We remember the Montreal Massacre‏

On December 6, 1989, an armed gunman named Marc Lepine entered an engineering classroom at Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal, Quebec.  He demanded all 48 men in the class leave the room, lined up all 9 women against a wall, and, shouting “You are all a bunch of [expletive] feminists!”, proceeded to shoot them.  He went into the hall and shot 18 more people, mostly at random. He finally shot himself.
He had killed 14 women all together, and injured 9 more women and 4 men.

The women who died could have been anyone.  They could have been your friends, your mothers, your sisters, your lovers, your daughters, your neighbors, your students, your teachers, maybe even you.

They were killed because they were women.

Remember those who died in the Montreal Massacre:

Genevieve Bergeron, 21, was a 2nd year scholarship student in civil engineering.
Helene Colgan, 23, was in her final year of mechanical engineering and planned to take her master’s degree.
Nathalie Croteau, 23, was in her final year of mechanical engineering.
Barbara Daigneault, 22, was in her final year of mechanical engineering and held a teaching assistantship.
Anne-Marie Edward, 21, was a first year student in chemical engineering.
Maud Haviernick, 29, was a 2nd year student in engineering materials, and a graduate in environmental design.
Barbara Maria Klucznik, 31, was a 2nd year engineering student specializing in engineering materials.
Maryse Laganiere, 25, worked in the budget department of the Polytechnique.
Maryse Leclair, 23, was a 4th year student in engineering materials.
Anne-Marie Lemay, 27, was a 4th year student in mechanical engineering.
Sonia Pelletier, 28, was to graduate the next day in mechanical engineering. She was awarded a degree posthumously.
Michele Richard, 21, was a 2nd year student in engineering materials.
Annie St-Arneault, 23, was a mechanical engineering student.
Annie Turcotte, 21, was a first year student in engineering materials.

Please honour the white ribbon as a symbol of the fight against violence against women.

Molly Weasley is a feminist

Molly WeasleyMolly Weasley is in fact a feminist. Some people think that she isn’t a feminist because she’s so grounded in domesticity, but her motherhood does not negate her feminism.

Some people have argued that the final fight scene between Molly Weasley and Bellatrix Lestrange is a symbolic fight between motherhood/domesticity and feminism. They say that motherhood is chocked full of characteristics that feminists despise. They say that J.K. Rowling wrote from a Christian perspective to show the value of true womanhood or some other bull like that.

It’s not true, because feminists don’t hate motherhood. Feminism is about equality between the sexes. Giving women every opportunity that a man has, and every advantage, and every right to do so. A woman should be able to do whatever she wants with her life, and should be able to accomplish that goal if she works hard and is good at that particular thing. She shouldn’t be held back just because she has ovaries. This encompasses everything from a Fortune 500 CEO to a stay at home mom. To each her own.

Not my daughter, you bitch!

Not my daughter, you bitch!

The very idea that feminists could somehow despise motherhood is beyond. That’s just blatant anti-feminist propaganda  Feminists clearly want us all to stop be loving, nurturing, and warm. Of course those evil feminists want all women to be barren so they don’t have to be afflicted with the sexist burden of children.
Molly Weasley Chuck NorrisIt’s true that Molly doesn’t fit the traditional feminist roll; nonetheless, Molly Weasley is a feminist. She’s strong, independent, nurturing, determined, intelligent, strong-willed, loyal, loving, egalitarian, the head of her household–a house filled with mostly boys, and she can fight. She is a fierce warrior who is deadly with a wand. Molly Weasley is not the embodiment of family fighting against the embodiment of something else. She’s a feminist fighting for family.

Bellatrix Lestrange a Feminist!

Yes, that psychopath we all love to hate, Bellatrix Lestrange, sister to Narcissa, murderer of a one notorious mass-murderer Sirius Black, slayer of Dobby, lover of Voldy, escapee of Azkaban, collector of figurine elephants and people’s souls, is a strong woman figure.

Bellatrix Lestrange Wanted Poster

You can’t deny it. Yes, she’s evil. Yes, she’s wicked. And bat-shit crazy. But damn, she’s fabulous.

Bellatrix LestrangeShe’s determined.

She’s capable of tremendous loyalty.

