Anticipating, but highly unproductive…

February 25, 2007 at 4:34 am | Posted in moi | 2 Comments

Tonight, a bit of a short and sweet, sad and sorry, sookie-sounding post. Every once in a while you just get in a mood, you know? I have a tendency to feel very sorry for myself, very sookie and sad, when I’m not feeling well. I had a stomach flu for the first part of the week, and thought I had fully kicked it.

So got all done up tonight, put on some nice clothes, a hint of red, lipstick, washed the hair and curled it up nice, with big plans for the night. Hanging out with the girls at a friend’s house, followed by drinks downtown and then dancing.

I made as far as the friend’s house. After some wine and sweets, my tummy started to rip and roll again. It gurgled and gargled and made unpleasant sounds. In the taxi on the way downtown, I could suddenly feel tears behind my eyes threatening to spill as my gut threatened to purge itself. I dropped my friend downtown, and had the taxi take me straight home.

So here I am, back in comfy pajymas, still with the red lipstick on, sucking down rolaids and water and keeping an eye on the bathroom. I miss dancing, I miss the drinking, I miss being with my friends and hanging out downtown and laughing. It has been a long long time since I have done that, and I was so so so looking forward to it this evening.

So this post might be a bit self-indulgent, but tonight I am feeling self-indulgent and sorry.



If Men Could Menstruate

February 24, 2007 at 4:06 pm | Posted in body, Feminism | 1 Comment

This is an old piece by Gloria Steinem, but a friend recently brought it to my attention again. I love it. So, sharing Saturday…

– Artemis.

If Men Could Menstruate
by Gloria Steinem

A white minority of the world has spent centuries conning us into thinking that a white skin makes people superior – even though the only thing it really does is make the more subject to ultraviolet rays and to wrinkles. Male human beings have built whole cultures around the idea that penis envy is “natural” to women – though having such an unprotected organ might be said to make men vulnerable, and the power to give birth makes womb envy at least as logical.

In short, the characteristics of the powerful, whatever they may be, are thought to be better than the characteristics of the powerless – and logic has nothing to do with it.

What would happen, for instance, if suddenly, magically, men could menstruate and women could not?

The answer is clear – menstruation would become an enviable, boast-worthy, masculine event:

Men would brag about how long and how much.

Boys would mark the onset of menses, that longed-for proof of manhood, with religious ritual and stag parties.

Congress would fund a National Institute of Dysmenorrhea to help stamp out monthly discomforts.

Sanitary supplies would be federally funded and free. (Of course, some men would still pay for the prestige of commercial brands such as John Wayne Tampons, Muhammad Ali’s Rope-a-dope Pads, Joe Namath Jock Shields – “For Those Light Bachelor Days,” and Robert “Baretta” Blake Maxi-Pads.)

Military men, right-wing politicians, and religious fundamentalists would cite menstruation (“men-struation”) as proof that only men could serve in the Army (“you have to give blood to take blood”), occupy political office (“can women be aggressive without that steadfast cycle governed by the planet Mars?”), be priest and ministers (“how could a woman give her blood for our sins?”) or rabbis (“without the monthly loss of impurities, women remain unclean”).

Male radicals, left-wing politicians, mystics, however, would insist that women are equal, just different, and that any woman could enter their ranks if she were willing to self-inflict a major wound every month (“you MUST give blood for the revolution”), recognize the preeminence of menstrual issues, or subordinate her selfness to all men in their Cycle of Enlightenment. Street guys would brag (“I’m a three pad man”) or answer praise from a buddy (“Man, you lookin’ good!”) by giving fives and saying, “Yeah, man, I’m on the rag!” TV shows would treat the subject at length. (“Happy Days”: Richie and Potsie try to convince Fonzie that he is still “The Fonz,” though he has missed two periods in a row.) So would newspapers. (SHARK SCARE THREATENS MENSTRUATING MEN. JUDGE CITES MONTHLY STRESS IN PARDONING RAPIST.) And movies. (Newman and Redford in “Blood Brothers”!)

Men would convince women that intercourse was more pleasurable at “that time of the month.” Lesbians would be said to fear blood and therefore life itself – though probably only because they needed a good menstruating man.

