Protest self serving so called feminists and end cultural appropriation NOW!

“My feminism will be intersectional or it is bullshit.” One of my favorite quotes from feminist blogger Flavia Dzodan in Tiger Beatdown. Her words were on many signs as well as the stolen beautiful feminist words from other people of color. The people carrying them do not even know her fucking name. Come on girls, we are better than this!

This brought me back to last year when I asked a girl about her sign at the Women’s March on DC. I was carrying the same sign, she got the idea from Pinterest. “I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept!” She had no idea that her sign was actually a quote from Angela Davis, who was a feminist leader in the black panther movement, and that she was speaking THAT DAY at the historic march.

This one line from Flavia’s essay has been taken like many other appropriated work and put on t-shits and all kinds of marketing materials. She has not profited from them one bit. This is why we must listen to her!

People of color, especially women and transgender people have their work and words stolen all the time. That’s why they have been erased from history. That shit needs to stop! Fuck racism and capitalism. I am so over people stealing and appropriating everything. Just be original! Its easier to lift up others and celebrate their accomplishments than to demean them by ripping them off.

Let’s keep each other in check! Call girls out who are misguided. I wanted to grab a mic or a megaphone and turn this whole thing into a protest against shitty whitewashed feminism. We need to celebrate diversity and stop thinking about only the things that affect people of our skin tone and socioeconomic status.

I am a white woman and white feminism has historically pissed me off. Even from the time of the early suffragettes there has been a major disconnect. They sold black women down the river instead of fighting for equal rights for all humans. We need to fight for all humans, the rights of animals, and the earth!

If you don’t care about all of it you don’t care about any of it. Being an activist that doesn’t stand up for people who don’t look exactly like them is wrong and not activism, it is self serving. You can’t only fight for things that directly affect your life. There are so many more people who need your efforts! We need to hold each other up or we will crumble together in the rubble of this shithole time in history.

I march with my sisters not just my cisters, I march because I have feet and a voice, it felt like less this year. Sure, I was in Buffalo NY and not Washinton DC, but the entire vibe was less electric.

Trump has been in office for an entire calendar year and only bad has come of it. Same pink pussy hats, same fight. Again I noticed a large amount of white women carrying signs and taking selfies.

What exactly are we doing? I love bringing strong people out into the streets in masses. They need to have a message and know that the cops are not their friends. I see the police standing around the perimeters with their hands on their guns/dicks. Like this is a threat?

Grandmas and kids in pink knitted hats. I think it is important to have events like this that are accessible and low risk for all people, including children, the elderly, and differently abled folks.

One of my friends hurt her leg and she still made it! She was pushed in a wheelchair by comrades while carrying a red and black flag. It was a sight of pure loveliness. I am always the one who will drive all over town to pick up my friends for marches and protests.

Some things were incredible, but others were the same. I was again disappointed but not surprised by the mans-plaining and amount of cis gendered men that took the microphone in general. Just give us the women and trans humans!

Let us hear the voice of those fighting with us! Let our peers speak! It is the mother fucking women’s march and there is a man telling us to speak into the microphone. Shut up and let our voices be heard!

The day was sunny, cold, but nice. Thousands of women and those in solidarity took back the streets on a Sunday.

This year I did not even bring a sign. I marched for the first time with a partner, I held her hand as we navigated the crowd. It felt powerful to be holding my head high with someone I care about.

I saw a sign that said “If Hilary won we would be at brunch right now!” That made me sad, we need to march no matter who wins.

Hilary would have obviously been better than T-bag cheeto douche but she was not the answer. I don’t know who is the answer.

Maybe it’s Oprah, but probably not. It is some little kid who knows no evil. The hope of the world lies in our children.

The most magical moment of the day was when I saw a very little girl go up to her mom and say “I want to take this sign to show and tell.” It’s beautiful to think that activism has been activated in this child already. Hopefully she will look around at all the strong women and feel empowered to rise up. Good parenting right there.

I asked my mom to come and she said no, she wanted to watch football. I was disappointed. I would love to march with my mother by my side. I am so proud to be her daughter and wish she would feel the need to speak up.

I was upset when she felt like it didn’t matter. She burned her bra in the 70’s and now she won’t even take a walk on a Sunday.

Activists need to remain in practice always. We can’t give up the fight! We must stay active and be present forever.

It feels so good to be with a ton of powerful people, make plans, corroborate, say it out loud that we need to do this more often. Sure, you can wear the pink pussy hat again, but remember it’s not armor. We need to band together every damn day! It can’t be once a year.