She’s clever. Resourceful.
Strong-willed.

She’s prepared to die for what she believes in.

She’s powerful and influential in a male-dominated society, the Death Eaters.

She pushes back against society. Sure, that society is Hogwarts and the good people, and the changes she wants is purebloods over equality, so there’s that. So not so feminist or egalitarian there. But still.

I found a couple people online disputing this. These people shall remain nameless, but here are my responses:

 s—o says: she also had to fight in a sparkly dress and heels and curled hair, because women can’t wear normal fighting clothes.

Bitch, please. She is fabulous. She is fighting people left and right and looking fantastic while doing it. That has nothing to do with feminism. She doesn’t have to walk around in sweats and a baseball cap.

t—k says: she depnded on a man to rescue her from Azkaban. if she was so strong she would have escaped herself.

It’s Azkaban! What do you expect?? She can’t just be like “Okay guys, it’s been fun, but I think I’m gonna leave now! Kthxbye.” Bellatrix did not depend on a man to rescue her. She had no intention of being rescued.

y—t says: why did a woman kill her? a man can’t kill her because that would be to rude. a woman should only be killed by another woman. thats anti feminist!

*headdesk* Yeah, it’s totally rude. Before a man kills a woman, he has to lay his coat down on the ground for her to collapse upon.
Molly was protecting her daughter. I’m sorry Molly doesn’t have testicles or something.

All of you.. just… all of you…

This is my exasperation towards all of you.

This is my exasperation towards you.

The Wrath of Salad

The other day I was eating in an eatery here on campus, and the table next to me had two guys sitting at it. Big guys. Strong guys. One’s shirt didn’t have sleeves. Why is this important? I’m just trying to paint you a picture here, people.

(Gah! I just missed a fantastic picture opportunity. The guy looked like this:

hot guy

…. You know, only with most of a shirt on.)

Anyways, the guy’s shirt is not what made them stand out. It was that both of these guys were munching on huge platefuls of… salad.

Yes, salads. and as they ate their salads they dug around in the lettuce with their forks, playing with their food, hunched over slightly (as guys are wont to do when they eat). Why did this catch my attention?

know why it caught my attention. It was society’s gender stereotypes that had leaked down into my brain. I could feel the hegemonic masculinity oozing out of my ears.

Girls eat salads.

Girls watch what they eat.

Girls care about their health.

And guys eat burgers and steaks and fries and grease.

And I am so disappointed in myself for having these inclinations. Because of course salads aren’t just for girls. That’s stupid. Kudos for those guys for trying to get more vitamins in their diet. (Although, you really should chose the spinach over the iceberg lettuce. Iceberg is really just water and chlorophyll.)

Those tiny leafs and bits of chopped carrot don’t negate your masculinity. It’s not like Kriptonite to Superman.

Or suntan lotion to these guys

Meanwhile in New Jersey

.

Or denture cream to the world. (That stuff is gross. Just have your not-good-enough son-in-law pre-chew all your food for you. That’s what they’re good for.)

… What? No, ignore that last thing. I don’t know what I was thinking. Point is, eat your salads. Just look at how happy this guy is!

YUM!

YUM!

Mmmm…. salad.

Ever After, Feminism, & my Three Hands

Ever After

Ever After: A Cinderella Story. This might in fact be my favorite Cinderella story, because she doesn’t use magic to win the Prince’s heart, but art; and she rescues herself. I’m telling you, this is a feminist movie.
Ever After Drew BarrymoreNow, what I really want to talk about is the end. Her stepmother trades her to this creepy dude to pay their taxes, and this is where I get conflicted. On the one hand, I love that Danielle fights her way free of the creepy old bastard. She’s a strong-willed woman and she refuses to be subservient, even for a second. She is a human being, not a teapot to be traded and bartered with. I love that she rescues herself and breaks herself free. Throughout the movie, Danielle is constantly pushing back against the barriers society creates against her.

