Recently, the Vancouver Police Department partnered with a handful of agencies including Battered Women’s Support Services, Women Against Violence Against Women, and BC Women’s Hospital Sexual Assault Service to launch a new public education campaign called “Don’t Be That Guy.” Basically, over the summer posters reminding guys not to be “that guy” and take advantage of women who have been drinking (and that they need consent to have sex with them) will grace the walls of Vancouver’s public places (primarily clubs and bars). Because it’s important to respond, but we may share different opinions (a la the plurality of feminisms), we thought we’d put forth a joint response from a few different perspectives. A little more blog-style, off the cuff, and less “united” to reflect the “movement.” What do you think about the campaign? Tell us in the comments!
July 14, 2011 • Diandra Jurkic-Walls
July 7, 2011 • Diandra Jurkic-Walls
For the past two months I’ve been pondering if I should respond to the brouhaha that followed my post on here about Feminism for Real and the resulting pieces by Feministe and the rapid fire on a number of other (f)eminist blogs (here, here, here, and here). I’m not feeling defensive and never felt defensive at all: discourse is awesome. I wasn’t even going to say anything until a recent Shameless article triggered me to say, “ARG! Colonialist Language!”
What happened though, post-Feministe post, is that I feel like I have to qualify or defend what I’m going to say on the internet so I don’t look like I’m some pale faced idiot with over powering opinions just sitting in front of my computer blogging about “wimmin’s issues” all day long. Or that just because the a “call out” is on the internet means that there’s nothing beyond the call out and that there’s nothing going on beyond the keyboard, or that I have to have some kind of super feminist ethic and experience to be able to say, “hey you! you’re doing this wrong!” But, I’m not going to qualify what happens beyond my keyboard (because Google can help you figure that out): I’m not perfect. I didn’t come at this knowledge because I learned it in school or because it was handed down to me by some higher feminist power. I’ve learned this because I have screwed up. I’m still in the process of figuring it out (the not being inherently privileged and racist thing) and I’m still trying to figure out how to be Non-Aboriginal in an Aboriginal organization and community.
I’m not 100% positive on how I’m going to adapt and change (or how I need to), but there’s a few things I’ve learned so far and I want to share them with you as tools in your the journey of being a Non- (Dominant person/race/class/etc) in a community/culture/place where you should be challenging your basic assumptions about who you are and how you carry yourself physically, emotionally, behaviourly in that community. They’re not the be-all-and-end-all answers to solving hundreds of years of colonization, genocide, and racism, but are some things I do to challenge myself as a White person/Feminist in my community. (Notice my nice hegemonic list? How do we blog in circles and blobs?)
- Words like Aboriginal, Indigenous, Metis, Inuit, and First Nation(s) are proper nouns and thus capitalized. In your work at school, or in a job you may have, or blogging, or even tweeting use capitalization as a way to show your allying with Indigenous issues and resistance. I often get the opportunity to engage with policy and practice in my community and am capitalizing left right and centre whenever I can.
- Using words like “pioneer” “land of opportunity” “discover” and “native” (as in “Alberta native”) are colonialist. Sure, it’s common to deny your/our place as responsible for the “history of colonization” but by using these terms we’re fully responsible for the NOW of colonization.
- Saying things like “West Coast Time” or “BC time” is really White code for “Indian Time” and it’s racist. Sorries!
- It is my job as a Non-Aboriginal to give other Non-Aboriginals the what for.
- Inviting Aboriginal “representatives” to my “meeting” isn’t inclusion. Me bravely showing up at a public cultural event (that I’ve been invited to, even on Facebook) when I don’t really know anyone is me practicing inclusion, by trying to be included in an Aboriginal space. It’s about living it, not just using it to achieve some goal of being “inclusive”.
- Often I’ve been at meetings and because I work at a Friendship Center (and am White) I’m considered as the “counted Indian” like that organization has achieved some kind of inclusion because “someone” from the Friendship Center came to their meeting. It’s important to constantly remind them that they can’t count me as their “token Indian” and work with them to change their approachability and exclusive practice.
The is not exhaustive and is growing/changing all the time. If you’re on this journey of trying to “get it” share what you are doing / try to do in your community in the comments!