Of course I think there are more direct ways to enact positive change then march. Peaceful protests in the way of work strikes, freeing animals from cages, being vegan, feeding people with food that would have been waste, shutting down streets with comrades, using eco glitter to glitter bomb terrible politicians, and participating in sit ins are all way more active ways to speak your mind and get shit done.

We all need to write blogs, write to the editor of your paper, make a zine, do anything to say how you feel and use your voice and talents for good! Please be original and real. You can and will change the world!

Think about others, spread kindness, be pissed off and lift up those that the rest of the world steps on. Be like the little girl who took her sign to show and tell, but this time you should show up and YELL!

The rocks are being turned over and the scum doesn’t know where to scatter. Its beautiful to see these predators exposed. The problem is that there are so many. It feels like a constant struggle to unearth them all.

Original Post that Sparked the Flame

Yesterday I was scanning the book of face and came across a post from my beautiful bestie that put a dude on blast for blatantly saying that women DESERVE to be disrespected! What the actual fuck?

She did a screenshot of his comments on a post saying that a woman needs to be loved and respected and then shared them with her friends and tagged the guy. There are over 300 comments and counting.

We went at him in real time for almost an hour, his feeble attempts to justify his actions were shut down with wisdom and swift justice. So many men were calling him an asshole and women tore him a new one.

He said that it was a joke but then continued on trolling all women and talking down to us. He dug his grave by enacting a fury of feminist rage. Good luck with that hell mouth buckoo! One of my woke male friends said that he is scared to talk to most women because he knows that men suck and its hard to prove you aren’t like them.

This scumfuck said that a “real” lady likes being disrespected from time to time, my bestie responded simply with “EW!” and he escalated it quickly.

Scumfuck: “I mean shit, now a days you show a woman some gentlemanlike class and respect they think you want their pussy. Only way to assure them that you don’t is to show a little disrespect. Like listen bitch, not every dude wants your stank ass pussy. Lol. Sometimes disrespect is needed to put bitches in their place. And thats not me being any kinda way other than real.”

Bestie: “And what place exactly of you think bitches need to be put in? Please tell me oh wise man.”

Scumfuck: “When y’all act up because you don’t get your way, you need to be talked to in a certain way that makes you lose that dumb attitude. Like the one you have now”

Bestie: “OHHHHH! right cause its 2017 and women are supposed to be subservient and inferior to men. Me and my dumb little lady brain are so forgetful sometimes.” *twists hair around middle finger*

Scumfuck: “You don’t think that sometimes there are shitty women? Women try to belittle and control men with psychology and this whole post is the perfect example. So its okay for women to treat men like shit and talk shit but when a guy does it, its wrong. Double standards are great and all but grow up. I’d also like to add, ladies, the women who go on power trips and think they’re better than men because they think men are stupid and only think with their cocks, are the women I despise and have strong a dislike for. And sadly this seem to be a large portion of women. Not all men think with their cocks and alot of us have have hearts that are reserved only for the right people.You girls obviously didn’t have a good father figure in your life and feel the need to take your anger out on men you don’t know. Im sorry you went through whatever you went through, but take a chill pill. Not every guy is bad. And my opinions of putting people in place with words when they step put of line is more than okay in america.”

Bestie: “Bigots are the ones who need to be put in their place. Maybe seeing what everyone else thinks of your sexist rhetoric would help you rethink how much of a garbage human you are? And haaaaaaaaa bring my dad into this. He’s a mother fucking hero. I don’t hate men. I just want to see them do better. And you could do MUCH better.”

(Ed’s Note: While we strive for correct grammar on this site, we have decided not to copy-edit Scumfuck’s comments in order to preserve authenticity)

Meme ℅ Grovey Cleves

Daddy issues? Really bro? He just freaked out when called out. He has a girlfriend. I wish I could send her this convo, I’m sure he untagged himself to hide. He also said that we both probably steal and also place false accusations on men.

And why we so upset? WE ARE ALL UPSET WITH YOU and that smug little attitude, and yeah she is right to put your ass on blast!

We live in a world where we have to look out for each other because so much bullshit – like the comments you made- is out there. So many men think its ok to just “DISRESPECT” women by raping, murdering, mutilating, and ya know just normal stuff like that.

Try living life in fear. Try being a woman. You don’t have what it takes dude. He also said “Womens rights? Why is that even a thing? You have the same rights as a man in america. Lol.”

