Eve Ensler: Over It.

A dear friend recently brought this article by Eve Ensler to my attention. I found it really powerful.  She doesn’t leave anything out.  Since we’ve been too distracted with school lately to keep our blog active I thought I would at least share this with you.

Over It

I am over rape.

I am over rape culture, rape mentality, rape pages on Facebook.

I am over the thousands of people who signed those pages with their real names without shame.

I am over people demanding their right to rape pages, and calling it freedom of speech or justifying it as a joke.

I am over people not understanding that rape is not a joke and I am over being told I don’t have a sense of humor, and women don’t have a sense of humor, when most women I know (and I know a lot) are really fucking funny. We just don’t think that uninvited penises up our anus, or our vagina is a laugh riot.

I am over how long it seems to take anyone to ever respond to rape.

I am over Facebook taking weeks to take down rape pages.

I am over the hundreds of thousands of women in Congo still waiting for the rapes to end and the rapists to be held accountable.

I am over the thousands of women in Bosnia, Burma, Pakistan, South Africa, Guatemala, Sierra Leone, Haiti, Afghanistan, Libya, you name a place, still waiting for justice.

I am over rape happening in broad daylight.

I am over the 207 clinics in Ecuador supported by the government that are capturing, raping, and torturing lesbians to make them straight.

I am over one in three women in the U.S military (Happy Veterans Day!) getting raped by their so-called “comrades.”

I am over the forces that deny women who have been raped the right to have an abortion.

I am over the fact that after four women came forward with allegations that Herman Cain groped them and grabbed them and humiliated them, he is still running for the President of the United States.

And I’m over CNBC debate host Maria Bartiromo getting booed when she asked him about it. She was booed, not Herman Cain.

Which reminds me, I am so over the students at Penn State who protested the justice system instead of the alleged rapist pedophile of at least 8 boys, or his boss Joe Paterno, who did nothing to protect those children after knowing what was happening to them.

I am over rape victims becoming re-raped when they go public.

I am over starving Somalian women being raped at the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya, and I am over women getting raped at Occupy Wall Street and being quiet about it because they were protecting a movement which is fighting to end the pillaging and raping of the economy and the earth, as if the rape of their bodies was something separate.

I am over women still being silent about rape, because they are made to believe it’s their fault or they did something to make it happen.

I am over violence against women not being a #1 international priority when one out of three women will be raped or beaten in her lifetime — the destruction and muting and undermining of women is the destruction of life itself.

No women, no future, duh.

I am over this rape culture where the privileged with political and physical and economic might, take what and who they want, when they want it, as much as they want, any time they want it.

I am over the endless resurrection of the careers of rapists and sexual exploiters — film directors, world leaders, corporate executives, movie stars, athletes — while the lives of the women they violated are permanently destroyed, often forcing them to live in social and emotional exile.

I am over the passivity of good men. Where the hell are you?

You live with us, make love with us, father us, befriend us, brother us, get nurtured and mothered and eternally supported by us, so why aren’t you standing with us? Why aren’t you driven to the point of madness and action by the rape and humiliation of us?

I am over years and years of being over rape.

And thinking about rape every day of my life since I was 5-years-old.

And getting sick from rape, and depressed from rape, and enraged by rape.

And reading my insanely crowded inbox of rape horror stories every hour of every single day.

I am over being polite about rape. It’s been too long now, we have been too understanding.

We need to OCCUPYRAPE in every school, park, radio, TV station, household, office, factory, refugee camp, military base, back room, night club, alleyway, courtroom, UN office. We need people to truly try and imagine — once and for all — what it feels like to have your body invaded, your mind splintered, your soul shattered. We need to let our rage and our compassion connect us so we can change the paradigm of global rape.

There are approximately one billion women on the planet who have been violated.


The time is now. Prepare for the escalation.

Today it begins, moving toward February 14, 2013, when one billion women will rise to end rape.

Because we are over it.

(Eve Ensler, Huffington Post, 11/11/11)


TOMORROW September 15th: Memorial for Wendy Babcock

If you’d like to share in remembering the life of Wendy, please be aware that tomorrow there will be a memorial service for her starting at 6 pm in the Allan Gardens at Carleton and Sherbourne.

For more information please visit this website that has been started in her memory.