April 29, 2011 • Diandra Jurkic-Walls
Even though one of the identifiers I use for myself is “first-generation” and if I were asked to check an “ethnic-background” or “racial heritage” box on the census I’d choose white, in the land I come from we capitalize Aboriginal and First Nation. And their communities aren’t “Indian reservations” or referred to as “tribes” (unless, of course, that’s how certain communities have stated they want to be identified as by us colonizers): they’re Capital “N” Nations. Unfortunately, the Feminism in the land I come from is also capitalized with a big fat “F”, and that’s a problem.
I know in my heart of hearts that I’m not the only white person dealing with knowing that current discourse around race as it intersects with patriarchal/hegemonic modes of theory and action (such as the above-mentioned Capital F Feminism) is just not happening. But when faced with calling out Feminism on not being able to DEAL with race like so many that have come before, I have felt kind of alone, and if only because most recently I’ve started to get it more and more.
I will always be so humbly honoured to have been part of Feminism FOR REAL and have made a conscious effort not to say very much about my involvement or to go hog wild looking for attention (because me being white means this isn’t JUST about me!). Sure, I got Jian to mention it on Q, but I felt like at that point someone (white) had to say something. You see, Feminism FOR REAL hit bookshelves around the same time that Margaret Wente said we didn’t need Feminism any more and that an adolescent girl was gang raped in Texas. Sure these are big stories, front page of the patriarchal media and referred to by Feminist bloggers almost as often as you’ve heard the words Charlie and Sheen strung together in a sentence since this side of Valentine’s Day.
Despite all the Feminist broohah surrounding International Women’s Day and the incredible launch for Feminism FOR REAL in Toronto, and the incessant tweeting going on, the big Feminist blogs have yet to comment on the text. Feministing. Bitch. Bust. The F Bomb. Feministe. Zip. Nadda. I’m not here to speculate about why they haven’t yet tackled Feminism FOR REAL, just wanted to say that I’m disappointed that there wasn’t any representation or recognition from the presumed-heavyweights on this text. These blogs should have been on it (new, feminist “theory” text in a sea of mainstream texts = GOLDMINE for nerdy Feminists) and maybe could have given FFR some room to exist as a book about Feminism (because that’s what it is) instead of being “just” a book about race and all the otherness in the shadow of Capital “F” Feminism (even though that is also what it’s about).
Feminists and Feminisms have a responsibility to the movement and to our comrades to sit with the discomfort and weaknesses and to storm through the hard stuff to figure it out. By denying contemporary racial hierarchies in Feminism or society “at large”, or even just ignoring the issue at hand by not being invested in it in the first place, Feminism is making a grave mistake. The “movement” will just continue to be represented as a white upper middle class women’s (aka FEMALES-only; exclusive of other identities) movement, when the point where you intersect with however you define Feminism is tenuous, ever-changing, and so rewarding and ridiculously FRUSTRATING all at the same time.
If you have a blog or access to a venue where anyone will listen to you deal with the storming of figuring out your role and my role as continuous colonizers (or your experience being colonized or seeing someone else being colonized), this is your call to arms! Write about the book if you’ve read it, write about the snippets you’ve read,
or just write about what it means to be a feminist (if you identify as one) and what it’s like to be in the shadow of the Feminist monolith and golden rule.
January 4, 2011 • Diandra Jurkic-Walls
Prince George, BC-based derby girl, social justice activist, youth counsellor, and DIY’r Laura Burkholder is putting together her first zine as a challenge to herself (and to get it off her bucket list).
Her zine will be called “Rebel, REBEL: A collective experience” and will focus on rebelling against the dominant paradigms of consumerism and patriarchy. She would like the zine to look at how there are a million different ways, large and small, that we all rebel. She would also like to make space to promote the idea that you don’t need to be completely radical in your lifestyle to be a rebel. Because often in small towns and northern climes doing anything radical or questioning marks you as othered.
That’s where you come in!!! Laura would love it if you would submit a paragraph/essay/poem/photo/doodle/painting that talks about how you are a rebel…. It can be as simple as a series of sentences like “I am part of a group to raise awareness about recycling in my community”, “I use a diva cup”, “I go to my local farmer’s market”,”I attended a gay wedding”, “I compost”, “I knit my own underwear”, “I don’t buy Cosmo Magazines”, “I graffiti trains”, etc.