Mistreatment of women (or any human) and sexual assault is nothing to laugh at. This is not a joke! See how well its going for Louis CK, Kevin Spacey, Bill Cosby, and all the others. Real funny.

Guys like this are the festering puss in the pimple that is the Donald Trump era, and ladies/ woke gentleman/ humans we need to POP THIS BITCH! Let the white nasty goo ooze out so we can put some antibiotic ointment on it and start the healing process. Toxic masculinity is a rampant disease

Gender is just a social construct, sex is a sliding spectrum, and forget about all of the archaic archetypal attitudes that have been destroying people since people existed. Asshole is not a gender identity.

Not every person who identifies as a man is an asshole, just the evil ones. I never ever claimed to “HATE ALL MEN” this is not the S.C.U.M. Manifesto (Society for Cutting Up Men by Valerie Solanas). Believe me, I love all humans, I am pansexual and yes, I love men.

My dad is a prime example of how a man should be. He treats my mother with love and respect and takes care of his family. I do NOT have “daddy issues”. My only issue is that I have not met any men who are as awesome as my dad.

It’s like saying every asshole dude who thinks with his cock has mommy issues. His mom probably dislikes him as much as we do. Perhaps she has no idea and her pedestal really is encouraging him, but he made his choices.

I am definitely not saying that all “women”or female identifying humans are perfect either. My friend who is a stripper said that the people who often disrespect her the most are women. They think that they can get away with doing things that men are not allowed to do.

Sex workers get all of my respect. As women we need to be supporting each other and lifting each other up, not tearing down our sisters and degrading them in order to impress the guys or fulfill your own twisted ego.

I have several people in my life who have survived abuse and now want to call out their abusers. I want to create a dating profile that is completely honest. It will not be slander because the jerk will know it’s all true. It will be anonymous, the EX or person who was abused by them can submit the photos and answer all of the questions truthfully. We can call it OkStupid.

Hobbies: Punching women and destroying their self esteem and sense of worth, video games, , and watching anal gang bang porn.

What do you do on a Fri night?: Emotional abuse and torture with a side of forced sex on the rocks. Netflix and chilling with sexist comedians and my dog Bruiser, drinking brews.

Ideal date?: 100% American woman, big tits, big ass, no brains, no voice, subservient, great at blow jobs, no self worth, great cook, into being a side piece, jail bait preferred.

Career: Well since I got fired from 711 for doing whip its and expelled from community college I guess it’s sleeping in my mom’s basement and eating meatloaf while jerking my lil ween off obsessively until it blisters.

Favorite Song: Smack My Bitch Up

What do you do when knowing that someone raped your friend but she doesn’t want to come forward, she is too scared, blames herself, it’s her fault that she was drunk… well she didn’t take her own pants off and stick his cock inside her unwilling vagina. She didn’t put those bruises all over her body. She didn’t say YES! But she wanted it? She was too drunk/drugged to function and she WANTED IT?

The most important thing is to report rape right away, get the rape kit before you take a shower, physical evidence is important. Plan B can be administered as well as emotional support from a professional counselor. I would be scared too, embarrassed that I was the girl who was drugged and gang raped behind a dumpster.

Rapists hurt more than just the physical body. Survivors are violated, that scene in a movie where a woman is rocking back and forth in the shower is not shocking. Rape culture is normalized. Abusers are heroes and presidents!

Glorifying abuse on women, trans, and non-bianry humans is a terrifying truth. It is out in the open. Women get stoned to death for being promiscuous and men can just do what they please.

Attackers get violent when confronted with what they have done. Pity nobody has their backs, not even other men. Survivors are gaining power and rising up.

The #MeToo campaign is an incredible shift of power. Use your voice! Rose McGowan and Ellen Page are two of my role models for tearing up the patriarchy they have survived in for so long. They used their fame and following to rip the head off the beast.

Hollywood needed to be exposed and torn to shreds, young actresses (and actors) have always been victimized. Give some head to get ahead, right?

I want to set fire to all the rape vans and free all the people from the cages of oppression that bind them. All us stinky pussy hoes have a problem with you existing in your current state, fragile man children. There is nothing sexy about disrespect. Mothers, sisters, brothers, fathers, lovers, and friends all need to be aware if someone in their life is an abuser.