Talking back to corporate marketing: What brilliant women are doing

One of my favourite feminist activities is to dissect and deconstruct the messages that are directed our way by large corporations who want to sell us not only their products but also their values and ideas on how the world ought to be.  Most of us believe ourselves to be too smart or impermeable to the advertiser’s tactics.  We think that the commercials and the print ads we see on a daily basis don’t linger in our subconscious and subtly influence our thoughts, opinions, and and actions.  I’d like to think it was so easy but sadly I think many of us lack the basic critical skills (or interest) to see the messages that are being imposed on us.

If I had the influence to end our complacence, I would start by asking everyone to watch Jean Kilbourne’s Killing Us Softly films.  She started in 1979 with her original study, then followed with Still Killing Us Softly in 1987, and Killing Us Softly 3 and Killing Us Softly 4 in 2000 and 2010 respectively.  While sticking mostly to print ads in popular magazines, Jean deconstructs the ads to expose the ideals that corporations impose on us, like the perfect woman (thin, silent, and sexual) and acceptable sexuality (heterosexual and racial).  Here’s a glimpse of the most recent version or click below to see the entire 35 minute third version.

While Jean was really the first to present these critiques in an easily digestible way to general audiences, other feminist have since joined in to highlight not just the demeaning and dangerous messages in corporate marketing but also the absurdity.  One of my favourites is Sarah Haskins.  In her segment called Target Women on the Current.  Sarah uses her amazingly dry and puny sense of humour to ridicule the way that corporations use stereotypes to create ideas of femininity and instill a sense of insecurity and incompleteness in female viewers.

Sarah isn’t the only one mocking these silly ads that target women, the corporations themselves have now started to use this tactic to make themselves seem more enlightened than the competition.  Fortunately there are feminists out there who are calling them out on their falseness and their products altogether.  For an example, check this critique out.

Last, but not least, I want to attract your attention to a movement started by two sisters in Utah.  They are challenging everyone to rethink our ideas of beauty and health and the negative role that some corporations play in defining these ideas.  Check out their website, Beauty Redefined, here.

It is so refreshing to see these types of intelligent and no-nonsense responses to the corporate messages that constantly invade our lives and tell us how to be and what to buy.  Because women are the biggest consumer group, and consequently also the main audience for commercials, even the most obscure products are marketed toward women.  Next time you watch TV or flip through a magazine try to shake the passive viewer from inside you and look at the messages with a critical eye.   Ask yourself, who are the ads directed at?  What products are they trying to sell? Most importantly, what messages and ideals are they trying to sell?

In Memory of Wendy Babcock – child prostitute, Osgoode law student, mother, fearless activist (1978-2011)

Photo from Erin Hatfield at insidetoronto.com (Nov 2009)

Last Tuesday the Toronto activist scene tragically lost one of its heroes.  At the age of 32, and after living a lifetime of challenges, Wendy Babcock was found dead in her apartment.  The cause of death has not been released, though police do not suspect foul play.

Wendy overcame many more challenges than most of us are faced with.  She came from an abusive home and was out on the streets by the tender age of 11.  She was introduced to the sex work industry at the age of 15 when her first sexual encounter was exchanged for $75.  At the age of 16 she dropped out of school and became a mother shortly after.  Her son was taken from her by the Children’s Aid in 2003 and in the same year quit sex work when a colleague of hers was murdered on the job.

However, despite all of her trials and disadvantages Wendy pushed on.  She graduated from George Brown and went on to begin a law degree at Osgoode Hall Law School – one of few students accepted without a university education.

Wendy was a fearless defender of sex worker rights and hoped to use her law degree to humanize the child welfare system.  In 2008, she received the Toronto’s first Public Health Champion award.  Her story caught the eye of numerous news outlets in 2009 when she began law school and she was met with an outpouring of support and donations from strangers to sustain her studies.

Wendy’s perseverance and dedication to the protection of the vulnerable is an inspiration to us all.  She will be sadly missed by many.

Xtra! news has published an excellent story, here.  Click here to view a CBC interview with Wendy from 2009 when she first started law school.

The High Cost of Cheap Fashion

I’m sure you’ve all heard the news; Target has come to town.  As one Zellers disappears at a time and some of us lament the loss of another Canadian company and the further Americanization of Canada, others are excited for more options in cheap fashion styles coming to a store near you. Recent news out of Jordan on the treatment of female garment producers however, is another kick in the ass reminder of the high cost of this cheap fashion.

Photo by Flickr user adgray2k, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Jordan has become a magnet for the garment production industry since 2001, when the U.S. ratified a free trade agreement with the country. Classic Fashion is currently the largest garment export factory in Jordan employing some 4,800 people, mostly guest workers from countries such as Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and China.