On the other hand, maybe this is just me, but I was disappointed in the end when she didn’t beat the guy up. I wanted her to kick some

serious ass, and she seemed to just throw a few things and went on her merry way. She just sort of walked out of his castle…….. Alright,Ever After fight 1 I just rewatched the end of that movie and I was wrong! That gross sonnuvabitch was all smelling her hair and saying he was going to break her like a horse when she spun around and owned his ass! But I remember why I felt disappointed. Because it didn’t show her actually gaining her freedom. I can totally see another showdown going down as she unlocks her chains, and maybe Monsieur lunges in a final desperate act to reclaim his manhood and keep this wild woman, and Danielle whips around and punches him in the face! That’s what I wanted. But it just shows her walking out of the castle like It’s no big deal. He won’t call the cops on me, even though I just slashed his face.

And on my third hand, even being a feminist, even as I bounce in my seat as I watch Danielle take back her own life, I am still somehow disappointed in the Prince. I feel like he somehow lost something when he failed to rescue her from Monsieur. Yes, he had every intention to; Yes, he just got there a few minutes too late; but I feel like he needed to redeem himself in some way. He did betray her, after all. Maybe it’s just the childhood of Disney movies like Sleeping Beauty and the Little Mermaid worming themselves into my idea of masculinity, or maybe it’s not, but I just feel like … why didn’t you do anything? Danielle is inside, being verbally, emotionally, and almost physically abused and molested, where were you? You were standing outside the castle.

Good for you.

Way to go.

One more Chandler Bing style: Could you BE any more useless?Ever After stepmother punishment

But maybe that’s just me. The Prince did in fact make her queen and threw her evil stepsister and mom into perpetual misery after that,
so maybe that’s enough.

Hermione is a Feminist

I remember watching an interview of an actress from the Hunger Games (I don’t know which one) and something she said really stood out to me. She said there aren’t a lot of strong female characters out there, which is why Katniss and the Hunger Games was really cool.


Hermione

I beg to differ.

Let me count the strong female characters in Harry Potter: all of them! Hermione, Luna, McGonagall, Ginny, Molly Weasley, Tonks, Bellatrix, Narcissa, Trelawney, Pomona Sprout, Madam Pomfrey, Lily Potter, Cho Chang, Alice Longbottom, Katie Bell, Fleur Delacour…. on and on and on!

Hermione stands out the most to me, however. She is the most feminist, the strongest, and the coolest. Here’s why:

1. Brightest witch of her age. She makes it cool to be a bookworm. “Honestly, don’t you two read?” Without her, Harry would have Hermione 1never been able to defeat Voldemort the first time, or the second time, or the third… or fourth… or known who Nicolas Flamel was, or known the Basilisk was using the pipes, or been able to save Buckbeak… Okay, basically Harry (and the world) was damn lucky to have Hermione there to know what’s what.

2. Hermione is courageous. (She is in Gryfindor, after all.) Even when she was in her first year of Hogwarts and labelled as a know-it-all, she refused to dumb herself down to be accepted by others. She fears little else but failure. Oh yeah, and she stood up to the greatest, evilist wizard ever. So there’s that.

Hermione Granger 23. Hermione withstood Bellatrix’s torture. It would have been so much easier to give up while trapped in the Malfoy’s mansion filled with deatheaters, being tortured by the infamous Bellatrix LaStrange then to resist, but Hermione resisted.

4. Hermione’s a badass! She snuck into the restricted section of the library. She trapped the annoying Rita Skeeter in a jar when she
finds her eavesdropping, and then blackmails her. She lead Dolores Umbridge into a trap in the Forbidden Forest! She gets this reputation for being prim and proper, but just look how wrong that is.
hermione 25. She doesn’t have the double-ended sword. Usually women who are highly logical/rebellious/aggressive are stripped of their femininity or emotions. Hermione doesn’t have this problem. She was written to eschew stereotypes. She gets to have her cake and eat it too!

6. When the trio are out hunting for horcruxes and Ron leaves, Hermione doesn’t have a break down. Sure, Hermione grangershe’s devastated; but she pulls herself together. She stays to help Harry, and she keeps searching for horcruxes (unlike some female characters… *Cough* Bella *cough*)

hermione granger 17. She’s a true feminist! Hermione is constantly pushing back against the rules, calling for equality. It’s her idea to start Dumbledore’s
Army, which was very against the rules. In GoF, she yells at her best friend after he defends house elves’ enslavement; then she goes one step further–creating a student organization dedicated to the freedom and fair pay of house elves.