She would love for you to be as creative as possible at thinking of ways that you challenge patriarchy/consumerism and a way to voice how you do this…. Please contact her (email@example.com) if you need ideas, or clarifications. With your submission please include a few simple details about yourself. She will not be posting people’s names with their submissions in an attempt to promote a collective voice, but would like to include a few details, along the lines of age, gender (or preferred pronoun), location, to promote the idea that you don’t have to be a certain demographic to be a rebel.
Text(s) and images can be e-mailed to this firstname.lastname@example.org, and pictures can be scanned and e-mailed, or mailed to #101, Juniper Street, Prince George BC, V2L 1N5 (she promised to mail you back the originals).
She is looking at trying to pull together all the submissions around February 1 2011, so she can begin to form the zine. Once it has been formed, she will mail you your very own copy! She will also be dispersing it at the 3rd Avenue Collective in Prince George, and other various locations around the city (and hopefully other cities) for public reading.
November 17, 2010 • Diandra Jurkic-Walls
In the spirit of the oncoming holidays and perhaps the need to put together a present for someone that you really like when you have little or almost no cash, I put together this embroidery sampler! You should be able to root around your place for a sewing needle and a not-so-stained tea towel? Now scrounge up a dollar and head to a thrift store where you’ll find some embroidery floss and an embroidery hoop. The hard part is getting the transfer from the paper to your towel (without having to spend a wad of cash on transfer paper). You could use a pencil or a piece of chalk and lightly scribble a transfer layer on the back of the sampler, then place it ever-so-carefully on your tea towel (or whatever you choose to embroider on), using a pencil or renegade chopstick to trace the design.
If you’ve never embroidered before, check out this Embroidery 101 tutorial from Instructables!, And, if by some Christmas Miracle you received some holiday gift money head to Sublime Stitching’s website for some fancy embroidery supplies (or hunt for a local craft shop).
September 9, 2010 • Diandra Jurkic-Walls
Hello Amber of the Fight Boredom Zine Distro is one of my ultimate Zine Heroes. Based out of Montreal, feminist Hello Amber!, runs this small zine distro and puts together the Fight Boredom Zine as well as a perzine, Culture Slut.
Her distro is led by its inspiring Fight Boredom Manifesto:
ONLY BORING PEOPLE GET BORED
Or, The Fight Boredom Manifesto
We will fight boredom with action, ideas and creativity. We will fight boredom with feminism, friend dates and crafternoons. We will fight jealousy and girl-hate and all the -isms and phobias in our communities. We will fight boredom by encouraging one another and maintaining positive friendships. We will fight the winter blues with long conversations, hot drinks and new adventures. We will have picnics in the springtime. We will fight boredom with bike rides, cupcakes, and trips to the library. We will write letters and we will not be afraid to cart our typewriters long distances. We will be critical of the mainstream. We will not be afraid to look ridiculous. When our acquaintances complain of boredom, we will do our best to help them fight it (or perhaps get drunk and remind them that only boring people get bored). We will fight boredom with our own zines and manifestos - WRITE YOUR OWN!
Fight Boredom is currently building their distro up and is seeking zines for submission! Whether you’re a seasoned zine maker or even just thinking of making your first, Fight Boredom might just be the place for you! Acceptable material includes queer zines, feminist zines, tales of small towns, adventures, gardening, community-building, activism, cuntlove and tattoos. She’s also accepting zines in both English and French! If you’d like more information on how to submit a zine to this Distro check out Fight Boredom’s Myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/fight_boredom
If you’ve never made a zine and are interested in putting one together there’s some online resources here:
How to Make a Zine from Zine Book
The Zine Library to upload your zine or print other people’s zines for distribution
How to Make a Zine from Instructables
The GRRRL Zine network has lots of great information on Feminsty resources as well as how to make a zine!
August 11, 2010 • Diandra Jurkic-Walls
Are you a leader in your school? Or have you taken your leadership skills back to your school or other community schools? Jennifer Martin works at a public alternative school in Michigan and is conducting research on feminism and leadership in public schools and needs your help!
What’s even cooler is that she’s set up the research on her blog: http://womenasleadersineducation2010.blogspot.com/
To submit your feedback and contribute to her project and thus forwarding the field of feminist public education just check out her message below. She’s even throwing in an iPod as a prize to one lucky winning contributor!