Last month, the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights released a report alleging that workers producing clothing for Walmart, Target, Macy’s, Kohl’s and Hanes at the Classic Fashion factory in Jordan are being regularly beaten, underpaid, and forced to work overtime without pay and in excess of what is allowed under Jordanian labour laws. At the centre of the abuse and exploitation at Classic Fashion factory is widespread sexual assaults and rape of female workers by male members of management.

The report presents the stories of numerous women who have taken great personal risk to tell their stories of abuse and exploitation. Female workers report that women who become pregnant and women who refuse the sexual advances of Classic‘s managers are forcibly deported. In October of last year, 2,400 Sri Lankan and Indian workers went on strike demanding the removal of the alleged rapist, general manager, Anil Santha.  Classic‘s owner, Sanal Kumar, sent Anil on a recruiting mission to South Asia, only to return him to his management position at the Classic factory one month later, where he has resumed his reign of fear and abuse.

Despite being notified of these abuses by The Institute as early as 2007, the Jordanian Ministry of Labor has taken no action. Neither has the American corporations using these suppliers taken responsibility for or action to end these abuses.

In the past month, leading human rights groups increased the pressure on American brands purchasing from the Classic factory, demanding immediate public action to end the abuses.  A recent Huffington Post article  quotes the author of The Institute’s report, Charles Kernaghan expressing his frustration and disappointment with the response (or lack there of) from the implicated American brands “When we first started with this I thought Walmart and Hanes, they are not into human rights,” he said. “But we thought they would draw the line in the sand at these rapes. Instead, they’ve been virtually silent.” It has been over a month and these companies have yet to declare any public action. Their silence, while production continues as these factories, is deafening.

This is not just a story for U.S. consumers especially as Target moves into the Canadian market, and where Walmart has been a mecca for Canadian budget shoppers for years. On March 24, 2010, the Government of Canada tabled legislation to implement a Free Trade agreement with Jordan. This bill was introduced in the last session of Parliament, though Parliament was dissolved before the bill could be passed when the federal election was called in March. There is every reason to believe, however, that this bill will be quickly re-introduced when parliament sits again this fall. This means we here in Canada will also be welcoming goods produced under conditions of exploitation and abuse.

The exploitation and abuse of workers is a central tenet of the current global capitalist production chain and workers who are even more vulnerable because of factors like their sex or immigration status often experience the worst of this abuse.

As a feminist I often think about and struggle with the question how do we resist (and support the resistance of) gender oppressions that are beyond our own daily experiences.  I recognize that not all readers will identify with my “we” and “us” here. In using these personal pronouns I am acknowledging my own social location and position of privilege as a white, middle-class woman living in Canada and consequently am speaking to others who enjoy positions of privilege in the global production chain and to signify that these are questions with which I personally struggle.  It is a position of extreme privilege that for so many of us understanding and resisting these systems of exploitation and oppression is even a choice; it certainly is not for the women working at the Classic Fashion factory in Jordan.

While the actions below are certainly not an exhaustive or even the most radical ways to support the brave women at the Classic factory it may be a place to start for some.  In addition to refusing to buy goods from the companies who use do business with Classic Fashion factory here are some options for action:


 1 ) Sign onto the petition urging American companies purchasing from Classic Fashion to take immediate action to stop these abuses. 

2) Stay informed: Check out the for Global Labour & Human Rights Institute’s Classic campaign page for more reports, updates and news

3) Call or write the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, John Baird, and urge him to refuse to ratify a free trade agreement with Jordan until there is evidence that human rights and labour rights are being upheld and protected. Make sure you cc’ your MP and the Foreign Affairs critic for the NDP.

John Baird                                                                                                                                                                                                               Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade                                                                                                                                        613-990-7720                                                                                                                                                                                        bairdj@parl.gc.ca

Paul Dewar                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Foreign Affairs Critic, New Democrat Party                                                                                                                                                          613-946-8682                                                                                                                                                                                        dewarp@parl.gc.ca

Thank you Mr President but I’ll pick my own clothes today…

This past weekend, Belgium became the second European nation – after France – to create a law banning the public wearing of face-covering niqabs and burqas by Muslim women.  This law comes with a hefty penalty of 7 days in jail for ‘offenders’ and 138 Euro fine.  While both countries argue that it is unacceptable for a person’s face to be masked in public, the bottom line remains that once again a political war is being waged on the bodies of women.