7 Easy Steps to End Gender Wage Gap

The Gender Wage Gap exists. Truly, it does. And you can’t just write it off (like Romney tried to) by saying women make different choices–they stay home with the kids and lose a few years of experience, or they drop out of school to start a family, or they take part time work so they can be home when school lets out. Economists have controlled for everything there is to control for–sex, age, education, majors, hours worked, full time or part time, experience, race–and women still come up about 77 cents to the dollar. (In Utah its 55 cents to the dollar. [But you know, all those wive’s incomes for one family really add up in Utah.]) So to fix this, here are 7 easy-peasy steps to end the wage gap and increase equality in the workforce.

1. End Salary Secrecy

Ever have a job where the boss tells you not to talk about your salary to other workers? Yeah, that’s because he doesn’t want you to find out that he’s paying you less than the dude next to you. If people can’t discuss what they’re paid, how will they ever know if they’re being cheated? It’s the perfect plan.

2. Raise Minimum Wage

2/3 of all people making minimum wage are female. [See Step 5]

3. Fix the Broken Career Pipeline

Get rid of the glass ceilings (women not being promoted), the glass elevators (men rocketing up the career pipeline when in a female-dominated occupation (teachers, nurses, caretakers, etc.), the sticky floors (keeping women on lower levels of jobs. Like the glass ceiling), and the glass cliff (if women do break through the glass ceiling and get promoted, that position is precarious. Such as the first pregnant women CEO–Marissa Mayer of Yahoo. Yahoo is failing, which is why she was promoted there).

4. Pass Family Leave Policies

Paid leave for things like maternity leave/paternity leave/family emergency leave

5. Increase Child Care Support

How can mothers both be in charge of the children and work all day long? It’s impossible! If only there was some sort of place that would care for other people’s kids during the day. You might even call it… Daycare! Problem is the average fee for full-time childcare for an infant exceeds 10,000 dollars a year in 16 states. The minimum wage right now of 7.25 an hour, for 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year with no vacation equals 15,080 dollars a year. Do we see the problem in math here?  [See Step 2]

6. Encourage Unionization

Jobs that are unionized offer better pay, better benefits, generally more family leave policies, have more flexibility in schedules, paths to negotiate, etc. The United States today is becoming increasingly de-unionized.

7. End occupational segregation

Still today, in 2012, there is occupational segregation. Women are still teachers, nurses, caretakers, while men are doctors, lawyers, CEO’s, politicians, etc.

There you have it. 7 simple-as-pie steps to end the wage gap between men and women and increase equality and fairness for all in the 21st century. Let’s get cracking.

Pregnant Women’s Rights Taken? Feticide or Not?

A woman from Illinois, Bei Bei Shuai, left a note saying she was going to kill herself before taking a dose of rat poison. She’d just learned her boyfriend was married and leaving her–back to his wife and two kids. Bei Bei was pregnant at the time with his child.

The rat poison wasn’t enough to kill her. Later that day she drove to the hospital and was given an antidote. A week later, however, she had to have an emergency C-section. The doctors discovered her baby’s brain was bleeding, and it died a few days later.

A few weeks later, Bei Bei was formally charged with feticide (the act of killing a fetus). The question here is: if an expectant mother survives a suicide attempt but the baby doesn’t, is that murder?

The people who think no say the baby was born alive, Bei Bei had no intention of killing her baby, and suicide isn’t even illegal in Indiana.

The people who think yes say that in her suicide note, she clearly stated that she was going to kill her baby, along with herself, and that’s the smoking gun.

However, feticide laws were created to protect pregnant mothers against crime, not hold punishment against mothers themselves. Examples of this include a “chemical endangerment” law in Alabama, where over 60 mothers have been arrested for doing drugs while pregnant. And in Iowa, a woman was charged with attempted feticide because she fell down the stairs. (The initial police reports say she did it intentionally, which the woman denies.) Women’s advocates say there is an increasing trend of punishing expectant mothers for their behavior, and Bei Bei is the latest example.

Pregnant women are ending up victims of a law meant to protect them. Convicting Bei Bei (she awaits trial later this year) will set a dangerous precedent against pregnant women. Many worry that if a ruling like Bei Bei’s is upheld, pregnant women (fearful of being punished) will be more reluctant to seek help. Unless an expectant mother is perfect, it could make her a target.

