It seems low on the priority list these days… In January I moved home to save money and also to support my siblings and take responsibility for household maintenance while my mom takes care of, and advocates for, my father who has now been in the hospital for 8 months now. I feel quite disorientated sometimes. There are the day-to-day tasks of cooking supper and cleaning. My Dad’s situation is still quite serious and his periods of relative physical stability seem few and far between the many crises. I try to get in to see him as regularly as I can, but I have accepted that now that I have moved home I am supporting my family in another way. Before moving home I used to go into the hospital for at least an hour every day; now it is about once or twice a week that I go in to see my Dad otherwise I find I stretch myself too thin. Staying at home with my siblings means that mom can be at the hospital all day and all evening after supper. Continue reading →
Manhattanhenge – sometimes referred to as the Manhattan Solstice – is a semiannual occurrence in which the setting sun aligns with the east–west streets of the main street grid in the borough of Manhattan in New York City. The term is derived from Stonehenge, at which the sun aligns with the stones on the solstices. – wikipedia
Last year I wrote about Stonehenge and Newgrange. This year I thought I would highlight the modern equivalent – ‘Manhattanhenge’.
I don’t have much energy or inspiration to write much tonight. Last year I promised myself that I would work on building my own traditions for the winter solstice. Perhaps next year I will plan more of a ritual or celebration. Continue reading →
This afternoon I watched The Way, about a man who unexpectedly decides to walk the Camino de Santiago in Spain, a 800 km pilgrimage also known as The Way of Saint James.
I have heard about it more and more over the last few years. I have had several Facebook friends make the pilgrimage recently and I perused their photos from the journey… I am intrigued. Once primarily a pilgrimage for Catholics, now a wide variety of people walk the trail for a diversity of reasons. I’m sure - as with the many middle-aged women who flooded into Bali after Eat, Pray, Love became a huge bestselling book and popular movie – the Camino will attract even more visitors due to the release of this mainstream film. That sort of detracts from my desire to walk it myself… but only a little. It’s still on the bucket list. Continue reading →
It has been a while, no? It has been a busy-fun summer. Iceland was fantastic, so was trip #2 through Montreal down to Toronto. Amazing really. Now the fun is over for a while. Back to my job and thesis-writing. Head down. Concentrate. Be productive. yes. yes.
Currently I am watching the rain come down in buckets while I contemplate that I am in fact, mortal. Meaning, “subject to death; having a transitory life”.
Someone recently posted on facebook: “how weird will it be to have teenage children who can see hundreds of photos of you online, going back to your own teenage years?”
Indeed. That is a weird thought. I joined facebook at the end of 2006. I was 20 years old. Now I am 25. Will facebook still be popular when (if) I have children? Maybe not… technology is quickly replaced (ex. google+). However, facebook definitely has affected the way I experience life and time.
Usually maybe a few times a year I might have pulled out old photo albums to revisit the past. Now with facebook documenting every moment of my life and the lives of my friends, I feel like I am always looking at photo albums, continually watching the present becoming the past. In a few seconds I can go back 5 years and find pics of my friends just fresh out of their teens. Now their accounts hold wedding albums and albums documenting their growing pregnant bellies.
I like the video below. Kind of depressing, but nicely crafted and produced. It illustrates what I am talking about.
Disclaimer: In general, this article will be about the victim-blaming and slut-shaming of those who identify as female and where potential perpetrators are male. I write from my perspective being female and also with the awareness of the following statistics: “Eighty-four per cent of people over the age of 15 who are sexually assaulted are women, according to the 2009 status of women report. More than 90 per cent of those accused are men” (source). However, I am aware that people are raped and sexually assaulted regardless of their gender or sexual orientation and I do not intend to undermine the experiences of those who may not relate to those statistics.
This is Part II to an earlier post on Victim-Blaming & Slut-Shaming where I introduced the SlutWalk marches and controversy that surrounds them as the marches transform into a global movement. I also provided a few examples of how our society sends the message to women that they are responsible for not getting raped. Society consequently holds women accountable if they are raped and sexually assaulted.