Regardless of what political sentiment backs these laws – anti-Islamic, secularization, social conformity – the practical outcome is an attempt to control women’s bodies.  These European lawmakers are just as guilty banning the burqa as the Taliban was enforcing it.  Either way, both sides are pulling for the power to decorate the female body and present it as a marker of what is valued by their respective cultures.  Ultimately, it comes down to men (and some women) in positions of power controlling what is or is not put on women’s bodies.

Photo by Flickr user sokabs, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

At the heart of the issue is control of the female body, and, as an extension, the control of women.  Seeing a woman completely covered in an obviously Islamic dress suggests to the outside viewer that she is controlled by the “other”, which means she is not being controlled by “us”, the cult of liberty and freedom.  In the Western world we are uncomfortable with the idea that she is under rule of this foreign power and we want her to be under our rule so that we can force her to be free, equal and exposed.

In France, where the burqa was outlawed earlier this year, the ban is seen to be in keeping with the core french values of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity.  Delacroix’s iconic painting of Liberty Leading the People is a clear example of the way in which woman’s bodies become markers of the values of a society.  Lady Liberty, the personification of the values of the French revolution, leads the troops in her dishevelled dress, exposed breast and bare feet, confidently wielding the French flag.  She is a symbol of the way in which female bodies are decorated to be embodiments of cultural values. Women’s bodies have become the canvas onto which the codes, beliefs, and mores of a culture are painted.  What she exposes, covers up, or embellishes demonstrates what her society sees as beautiful, appropriate, reverent or valuable. Her dress has become a uniform which clearly marks the team to which she belongs.  I question whether these laws are really about liberty and equality or more about reducing numbers of the opposite team.

 There are plenty of other moral and practical issues on the line with this law – the scapegoating of muslim women, limiting the mobility of niqab wearing women, freedom of religious expression – but for me the most problematic issue is the mindset behind the law which suggests a woman’s body is not controlled by her but by the state.  Her body is no longer her own but has become a symbol of the values and beliefs of whatever culture she represents.  What I find difficult to understand is why these European nations are so insistent on exposing the woman behind the veil as they clearly aren’t able to see her as anything but a representation of “otherness’.

It’s a bird… no, it’s a plane… no, wait, it’s a genderless baby?

Last month, a University of York employee, Valerie Bustros,  was challenged by a strange man about her sex when she entered a woman’s washroom on campus.  Valerie confirmed to the self-appointed washroom monitor that she was, in fact, a woman… and a lesbian too, since we’re being so open and all!  When Valerie left the washroom she found the same man waiting but this time with two friends who jumped her and kicked her on the ground.  With her buzz-cut hair, Valerie says that her gender has been questioned many times in the past but this was the first time she had ever experienced violence because of it.  Valerie admitted that “getting jumped for using the bathroom, yeah it sucks, and hopefully one day we won’t have to get jumped for that.”

Skip ahead one month and a different but related story is making headlines in Toronto news.  Over the last couple weeks a huge kerfuffle has been made over a Toronto couple’s decision to keep the sex of their 4-month old baby, Storm, a secret in order to allow the child greater space for exploring and deciding its own gender identity.  The couple claims that “they are releasing Storm from the constraints society imposes on males and females.”

Now, a lot of people have taken this decision very personally.  They have accused the couple of being bad parents, of causing future hardship for the child, of imposing their own politics on their child, and of using little Storm as an experiment.  While many people have showed support for the couple’s decision, the overwhelming response has been really quite vitriolic.

Contrary to the way it has been portrayed in the media, the couple is not actually raising a “genderless” baby.  Their goal is not to create a thing that neither identifies as feminine or masculine.  No no no!  Like any good parent they are trying to shield their child from the negative influences of society.  It just so happens that these parents find negative influences in our society’s common misunderstanding that gender is synonymous with sex.  By not sharing the sex of the child, they are trying to avoid the social influences that tell children that having a penis means you should like the colour blue, dump trucks, and obliterating frogs and mud, and that having a vagina means you should like lace, dolls, and cooking and cleaning.

This philosophy is visible in their two other children who, both (anatomically) boys, have also been given significant freedom to explore their own interests and to develop their own opinions without the dictating boundaries of our socially constructed genders.   For instance, their oldest son loves the colour pink, thinks dresses are cool, and wears his hair in three long braids.  He also believes that girls should do “boy things” and boys should do “girl things”.  Is that reeeeally so unhealthy!?