Together we are the voice for the voiceless. The silenced millions who thought they were in it alone need to know that there is a network of strength behind them, a net of loving arms. Others will have your back. We are a tight knit web of female rage. War paint on. This will not be pretty…

Four years after the Parti Québecois’ colossal defeat over their quietly racist but aggressively secular Charter of Values, and less than a year after a man entered a mosque in Ste Foy, Quebec and opened fire, the government we elected to spite them is bringing up a debate no one wanted to hear. Last week, the Quebec Liberals under Premier Philippe Couillard passed Bill 62, “An Act to foster adherence to State religious neutrality” and, in particular, to provide a framework for requests for accommodations or religious grounds in certain bodies.

It should be said right off the bat that this law is clearly a political ploy. The Couillard government is up for re-election in 2018. With scandal after scandal rocking his administration, he’s clearly given up on his base and is trying to attract the most secularist racist members of Quebec society who would otherwise vote for the Parti Quebecois.

It is also clear that it is meant to discriminate against non-Christians in Quebec. The law acknowledges Quebec’s history, but the decision to leave the cross up in the National Assembly means that their version of history leaves out the Jews, Muslims, and other groups that have made the province what it is today.

With all the talk about how this law will hurt people, we need to look at what it actually says.

The law applies to all employees of government departments, members of the Quebec public service, city employees with the exception of those governed by the Cree and Naskapi, public transit authorities, school boards, universities, and vocational colleges, peace officers, doctors, midwives, dentists, and anyone else appointed by the government. The employees of childcare centers and government-subsidized daycare centers are also subject to the new rules. Anyone seeking services from these bodies is also subject to the new law.

That means that contrary to the belief that the law will only affect public transport employees and people who work in government offices, teachers at all levels as well as doctors, dentists, and midwives will be subject to this law, as well as anyone who benefits from their help i.e. students, people who ride the bus or metro, and even people in need of medical care.

The law’s mantra is one of State religious neutrality, as the words “religious neutrality” are repeated constantly throughout its text. It requires that all employees subject to this law keep their faces uncovered in the execution of their duties. It also requires that anyone seeking services from employees bound by this law have their faces uncovered in order to receive them.

As only some Muslim women are required by their faith to keep their faces covered in public, the law is clearly written to prejudice them. However, as the law is pretty unclear. People with colds or flus who generously choose to cover their faces in public in order to avoid spreading illness could also find themselves denied services. The government is scheduled to put out a regulation clarifying certain aspects of the law in the near future.

Bill 62 does have some exceptions written into it. People who provide spiritual care and guidance in universities, vocational schools, and correctional facilities are exempt. Health professionals will not be barred from refusing to provide certain medical services that conflict with their spiritual beliefs. For everyone else, there is a process by which you can apply for accommodation on religious grounds, but it is a limited and complicated one.

Applications for accommodations must be based on the right to freedom from discrimination provision in the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. Requests for accommodation will be handled primarily by the justice minister, who has to decide the request on the following grounds:

  • “The request is serious”
  • The accommodation requested is consistent with notions of gender equality, specifically that between women and men
  • The request is “consistent with the principle of State religious neutrality”
  • The accommodation is “reasonable and does not place undue hardship” on the state and the person seeking it has already tried to find another solution

Where the law would force someone to be absent from work, additional criteria must be taken into account:

  • The frequency and duration of the absences on religious grounds
  • The size of the body the person works for and the “interchangeability” of its workforce – in other words, if the person can easily be replaced, they will likely not be accommodated
  • The consequences of the person’s absences
  • The possibility of a modified work schedule or use of bankable hours and vacation days
  • Fairness regarding other personnel in said government body

More rules apply where the law affects school attendance. The criteria in this case include how a refusal to accommodate will affect compulsory school attendance, the schools’ basic mission to impart knowledge “in keeping with the principle of equal opportunity” and the ability of the school to provide the educational services required by law.

The arguments in favor of Bill 62 are twofold.

Couillard has publicly said that he should be able to see a person’s face when dealing with them, a remark that is not only culturally insensitive, but also rules out any exchanges done by phone or email.

The other argument is one of benevolent sexism masquerading as feminism, specifically that the law will somehow save women from oppressive religious practices. This presumes that women who wear a niqab are doing so because someone coerced them to, or they simply don’t know better. It’s an argument that infantilizes the women by making the presumption that they are not mature enough to make their own decisions about how to publicly express their faith.

This law does not save anyone. It robs them of their sense of agency. If a woman can only leave her house with her face covered and she is welcome at government funded institutions as such, she may feel comfortable going to a public library and grabbing a book on feminism. She may also be comfortable going to a sports center to take a self-defense class.

The law clearly violates the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms rules against religious discrimination and the freedom of religion and equality rights of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The moment this law comes into effect there is sure to be a constitutional challenge to it.