At the time I somewhat arbitrarily titled the previous post: ‘Victim-Blaming & Slut-Shaming’. While it is true the two often intersect (as in the case of the police officer’s infamous comment), they are also two distinct social phenomena. Since writing the previous post it has occurred to me that one of the reasons the movement is so controversial and so many people have mixed and conflicted feelings about it, is precisely because the movement is trying to simultaneously protest both victim-blaming and slut-shaming.
Here is a video clip of the original SlutWalk which occurred in Toronto on April 3rd, 2011:
On January 24th, 2011 at York University in Toronto, a police officer at a campus safety information session advised female students to avoid dressing like sluts to reduce their chance of getting raped or victimized. This comment was identified as being victim-blaming; placing the responsibility on a ‘potential victim’ to not get raped. Outraged, students demanded a formal apology from the Toronto Police Service and organized the Toronto Slut Walk on April 3rd 2011, in protest to the Officer’s comment. Soon there were satellite slutwalks spreading all over the globe.
The movement of protest has spread like wildfire, but not without a great deal of controversy. Search ‘slutwalks’ in google and you will discover a multitude of perspectives on the movement and the global marches. I have been following the slutwalk discussion and dialogue for the past month or so. This week in particular the marches have garnered huge media attention and the debates have become more heated. The original SlutWalk Toronto organizing team of 7, admited on their facebook page: “Wow. This week has been intense.”
The slutwalks have received a great deal of criticism and they have further ignited the ongoing civil war amongst feminists, but it cannot be denied that this movement is resonating with women all over the country. It is quite astounding how quickly this movement has spread and grown. After having had some time to read the articles and think through it, I wanted to summarize many of the points that have been raised and make my own contribution to the discussion. Before diving in to the slutwalk debates, I will present a few very different (yet similar) examples of victim-blaming and slut-shaming. Continue reading →
I have 2 posts I am currently working on. One on slut-shaming and the Toronto Slut Walk, and another one on race and racism. But I still have more thinking and discussing to do!
In the meantime here is a great humorous comeback in response to Canada’s politicians courting the ‘ethnic vote’ for the upcoming May 2nd election…
This is one of the many amazing videos circulating the internet encouraging people to resist the ploys and tactics of Canadian politicians, and get out to exercise their right to vote! I’m not sure if the video was directly in response to the controversy over the Conservatives’ request for people to dress up in ’ethnic costumes’, but certainly it makes for a punchy comeback to the following insult: Continue reading →
March flew by. It was a busy month full of interviewing, for my thesis and also for a professor who has hired me to do interviews for their research project. It has been so interesting to meet so many different people and hear their stories.
The project for which I am hired as an RA, is looking at the experiences of racialized minority groups (defined as ‘not white’ amidst a white majority) in the city. This includes immigrants as well as indigenous racialized minority groups. I am struggling with some of the questions I have to ask and I have recently realized that my awkwardness about certain questions that reference ‘race’ is related to my own socialization as a white Canadian.
I am supposed to ask participants how they would define or describe their race, and their culture. They are very different concepts. Race refers to common physical attributes shared by a group of people (this can include skin color, hair texture, and facial features). Culture refers to the beliefs, values, and behaviours of a group of people. Culture offers people a worldview and a way of living. People can be discriminated on the basis of both race and culture. I have found that interview participants have an easier time describing their culture, than describing their race.
I have been getting an increasing number of hits to my blog page that explains a ‘perigee-syzygy’. I credit this to the upcoming lunar perigee on March 19th. When the moon reaches perigee it is at the point in its 27-day elliptical orbit where it closest to the Earth’s centre, as I explain here. The distance at perigee is not consistent – it fluctuates slightly each month. When the moon reaches perigee on March 19th 2011, it will be closer to Earth than it has been in the last 18 years (356,577 kilometres from Earth). This phenomena has been called a ‘Super Moon’ (coined by US astrologist Richard Nolle in 1979).
There are many mixed opinions about the effects of the moon’s gravitational pull on the Earth. It is well established that the moon’s orbit impacts that rise and fall of the ocean’s tides, but beyond this correlation, are there any other effects? In light of the recent earthquakes in Christchurch, New Zealand (February 21st, 2011), and this morning in Japan with an accompanying tsunami (March 11th, 2011), it is easy to fear the effects of a Super Moon as we draw closer to March 19th. Continue reading →