected By Car Repair Sector: Survey"

This Canadian survey, financed by Speedy (a car care company!) found that 43% of womyn felt that they received poorer customer service as compared to men.

A similar study, conducted in the US in 2008, found that 90% of womyn reported receiving different treatment in comparison to men.

I am not only a young womyn but I also drive an antique classic car and so I've had people not just short change or over charge me, but flat out charge me for a part that does not exist on my car.

This is just one more aspect of the car industry that needs an overhaul. They need to build cars that people actually want to buy, learn how to spend their money and overhaul their archaic gender stereotyping.

And a bailout won't do shit for that last part.

Ahh, There's Nothing Like A Good Abortion Joke

I came to the idea of being a blogger, and a feminist one at that, after I found myself commenting like crazy on some of my favourite blogs. And in typical internet form, an article posted somewhere else has echoed across the blogosphere with everyone throwing their 2 cents in.

So here's the background.

An article, originally posted on, is written by an anonymous womyn about her experience of having an abortion. In a nutshell, it didn't shatter her life or dreams and she found that self-identified "liberal" and "progressive" dudes were freaked out by the whole thing.

Then AlterNet took a stab and so did the always amazing Jill from Feministe.

And since you're reading this, it means you at least somewhat care about what homeslice has to say, so here it is.

I think the article is fucking brilliant.

Firstly, this womyn offers a story that resonates so much to my own reality and the reality of people I know and love. I've never had an abortion, I'll start off with that one, but the way in which she reacts to her abortion is something I can relate to. See, her whole "schtick" in the article (and what has right-wing nutjobs so upset) is that she dealt with it humourously. Like any other major event in her life, she chose laughter as her means of dealing. Genuine humour. Although people often use humour as a way to placate the fact that they can't deal with their true feelings of anguish or pain (which I still think is healthy and fine by moi), she honestly chose to laugh the whole thing off.

As someone who cracks jokes at funerals and rarely agrees with it being "too soon" to poke fun, I can get this. I can also, however, understand how humour is often a way to keep one's sanity; that it is easier to laugh at a situation than let the whole thing take its toll.

And yes, as a fetus fetishist, the idea of a womyn having an abortion and then cracking jokes about the irony of getting pregnant on birth control while Bristol Palin fucks with her fingers crossed, this is a slap in the face. "You mean your life wasn't completely destroyed by the murder of an innoncent fetus?" Nope. No it wasn't. Take that "Silent No More".

I think that if I, or anyone else, is to call themselves pro-choice, then they have to be prepared to genuinely, whole heartedly accept how people choose or deal with their choices. Which is the point of her article.

She's calling out people, and in this case men, who march, petition and lobby for a womyn's right to choose but then in the heat of the moment, quiver and judge.

Sure, talking about someone's experience with abortion, especially if it's just kinda dropped into a conversation, can be awkward if you're not sure if the person is heart-broken or laughing it off. However, a true pro-choice stance is one of genuinely allowing womyn to choose not only to terminate a pregnancy but to decide how they will feel about their experience.

Although this article is taken as a stab towards all liberal men, I personally see it as a challenge to all pro-choice labelled people. Lady folks and men folk. Basically that it's one thing to talk the talk of choice but you have to be prepared to walk the walk, too.

And that means allowing womyn to choose whether to view their experience as devastating or as nothing more than physically painful.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Screwed Over Employees Don't Take It Lying Down

... and this is news?

"Shocking" new report states that 59% of employees in an American study, took information with them when they left.

"Of those:

  • 65 per cent took email lists.
  • 45 per cent took non-financial business information.
  • 39 per cent took customer information, including contact lists.
  • 35 per cent took employee records.
  • 16 per cent took financial information."
Is this really that shocking? It isn't good, don't get me wrong. As a frequent internet shopper and Debit Card addict, I don't like thinking about where my information has been and is going. But I also can't blame people, especially in a recession where job competitiveness is high and jobs in general are hard to find.

So when you get fired from your only chance at a paycheck, you're a little bitter so you take a little something with you. Or the competitor says that if you come and join them, they'll sweeten the deal if you sweeten your end with say... a list of contacts. Tit for tat, in either instance.

I can understand why people do it. But I also see how it's a vicious circle. You hate your job because your employer treats you like a child and micro-manages your every move, so you leave and take something with you for revenge, therefore reinforcing that you probably weren't very trustworthy to begin with and needed to be monitored.

See what I'm saying?

The only winners here are the researchers of this study. This is the kind of research I wish I was doing. I wish I was being paid to be Captain Obvious.

Monday, February 16, 2009


For once, I'm not talking about politicians. I'm talking about actual babies.

Is it just me or has the media become completely baby obsessed?

British couple have little girl; girl is 15 and boy is 13.

American womyn has octuplets. And they debate whether it was allowed.

And then there's Hollywood....

We had Jamie Lynn. Then Bristol Palin. Then they discussed the difference between the coverage of both. And don't forget Juno!

And of course, there's always the Brangelina brood. And then, they debated whether the octuplet womyn was obsessed with Angelina.

Hollyweird considered questions like: Is Suri Cruise too old to be drinking from a bottle? Is Salma Hayek addicted to breast feeding?


Don't get me wrong. I think it's important to pose questions about motherhood, constructions of motherhood, views of young motherhood and the like. These ideas, debates and discussions need to happen.

But everywhere I look, it's fucking babies! babies! babies! and I'm not seeing critical analysis. I'm seeing baby bump crazes and high-horse right (and left) wing pundits casting judgement on people whose stories and lives they know nothing about.