Let’s take comfort in that.

* Featured illustration by Samantha Gold

In the week since t-bag took over a lot has already changed. The pipeline will chug on, a wall will be constructed, funding for the arts is gone, legal safe abortion is threatened, media block on the EPA to hide climate change, it’s acceptable and legal to discriminate against gays, people in important positions are jumping ship and everyone that trump puts in is more evil than the last.

He is plotting evil as you read this. More and more rights are going to be stripped from us. We must stand up to this. Scientists put the clock one minute closer to impending doom.

Washington DC had a very dystopian feel, it was so foggy that you could not see the penis tip of the Washington Monument. Inauguration Day meant broken glass on the streets of DC. Starbucks, bank, and McDonalds windows smashed like the patriarchy itself. A limo burned.

Protesters were greeted with a wallowing pink smoke, tear gas, mace burned, and ears rang from flash cannons. It was a strange feeling.

Impending doom and the need for empowerment. We all must organize and resist.

The time is right now to make a difference and show the world that this asshole does not represent the silent majority. Riot gear is more than a pink knitted pussy cat hat.

I hope the women in pink hats taking selfies saw this and were changed. Step one is getting off of the internet and out into the streets. Then real change must happen.

People of privilege need to get called out and then call out others like them. I am an a white woman and I carried a vagina sign, I am now ashamed of that, not because I have a vagina, but because not ALL women have them.

I was not marching for white vaginas, I was marching for ALL women. Intersectional feminism requires us to stand up in solidarity for all. When we are inclusive but still blind it actually adds to the problem. Showing up but not listening. Trans women, Non binary humans, Black women, Muslim women, Immigrant women, Disabled women, Single Mothers, Mother Earth, Rape Victims, Sex Workers, and everyone who needs love all deserve to feel safe. All of these humans need to be protected from the evil afoot.

I was upset with all of the Angela Davis quote signs out there and these girls didn’t even know that she was speaking right over to the left of them. She was just a sign that was on the internet.

Too busy taking selfies to actually hear the words written on your sign, too busy celebrating yourself to give a hand to those who need lifting up, and too white washed to see the problem.

It is a privilege to even go to Washington DC and march. Many women cannot just take off of work and go. I was sad that I didn’t get there a day earlier for the big gay rave in front of Daddy Pence’s house.

I will be there in June when the gays march. Rainbows will take over! Can’t stop, won’t stop.

I was disgusted to hear that a group of women that are water protectors on the front line of the Dakota Access Pipeline were treated like pieces of selfie meat. People took photos of them but did not listen about their struggle or even take a pamphlet.

The struggle is real, it is not a hashtag. People are being brutalized and mother earth is being raped for money and power. DO NOT OBJECTIFY THEM for Facebook likes!

The first woman I met was 62, from California. She said to my friends and I that she was here for us and our future. She had been fighting her entire life and would die trying to make this world better.

She inspired me, in her 60s she started climbing mountains because why not? She was sick of society telling her not to do things and told us to always do what we dream and take action.

Life goes by fast, we only have a short time to make things better for the next generation. She was brave and beautiful.

On the flip side an older woman came up to me and told me I was a distraction and that I should be ashamed of myself because I was topless. I told her I respected her as a woman but did not agree.

I am empowered and I wish to inspire others to be the same. There needed to be more breasts out at the woman’s march. This should be a safe place to feel confident about yourself and not hide behind what society wants from you.

Well behaved women seldom make history is a sign I saw and something I agree with wholeheartedly. I will not put my breasts away for you Missy.

The whole event kind of felt like Facebook in real life, censorship and all. I even saw straight up memes printed out on signs. You take the meme from the internet then but it on a sign and take a picture of it, just to post it back on the internet, like a TV within a TV. You cannot carry a sign without carrying the burden of hate.

Signs are all well and good but don’t really mean shit. You need direct actions behind those words.

I was also pretty turned off by the fact that people weren’t even paying attention to both sides of their signs. One protester carried a sign that said FEDEX on the back, both sides are advertising bro, always think of both sides of every sign or argument.

There were llamas there marching too, which is wrong! The poor creatures were scared. Do not abuse an animal for your agenda! This is a protest, think!

I was also turned off by the fact that there were a zillion pussy signs and no toilet paper to be had, so everyone is there with a dirty pussy. The revolution needs more toilet paper and access to tampons etc. I want to be a vag warrior and hand out tp and tampons to all women. Also I will include a zine about inclusion and loving and supporting our transgender sisters.