I am conducting a qualitative study on women leaders in education for the purpose of gaining insight into women’s unique experiences as educators (in K-12 and higher education). I am looking for women who work as leaders in education—either in higher education or in PK-12 education (and adult education). “Leaders in education” can mean formal leadership: administrators, deans, principals, department heads, or informal leaders (those who work within their systems for social change, for example).
I have created a web blog where participants can respond to a variety of questions. Participants will also be able to engage with one another in an online dialogue about a variety of issues women in education face.
I ask that participants create an account in Google blogger using information that will protect their anonymity (for instance, do not use your name as your username). Participants may respond to any or all of the questions listed. I have created separate posts for each individual question (which are listed below). You can respond to questions by clicking on their links either on the blog home page, or on the menu on the right. Participants are not required to answer all questions, and can return to the site, answer additional questions, and repost. Participants can choose whether or not to interact with others in online dialogues.
After making your decision to participate, please email me at email@example.com. I will then email you a consent form for you to sign which will indicate your agreement to participate in this study. After signing, please scan the document, or create a PDF, and email it back to me at the same email address. If you do not have access to these technologies, you may mail the consent form to me. Postage will be provided. I will provide you with the information for mailing upon your email contact.
As an incentive to gain participants in this study, I will conduct a drawing for an 8 GB iPod Nano based upon posted responses. Drawing will be done on December 31, 2010.
August 11, 2010 • Diandra Jurkic-Walls
Check out this call for submissions for a book the wonderful Jessica Yee is putting together! If you’ve ever gone to “university” or “post-secondary education” or didn’t go but had your own brush with it and have something to say check this out! The deadline is September 10th, 2010 so time is short. But, in my experience passionate tales of feministy academy often ramble off our tongues.
Call for submissions for book: Deconstructing the academic industrial complex of feminism - Feminist education now: youth, activism, and intersectionality (working title – tentatively to be changed) edited by Jessica Yee
To be published by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives – Winter 2011
Why the new title? Because I was getting A LOT of “I just want my name to be published” submissions that weren’t really dealing with the question of where is feminist education today? So I decided to be more in your face and say that this is about “deconstructing the academic industrial complex of feminism” meaning this is about where feminism exists OUTSIDE the university/school walls - or why so much of the so-called “recognizable” feminism is just within academia.
Where is feminist education today? This is a question many people are asking, and I’d like to answer them in a book I’m putting together. Where do young people get to learn about feminism? And what the heck does feminism even mean to young people today? (and I’m talking about young, young people, not you 3rd year women’s studies person who might roll your eyes at my next set of questions. Maybe think of yourself before you got into women’s studies. Or if you ARE/WERE in women’s studies and think it’s kinda messed up, I’d like to hear about that too.) How come as a “theory” we don’t really hear about it unless we get to go to post-secondary type schooling, but in practice lots of us have been feminists of sorts throughout our entire lives. Why does it still look like a white-woman’s thing? Or not entirely sex-positive? What do young men have to say about it? Has there really been any intergenerational information sharing between those who might have “paved the way” and those who are thinking about identifying as feminists now?
With the working title of “Feminist education now: youth, activism, and intersectionality” I’d like to talk about all these issues and everything in between. Don’t like the word feminism? Please be my guest and talk about that – or if it helps to use words like “womanist” or “humanist” instead, or working for women’s rights, women’s empowerment, girls stuff, etc. then go that direction. I’m really interested in talking about the intersectionality of feminist education and breaking down the barriers of what constitutes “education”, where that might be, and according to whom. Education does not have to solely be within a school or school-type setting – if it happened on the street, in your kitchen, if it’s not happening at all, if you want it to happen some particular place – I want to hear about it.
What do I mean by feminism? No I don’t mean that it’s just about women, I mean all identities/definitions/euphemisms/pseudonyms than the English language of the colonizer can do justice to. Expand your mind.
What do I mean by intersectionality? Think of a street intersection and put yourself in the middle. There are lots of things that intersect the way people identify – for example I identify as a woman, as Indigenous, as bisexual, as multiracial and all of those things and way more come into play when I think about the way I want to learn things, i.e. feminist education. For me, I don’t exist as just one thing or another. In this book - I’d like to know about how feminism intersects (or doesn’t intersect) who you are.