The message to women is clear: you are criminally liable to the state for your conduct during pregnancy, even if you are mentally ill, emotionally disturbed, or in the extreme psychological state in which people try to kill themselves after a terrible life-destroying blow. (Suicide by pregnant women is not rare: it’s in fact the fifth leading cause of death for them.)

During initial court proceedings, it looks that there is an overly reasonable amount of doubt as to whether the rat poison actually killed the baby. It could have been a drug known to cause brain bleeding given to Bei Bei at the hospital. It could have been something in the blood transfusion that affected the baby. The pathologist who performed the autopsy claimed there was no scientific evidence to support it was the rat poison, and she didn’t bother to check for other causes of death. But regardless of what actually did kill the child, the principle at stake here is how we treat expectant mothers.

For now, Bei Bei must wait for the courts to decide if she’s a murderer or the victim of depression paying the price for a desperate act.

Mike and Ike…. are gay?


Mike and Ikes. Wonderful candy. Wonderful people, too. I remember when I first met Mike. I thought he was a little weird at first. You know, twitchy. He used to always have one earbud in when he spoke to you, like he superglued it there or something. Well, actually one time it was superglued. Ike pranked him. It was great. The earbud was stuck for a week. He couldn’t take showers, so then one time when he was…. Well, he made me promise never to tell that story. Alright, you talked me into it. One time when Mike was taking a bath, Ike unlocked the bathroom door, ran in, and squirted red dye into the water. Mike didn’t see or hear it coming. He was listening to the music through the attached earbud. I swear to you, for the next three days from the chest down, Mike looked like an oompa loompa. What was even more funny was he was singing to the song he was listening to, and I’m pretty sure it was Beyonce. But don’t tell him I told you.

Ike on the other hand, man is he a pistol. He’s like a chipmunk on coffee. He’s like a ferret on speed! The boy never sits down. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him sit down and eat a meal. And he’s always scribbling on things. On napkins, on the tablecloth, on his jeans, on his bedsheets in the middle of the night, on the freaking walls! The whole outside of his house is covered in graffiti. His graffiti. Ike loves to keep colored sharpies in his pockets at all times in case he gets that itching to tag my curtains with another one of his designs. (I don’t mind really, they actually look better that way. I just would have appreciated it if he asked beforehand. Or had done it while I was home.)

When I heard about them breaking up though, I… I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t understand. They seemed perfect for each other, you know? They were meant to be together. Like Simon and Garfunkel, or Jack Skellington and Sally, or Garfield and lasagna! Mike would mellow Ike out so he could actually be functional in society, and Ike made Mike laugh, and smile, and gave him something to watch over. I’m still in shock over it. I didn’t see it coming.

One of my friends said that they wouldn’t get back together until Marriage Equality is federally recognized, but I’m not so sure if that’s true.

But for whatever reason, I just hope that someday, soon hopefully, they can sit down and talk, and really listen to each other, and work out the issues. I’m not going to say if I’m on Team Mike or Team Ike, because they shouldn’t be separated. They can’t be! I know everything will work out right. They just need a little perspective, you’ll see. Before you know it, we’ll be strolling down the riverbank arm-in-arm like old times. I just…. I just have to st-stay positive about these things.

Actually, I’m pretty sure it’s not about gay marriage. It’s just a marketing ploy that will end sometime next year when they break up “forever” or are happily reunited (whatever that means). It’s a cute idea, but I was not at all intrigued until I heard the marriage equality thing, and then i was really intrigued… and then was really disappointed.

What do Lady Gaga and the Hunger Games have in Common?

What do Lady Gaga and the Hunger Games star Jennifer Lawrence have in common? Good question. They’ve both been in the news, not for what they do, but for how much they weigh. Oh unknowable universe, what will you come up with next?Lady Gaga gains weight

In case you haven’t heard, and this news made headlines by the way, Lady Gaga has gained weight. Yes, that news made headlines.
She’s gained about thirty pounds, and she has no intention of losing the weight. [Fuck yeah.] She’s going to dress the same and do all the crazy weird meat-related things she’s always done, but just going to do it with a different figure. And, depressingly unsurprising, she has been criticized for gaining a few extra pounds, but in the way of Lady Gaga, she doesn’t give a shit. Her words: “I don’t feel bad about it.”