Of course, male intellectuals would offer the most moral and logical arguments. How could a woman master any discipline that demanded a sense of time, space, mathematics, or measurement, for instance, without that in-built gift for measuring the cycles of the moon and planets – and thus for measuring anything at all? In the rarefied fields of philosophy and religion, could women compensate for missing the rhythm of the universe? Or for their lack of symbolic death-and-resurrection every month?

Liberal males in every field would try to be kind: the fact that “these people” have no gift for measuring life or connecting to the universe, the liberals would explain, should be punishment enough.

And how would women be trained to react? One can imagine traditional women agreeing to all arguments with a staunch and smiling masochism. (“The ERA would force housewives to wound themselves every month”: Phyllis Schlafly. “Your husband’s blood is as sacred as that of Jesus – and so sexy, too!”: Marabel Morgan.) Reformers and Queen Bees would try to imitate men, and pretend to have a monthly cycle. All feminists would explain endlessly that men, too, needed to be liberated from the false idea of Martian aggressiveness, just as women needed to escape the bonds of menses envy. Radical feminist would add that the oppression of the nonmenstrual was the pattern for all other oppressions (“Vampires were our first freedom fighters!”) Cultural feminists would develop a bloodless imagery in art and literature. Socialist feminists would insist that only under capitalism would men be able to monopolize menstrual blood . . . .

In fact, if men could menstruate, the power justifications could probably go on forever.

If we let them.

Reclaiming Peace

February 17, 2007 at 1:31 pm | Posted in Taking Action, The Vagina Monologues | 2 Comments

6042.jpgI am in awe of women.

I don’t know if I can truly express this awe. I am full of emotion. I have no words. My heart swells.

Last night was night #1 of the 2007 production of The Vagina Monologues.

I have been involved with the V-Day movement for several years now, and yet, each year, I am consistently made aware anew the intense amazing power of women. As our host says, “V-Day is a catalyst. A spirit. An energy”. Stories are overwhelmingly revealed. Stories are shared. Experiences are told. Tears fall. Laughter is heard in the darkness of the theatre, coming full-bellied out of the audience, the women on stage. Secrets, untold and hidden – are revealed and trusted.

The work of women is so often hidden, unspoken. The experiences of women are unspoken. But that is what The Vagina Monologues is about – making the unspoken, the hidden, the shameful, the secret – spoken all again.

Giving a voice to those who have not previously had a voice.

This year V-Day is focusing on Women in Conflict Zones. V-Day is envisioning a new world. We are Reclaiming Peace.

From the V-Day website:

“In 2007 the V-Day Spotlight addresses Women in Conflict Zones because war exponentially increases the crimes of violence against women and girls. In equal measure the strength and resilience of women in rebuilding their communities and leading governments to peaceful solutions needs to be celebrated.

For women, not just during war but for decades to come, armed conflict means escalated military, sexual, and domestic violence, lack of security as a displaced person or refugee, and vulnerability to sex traffickers and coerced prostitution even by the peacekeepers themselves. Given the 21st century’s escalating armed conflicts, impunity for wartime sexual violence cannot be tolerated. As patterns of wartime rape and sexual violence continue today in places such as Sudan, Congo, and Iraq, it is paramount to expose and condemn these crimes through international media coverage and public outcry and efforts in our communities themselves.

V-Day first took aim at wartime sexual violence with the 2002 Spotlight: Afghanistan Is Everywhere, followed by the 2005 Spotlight: Women of Iraq: Under Siege, and the 2006 Spotlight: The Global V-Day Campaign for Justice to ‘Comfort Women.’ Our 2007 Spotlight will continue to ensure that wartime sexual violence remains in the media and public eye.”

Tonight is another amazing, beautiful night. I can’t wait.

To find a V-Day production in your community visit V-Day. Benefit productions of The Vagina Monologues are going on until March 8th.

Weekend upgrading

February 10, 2007 at 6:06 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Exported old posts from old blogger account… now everything that had been in October 2006 is in its rightful spot and includes all the original comments. Feel free to browse and continue the discussion.