From travelling to different countries to hatching butterflies in their kitchen, the family does loads of fun and exploratory activities together.  And yet, despite their attempts to encourage the development of socially rounded children they were slammed these last weeks when their decision to keep baby Storm’s jewels a family secret went public.

Do I think that the family will be challenged by this decision down the road?  Of course!  But will it be more difficult than the challenges that transgender, homosexual, and queer people encounter in society today when discovering their full selves?  And why are we placing the blame for  their future challenges (presumably relating to prejudices) on the family and not on society?  In my opinion, this is similar to the victim blaming that we see so often.  Instead of trying to change our own discriminatory ways of thinking we blame others for straying outside of society’s tiny parametres of acceptability.  Instead of welcoming this family’s effort to raise a socially conscious and complete child ‘we’ (those who responded viciously to the story) teach our own children that there is not enough room in society for everyone and that some people should be hated ‘just because’.

One commenter on The Star article hit the nail on the head with a comment that while many of the responses appear to “fear for the well being of Storm. What they really are expressing is their fear of Storm. People are afraid of what is different, and failure to expose the child’s sex is quite different. What if it grows up to be different? God forbid.  Any hurt to Storm isn’t from what the parents are doing, but from the horrid collective negativity that people are expressing.”  Thank you!!

While many people who see their decision as a social experiment, I see it as a step in the right decision.   While some parents find what they’re doing as cruel, I think there are plenty of crueller things that parents do, like smoking, or not making time to play, or choosing to have only one child (OF COURSE I respect peoples’ decisions to only have as many kids as they like but having just one, come on!  That’s just not fair!).

Plus, baby Storm isn’t going to live “genderless” forever.  The child will eventually find its place on the gender spectrum just as everyone else does.  However, with the support and unconditional love that the baby gets from its family s/he may actually grow into a much more complete adult than many of us.  As Ms Magazine blogged this week, “Children in the U.S. enter a world where their existences are immediately understood through a gendered sphere that only becomes more relentlessly reinforced through the early childhood socialization process. What happens when a child demonstrates a transgression from the gender they’re assumed to embody through their biological sex, and what does that transgression mean?”  And how is it received in society?

Given the challenges, discrimination, and often violence that non-cisgendered people, like Valerie Bustros, experience in our society I think we should be congratulating and thanking Storm’s parent’s for breaking some of the barriers that make it so challenging for people to be themselves.

For the background story read:



They’re buff, they’re beautiful, they’re bruised and broke! The American Lingerie Football League moves north

What the what??  That’s right, a new sports franchise is making its way to Toronto this fall and it’s a women’s league, to punt…. I mean, to boot!

Easy now, let’s not get too excited.  Although it would be phenomenal to have a professional women’s sports team in Toronto, I am not quite about to give this team my 100% support.  This new league, the American Lingerie Football League, is far from the ideal female success in the field of professional sports.  Instead, with its contradiction of sexy garters, girlie bows, girl-on-girl action, sexualised hikes, and its cutesy-seductive team names like Baltimore Charm, Cleveland Crush, Los Angeles Temptation, and Chicago Bliss, I struggle to see it as more than a  satisfaction of superficial  (mostly) male fantasies and a mockery and outright devaluation of women in sports.

Occupational hazard or occupational requirement?

It isn’t so much the lingerie-inspired outfits that I take issue with; I am all for women’s right to express their sexuality and autonomy through their dress.  Apart from these tired and contorted plays on femininity what bothers me more is the purpose of the game, the intended audience, and what these male-centred interests may mean to the athletes who participate.  Most of all, what concerns me is the serious lack of basic security awarded to these players, specifically the double-standard in safety and compensation.

If you’ve ever seen one of the many Youtube videos of the game, you’ll note that unlike the daintiness of the uniforms and team names, this game is really actually quite rough; the players are tackling to the  same extreme that they do in the NFL.  They’re even throwing punches.  However, because an excess of equipment would take away from the thrill of ogling female bodies, many components of the traditional footballer’s equipment have been foregone.  For instance, while regular male football leagues require protective padding and gear for collar bones, chests, thighs, shins, and ribs, the LFL provides for little more than some loose shoulder pads, knee pads, a helmet, and tape for joints.  

A simple Google search finds accounts from current players citing multiple injuries, especially of collar bones.  One potential player I interviewed after the Toronto try-outs speculated about the possibilities of extreme rug burn that the artificial turfs might cause when one crashes to the ground in her underwear.