And she shouldn’t.

In case you didn’t know, Lady Gaga was once a child. A very voluptuous Italian child. She used to make herself throw up because she thought she was ugly because she wasn’t breath-thin. Now, I think she intentionally gained weight (at least in part. I read in an interview that she talked to her
 image consultant or some other big wig about discussing her look change) to give girls a role model to look up to that wasn’t as thin as the legs of a giraffe [not that Lady Gaga is necessarily the best role model for young girls, but inevitably she is so let’s look on the bright side]. Which is awesome. How many stars out there diet and exercise and diet and exercise to look thin and beautiful? A whole damn lot. Thank god someone is taking a stand. It’s a damn brave thing to do, because people are going to be spitting fire. Actually, they are already.

On a similar note, Jennifer Lawrence is refusing to diet for her roll of Katniss. Some critics have said that she should be a lot skinnier if she’s supposed to be a starving girl. This follows that standard in Hollywood that people need to suffer and change their appearance for a roll. Like Natalie Portman, who was praised for dropping 20 or so pounds for her movie The Black Swan; or Danny Devito who gained 60 lbs for a roll. Or Rene Zellweger who had to gain weight for Bridget Jones Diary, and then had to loose it for other roles.

Lawrence said that she was very aware of how she looked for Katniss, and she was focusing on being fit and healthy rather than skinny Jennifer Lawrenceand malnourished. I’ve been on a few online forums looking at this stuff, and what I keep running into is that people think she’s crazy beautiful, which she is. But I kept finding comments somewhere along the lines of “She’s really hot, so it’s okay she’s not super skinny” over and over again, and it pissed me off. There are a whole lot of assumptions to be made based on that one comment. It’s okay not to be skinny if you’re beautiful; or she’s beautiful despite the fact she’s not underweight; or maybe if she hadn’t been crazy beautiful, their comment would change to Yeah, she should have been skinnier if she was a starving girl.

(By the way, Katniss was not a starving girl, despite living in a starving town. In the books, Katniss was a serious hunter. Her family ate better than most of the families in District 7 because she was always bringing home food for them. She wasn’t starving, she shouldn’t be thin, people don’t know what they’re talking about. How in the world could she have won The Hunger Games if she was thin, frail, and weak?)

But both these stories about Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lawrence… are they really news worthy? Apparently so, because they are. Because people search these kind of things out and read about it. Why does this matter so much? I think it’s sad that there are news articles about these women’s weight. Choosing not to diet is newsworthy. Gaining a little weight makes headlines. Is this or is this not kind of fucked up? I’m not talking about journalists and news sites doing a really bang up job of bringing the public important news; it’s this standard of beauty, this pressure on women, to be beautiful and thin in the media. I always hear about the pressure the media puts on women… it’s right here! We’re still doing it.

We hear about Lady Gaga gaining weight, and not about some one like let’s say Adele, because Lady Gaga is a sex symbol, and her gaining this weight is contrary to the popular public belief of what beauty and sex is.

We hear about Jennifer refusing to diet because she’s a famous woman and famous women have a long line of history of being thin and
gorgeous; of being anorexic and bulimic; of popping pills and getting plastic surgery done to be plump and symmetrical; of being the most beautiful people on earth. And hearing a celebrity is on a diet is not something that the public shakes their head at and says “She’s already beautiful. She should just love herself for who she is.” No, we instead go “Yeah, good for her, losing some weight,” or “What diet did she use? I want to try it too.”

These famous people, the people flooding the media, are invariably and unfortunately the people that we as a whole try to model ourselves against (probably more so children and teens than anyone else). The more people we have coming out and not only saying love yourself for who you are, but actually doing that, the better off we’ll be I think. That message will start to seep into the younger generations. They’ll take it seriously because a celebrity said it instead of their moms.

Hm, I wonder if I’ve gotten a smidgen off point here? Oh well. Let’s bring it back. Anyone who thinks it is their business to tell these women how they should and should not look can go fuck themselves. There, that seemed to wrap it up nicely.