The only substantial thing I get about all of this, is that the concept of "choice" is a hell of a lot more nuanced than it initially appears.

And that giving birth to 8 babies looks really uncomfortable.

Monday, February 9, 2009

FC's Centennial

For this badass feminist’s 100th post, I wanted to focus on something positive. When you do this kind of critical work, as I like to believe I do, it’s easy to get caught in the traps of being a Debbie Downer. As an activist, I think it’s important to always be the kid in the back of the room with their hand up, asking the “But what about (insert here)? And what about (insert here)?” This is the stuff that moves us forward.

But at the same time, people get burnt out for a reason. It’s exhausting to constantly be on the negative side of things.

So I was waiting to write a long post about “This is what the F-Word has brought you”. A mash up, colliding both of my favourite words: fuck and feminism. But then, last night, watching the Grammy’s of all things, I came across something that made my feminist heart a flutter.

I saw rap, hip-hop goddess M.I.A, 9 months pregnant rapping on stage at the Grammy’s. (Click for a video of her amazing performance).The song, “Paper Planes” chronicles the (shitty) immigrant experience. As much as it killed me to see her performance last a measly 30 seconds before 4 dudes came out and drowned her out, I promised I wouldn’t focus on the negative.

The positive here is that hip-hop and rap has traditionally been a very male domain. Hyper masculine and straight up macho, in fact. True, country music has been much the same but they at least carved out a niche for “country songbirds”. I mean, this is the genre that has Patsy Cline and Dolly Parton for Pete’s sake!

And although hip hop has had Mary J, Queen Latifah, Salt ‘N Peppa and others, they rarely got the attention those badass womyn deserve(d).

So to see not only a womyn, but a womyn who was nine months pregnant rapping on stage to rival the best of them, I couldn’t help but think “Right on, sister”.

M.I.A was heavily pregnant (due the night of the Grammy’s in fact) and yet undeniably badass in her swagger and demeanor. And so I can’t help but be proud of the years and years of work that feminists have undertaken to forge a place for womyn in a “Man’s World”. The years that feminists have spent proving that womyn (like men) are complex creatures.

And so the day I see a pregnant, refugee, womyn of colour on stage at the Grammy’s, rapping about “nobody got a swagger like us”, I can’t help but think that maybe us feminists are on to something.

(As for this blog in general, thank you to all of you who have continued to comment, compliment and challenge me. Even the Trolls. I appreciate you, too).

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Pavement On the Road To Hell

So the world is living in tough economic times and Barack Obama has the pleasure of taking over the US with no moola or prospects. So he puts together this ginormous stimulus and bailout package that includes a tiny, little catch. The catch is that infrastructure projects must "buy American". Sounds fine and dandy until Canada got wind and got its panties in a giant twist.

See Canada (and more precisely here, the conservatives) fear that it will start a trade war and that the loss of jobs here in Canada will be tremendous, since the US won't be relying on Canadian metal exports.

A valid point.

But an equally valid point is what Mr. Layton has just proposed, which is a "Buy Canadian" clause to how we operate. (Keeping in mind of course, that Canadian standards for "Made in Canada" products are sketchy and patchy at best. Maybe this should be the main issue?)

But "Buying Canadian" is a complicated request. If Canadians bought Canadian products, then we would give the economy a nice little boost. But unfortunately, there are little to no Canadian products left to buy, even if we wanted to.

And personally, I want to. I desperately want to. I'm one of those patriotic Canadian suckers who sheds a tear everytime a Canadian company gets bought or shipped overseas. (I'm looking at you, HBC). I mean, Tim Hortons is considered a Canadian icon and it doesn't even belong to us anymore! All we have left is Giant Tiger, Rona and a peppering of a few others.

So we couldn't simply "Buy Canadian" anyway, otherwise we'd starve. Or at the very least get scurvy and wear really ugly clothes.

But had we kept these companies here, we would have created jobs, stimulated the economy and possibly been able to avoid the giant fear of US protectionism. But that would have required not having a neo-liberal attitude and creating decent products that people actually wanted to buy. *coughFordcough*. We don't buy North American vehicles or North American clothes because the companies are cheap and consumers are cheap. And now, it's costing us.

Personally, I don't blame President Obama for wanting to include that clause. He's the President of the United States, not the world. And how can the US even be competitive traders, comrades or allies if they can't take care of their own first?

I think Canada should take this as a wake-up call to start really reading the fine-print and doing your homework on what you buy and where you buy it. And holding people accountable! I think the real lesson here is that is important that everyone do their part.

These past few years have taught us that its important to read the label, test products and use your consumer power. If we're going to be consumer whores, then let's make it productive at the very least.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Phelps: Not Superhuman, After All?

Apparently Michael Phelps smoked weed at least once in his lifetime. Which is apparently, also really shocking to people.

News of the World published a photo of him taking a hit from a bong and now he's in full fledged bullshit apology mode.

This is the same guy who was already arrested for a DUI. This is the same guy who is 23 years old. . C'mon, people. Take a breather (but not from a bong).

Pardon me for not being beside myself with shock. Sure, he's superhuman in the pool and an astounding athlete. But he's also young, filthy rich and living a pretty ridiculous consequence free lifestyle.

Personally, the only real shocking thing from this Globe and Mail story about this new "shocking" photo is that Barack Obama admitted to not only smoking pot but "snorting cocaine when he could afford it" back in high school.

Seriously? Now that's badass.