13 Reasons to Eliminate Tuition Fees – Thursday Thirteen #4

February 8, 2007 at 1:09 am | Posted in Thursday Thirteen | 10 Comments


This is my Thursday Thirteen in response to the National Day of Action that was held on Wednesday February 7th. Hey hey, ho ho, tuition fees have got go! That’s right, I was a-marching out in full force on Wednesday, joined with students across Canada. Here in St. John’s, we even had the pleasure of Premier Danny Willams presence, who decided to join in and respond to students – citing his “sympathies” and that “he is listening and will be responding” come this next budget. Promising! I’d hope for nothing less in a province that has had a tuition freeze for several years.

Without further adieu, here is my Thursday Thirteen – the first three are my own, but the rest I have to give credit to the Canadian Federation of Students for.

Thirteen Reasons to Eliminate Tuition Fees!!!!

13. Women will end up paying more for their education than men because of student loans, interest, and of coure the wage gap. We take longer to pay it off because of the wage gap – therefore we pay more. How about we just get rid of the middleman and eliminate tuition?

12. Imagine graduating from university with debt of minimum $24,000. That’s the Canadian average. Now lets say – no debt! No tuition!

11. What do we consider our priorities? Lowering taxes… OR – EDUCATION!!!! (Let’s go with Education)

10. Tuition fees are the primary reason students can’t afford university or college.

9. Lower tuition fees = more government funding = higher quality education.

8. We all benefit from an educated society.

7. We can afford it. All that oil money has to be good for something.

6. This province (Newfoundland and Labrador) has one of the highest illiteracy rates in Canada.

5. Free tuition and needs-based grants would eradicate student debt. Imagine graduating debt-free!!

4. No fees mean more people can afford to learn.

3. Since 1990, tuition fees have increased more than three times faster than inflation.

2. It worked for Ireland.

1. Tuition was free when Danny Williams went to university.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

Missprofe, Jessica the Rock Chick, Kelly, Angela Giles Klocke, Jill, Penny, Ann, … (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here! The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Valentine actions and broken hearts

February 3, 2007 at 3:35 pm | Posted in activism, status of women canada | 1 Comment


What are you doing for Valentine’s Day?

Remember making valentines as a kid and passing them around class?

Well, get out the coloured paper and markers, its time to do it again!

The Women Are Angry are making fabulous Valentine’s postcards to send to Stephen Harper. Organize some women, have a postcard signing session instead of your traditional V-Day celebrations this year. You can print them off here.

Or – make your own, as I did here.

Women in public office

February 3, 2007 at 2:34 pm | Posted in women's work | Leave a comment

Fabulous opportunity – pass it on.

$1,000 Scholarship to encourage women to consider public office.

If you are a college/university student in your final year, tell the Federation of Canadian Municipalities by 23 Feb. 2007 how you’ve been involved in campus/ community activities connected to women’s issues.

Forms here.


Full moon blues

February 2, 2007 at 2:56 am | Posted in moi | 3 Comments


This week I am going a bit crazy.

Typically I have always loved my period. I love the womanliness of my body, I love the reminder that I am a woman, I love knowing that I am fertile, human, lovely, bold. I am alive.

The past several months my cycle has changed significantly, with at least one day a month where my uterus throbs as if someone is wringing it out like a damp cloth. I clench, tense, grit my teeth and cry as my uterus contracts and convulses in pain. This is new. Never before have I had such menstrual cycles.

This month, not only has my uterus being convulsing, but it feels as if my head and heart have been as well. Nausea and dizziness surrounded me for several days before my period, and for the first day of. And just two days before my period, my sad temperament mixed with alcohol caused me to verbally attack a dear friend. My own emotions and issues? Quite possibly? Just my menstrual tensions? Maybe. A bit of both? Most certainly.

But the tension for the rest of the week has not left my body yet, and it takes very little to set my emotions running on high, my stomach to churn and my tension and stress to escalate. Whether its thinking about work (which is very little), feeling pressured by co-workers on campus, or missing friendly outings – I am in a scary roar this week and every minute makes me want to cry or rage.

I am glad the weekend is coming. I need a day of rest. I need to lay down and drink wine and sleep and be cozy with blankets. And yet, I’m scared that if I drink again, that if I talk with anyone, I will blow up at them accidently.

Begone pesky period, begone.

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