But does that really matter to the coaches and managers when players only compete once a month?

This was the case for a former player for the Seattle Mist, Natasha Lindsey.  She tore her ACL early in the season last year.  Natasha’s surgery costs have exceeded the $10,000 cap the league put on insurance for players and she is left stressed out and seriously bruised.  The league’s founder, Mitchell Mortaza, isn’t at all apologetic.  He claims that the players all know what they are getting into when they sign their contracts.

Photo by former player for the Seattle Mist, Natasha Lindsey. Her injuries were not covered under the leagues minimal insurance policy.

That brings me to my second concern, compensation. Just as the LFL invokes traditional and conflicting stereotypes of feminine ideals, it also reproduces the historic patriarchal devaluation (low pay/no pay) of female labour – another reminder that the devaluation of women’s work is not a thing of the past (I say this acknowledging that when we look at labour through the lens of a highly racialised and highly exploitative global capitalist system there are an abundance of examples of unpaid and indentured female (and male) labour). 

Unlike professional male football players, who earn upwards of $320,000 a year, the female players in the LFL earn only a percentage of ticket sales – and this  rests on the game score.  Some American players  recently took the league to court when they found that their paid was less than California’s $8 per hour minimum wage.  In Canada, as the league gets established, players should only expect to get compensation for travel.

But, that’s “the best part”, right?  Mortaza certainly thinks so.    He claims that by paying only a percentage of the ticket sales and in basing  the amount it on whether a team wins or loses, players will be incited to play harder – a standard that would be completely unacceptable in professional male sports, not to mention the encouragement of female violence.

So let’s get this straight, the women are dressed by men, coached and managed by men, work their asses off for the entertainment of a mostly male audience, and don’t get paid for any of it!?

To me this screams of the use of women’s bodies to satisfy the sexual and violent appetite of a certain group of persons – largely, but not exclusively, masculine.   Audiences can sit back and laugh about women playing “girlie football”, drink beers, and fantasize, while the players – beautiful, fit, and talented women – play a sport the audience loves and in a ruthless way the audience loves.   There is also the added bonus of catching a wardrobe malfunction or two; it’s hard to avoid when you’re tackling and being dragged to the ground in bikinis. 

I’m not suggesting that these women don’t have agency, clearly these athletes are exercising their own will by joining the teams (in fact, many of the players I interviewed saw it as a stepping stone to better careers or they were motivated by the idea of participating in something novel).   However, we can’t fully understand this choice without situating it within the larger patriarchal society where women’s bodies are exploited as objects for the satisfaction sexual desires and where subjugation is often disguised as empowerment.  In the case of the LFL, the safety and fair compensation of the players is quite clearly forfeited in order to fulfill a  superficial macho agenda.

Despite how exciting it would be to see a professional female sports team based in Toronto, this game is sadly not what I hoped for.

And so it begins….

I know, I can just imagine the look on your face.  You’re rolling your eyes, throwing your arms up, and thinking, “Oh sh*t, another feminist blog… how flipping original!   Yet again the wonderous, rolling infiniteness of the world-wide web is just that much smaller and all because of feminist blogs.  Who are these broads, anyway?”

Alright, so first things first, let’s be upfront about who we are and what makes this site different from the rest.

Well, we are, for the most part, from that wide-open space north of the 49th parallel.  Although, that is hardly original since there are lots of great feminist bloggers up here (see blog roll).  I guess another exciting difference is that I get to write here.  I know!!  It just seems like so much more work having to appeal to others to publish your thoughts.  Nah.

Ok seriously now, the real difference with this blog is that our aim is to unite folks who are feminists (or feministy), activists, writers, artists, community members and bloggers.  This blog is a space for us to come together and to share experiences and opinions, while discussing issues that are relevant and current to our lives and our feminisms.

Our vision in creating this blog is to create a space for building dialogues across experiences and recognizing that feminist dialogues and work are happening in all spaces, outside the walls of academia, across generations, race, class, genders, abilities, and ways of knowing.  It is about connecting with each other, learning, growing, and supporting each other as we strive to build healthy and equitable communities.

Please feel welcomed to send us your comments, stories, critiques and rants.  We are looking for your take on local or international politics, sexuality and health, activism, arts and culture, current events, etc.  Or subscribe to the blog and share your perspectives through the comment threads.

Thanks for looking.  We are excited to see where we can take this!