Why is the word activism in the title? Because I think a lot of us are activists and even feminists and do education about the things we believe in without necessarily being sign-waving, chanting, picket-lining groups en-masse. I’ve often said some of the best activists I know are the ones who do it at home, wherever “home” might be – since that can sometimes be the hardest place to be passionate and true to the things you are fighting for.
What are we looking for in this book? Written, artistic, and otherwise creative submissions between 700 to 3000 words length if it’s an article. You are also very welcome to submit a photograph, an art piece, a poem, spoken word, etc. as well.
Can only “youth” submit something? Yes and no – preference will be given to young people under the age of 30 to be published in this book, however if you are over the age of 30 and would really like to say something – please submit and we’ll try and find a place for it, especially if you talk about young people in your piece.
Why would I want to write/create something for this book? Some folks like to have their name and stuff published, others just want their voices and ideas out there. You decide!
When do we want submissions by? Submission deadline is Friday September 10 2010.
What if I don’t really understand what you are asking for or want help putting something together? Please feel free to get in touch with me and let’s chat! E-mail me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
All written, artistic, and creative submissions should be e-mailed with a Word doc. attachment and a 3 line author bio to Jessica Yee at email@example.com no later than Friday September 10th 2010. If you would like to mail yours to a physical address instead, please let me know.
May 13, 2010 • Diandra Jurkic-Walls
In just under 2 weeks I’m going to be having a baby. I’ve resisted blogging about it here because while having children, child rearing, parenting, birthing, and all the facets tied up with it (consumption, children-in-the-world, industrial capitalism, gender dynamics, etc) are Feminist issues, I’m still on the fence as to where I stand regarding my feminist experience and the whole “having a baby”-thing: I just haven’t felt I have anything really coherent or “new” to add to the literature.
But, my opinions and responses to my experience slowly trickle in and form, often in response to people’s reactions/comments or responses to parenthood/motherhood/birthing in the media and government policy.
There’s a big “to-do” going on out here in BC about ultrasounds and the recent addition of policy that will require a $50 fee from expectant parents to find out the sex of their fetus. Basically, in BC it was hit or miss if you could find out from an ultra-sound technician what your fetus’s sex is. We wanted to find out the sex of our fetus primarily to have an answer when we were/are consistently inundated with the question, “what are you having?” (sarcastic answer, “a baby?”). And then feeling pressured to say which way you’d prefer (“I don’t really care as long as their not a facist”). And then having to endure people’s gendered biases like, “Girls are so much harder than boys”. But, at both of our ultrasounds the technician (same technician both times) wouldn’t tell us (“we’re not allowed to tell”) and made us avert our eyes of the screen. Neither of these things disappointed me or frustrated me, as the medical system + pregnancy is all new to me, so hey, whatever, it’s got 4 limbs, a beating heart, and kidneys! Success!
January 10, 2010 • Diandra Jurkic-Walls
Recently my partner and I relocated to Vancouver Island from the wintery north to take a new-ish life: long growing seasons for gardening, future island hopping, and new jobs! Little did I know that by relocating from an amazing job where I felt I was actually making a difference in my community to a smaller island community meant that jobs are actually few and far between. In desperation to ensure I could pay my bills I’ve taken a job working in a call centre for an American cell phone company.
While I do refer to this time in my life as “just another chapter in a forthcoming memoir” or “all great Canadian authors have worked a rather strange job once upon a time!” I still can’t get over the fact I’m not allowed to have food at my desk: except for hard candy. Then along came this tutorial! I have purchased pouches for dry snacks at craft fairs and have a pile of pouches I made before the holidays and use them often to house York Bites, Yoghurt Raisins, and Nibs (or even almonds if I didn’t work in a nut-free environment). This Candy Bag Tutorial by “So You Think You’re Crafty” is great and easy to follow (so many pictures, step by step instructions). It includes how-tos for both fabric lined pouches (for pre-wrapped candies) and vinyl-lined pouches for every other candy or dry snack you’d want to put in there. The fabric lined ones can usually be thrown in the washer and the vinyl just wiped out with a damp cloth.
So if you do find yourself “working for the man” and really want to get your hands on some wildberry twizzlers at your desk, or even while studying Death of a Salesman in High School English, these pouches can hide your goodies and reduce plastic consumption!
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