During the Women’s March two trump (he does not get the capitol T) supporters walked by. One of the men dropped a button with trump’s face on it, then continued walking on.

My friend pulled the button in with her foot and started to stomp it. Within a second it seemed that one of the men came back. He literally pushed my friend to the ground to get her off of the button. I instantly ran to her side and into his face. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? You have the audacity to push down a woman at a fucking women’s march?

All of my aggression and screaming did not turn a single head, no woman came to help. The only person who did approach me was an older woman who just kept saying ‘love trumps hate’.

In retrospect I should have fucking nailed him. Getting arrested wearing nothing but rainbow and wielding a rubber fist would have made me a hero. I know that fighting hate with more hate is not the answer, but when he was walking away he said “Nice tits!” THEY ARE NOT FOR YOUR ENJOYMENT!

We need to call people like this out and stand up against violence and oppression. I think every woman needs to start carrying a rape whistle again, so people notice you when you are in trouble.

While the pink hats did get women out, they need to get more involved and know that getting out once is not enough. We all need to criticize our own activism.

Do not question why BLACK LIVES MATTER is being chanted at a women’s march! Do not destroy Mother Earth by littering your signs and hats on the ground. You should be saving those signs to use again for the next rally. Always keep fighting.

Yes we need to fight for our reproductive rights and equality for all in pay and opportunity, but don’t forget about climate change, the fact that water is life, and war is always looming over us too. Global issues affect all humans.

The Women’s March was a worldwide gathering of the goddesses! Women and feminist men took to the streets and spoke out against oppression and hate. It was truly monumental. It must become a movement, it must keep strong.

We must support all of the efforts of our community and work together to prevent a meltdown. I expect to see pink hats at the next Black Lives Matter event, or at the #NODAPL rally, or to fight against Muslim registries or Immigration blocks. This country and world needs all of us to be accountable and brave.

There was a girl on a light post with a megaphone leading chants and giving out info. Someone asked her if she was an organizer, she said “No, someone just gave me a microphone!” BE THAT GIRL! Take charge of the moment and be the change.

I felt like I could become President, that it needed to be one of us and NOT one of them! No more politicians! No more businessmen! We need to be informed, educated, and strong together.

My rubber fist said FILTHY AND PROUD, I will never be silenced. My voice will spark the revolution in harmony with the war cries of a million of my sisters. Daily direct action wins. Nobody can stop us.

* All Photos in this post by Kat Whitefield from the Buffalo Forum and The Voice of Revolution Newspaper

« We believe you » : that was the cry chanted again and again at the rally against rape culture in Montreal on Wednesday. Over a thousand people gathered in the Émilie-Gamelin Park around 5:30 pm despite the freezing temperature.

Several people spoke on a small stage before the group marched through Quartier des Spectacles and Place des Arts. The night ended at Club Soda with a mixture of speeches, testimonies and performances by popular and emerging artists.

Similar events took place in Québec, Sherbrooke, Trois-Rivières, Gatineau, Chicoutimi and Saguenay.

Denunciation and solidarity

The demonstration was equal parts an act of denunciation and solidarity. Denunciation of the acts of sexual aggression recently exposed by the media and of the subsequent victim-blaming that surfaced.  (“Comparing women to cars? Fuck You Éric Duhaime” read one of the signs.)

It was also a broader denunciation of a culture that claims gender equality as a core principle while routinely allowing – even encouraging-  disrespect of women’s rights to consent and to bodily autonomy.

Just as importantly, the event was a show of solidarity for all women and support for all victims. “We believe you” protesters shouted to Alice Paquet, the young woman who recently went public about Liberal MNA Gerry Sklavounos raping her. “We believe you” they chanted to the students of Université Laval assaulted last week. “We believe you” they assured the shocking number of women in the park who raised their hands at the question “who here, has ever been sexually assaulted?”

More generous estimates report a crowd of 2000 people. While young adults remained the dominant group, people from all ages, ranging from young families to the elderly, were present. The number of men was not too far below the number of women. Several speakers expressed appreciation for their presence and support.

After various speeches, indigenous singers sent off the crowd with a traditional music number. The march lasted about an hour and a half. It ended with protesters forming a wide circle around Indigenous performers at Place des Arts. At the artists’ insistence, people joined hands and danced to the sound of traditional native songs.

A smaller group continued marching under much closer police supervision.  Protesters mockingly imitated the heavy rhythmic steps often used by riot police as an intimidation tactic and chanted jeering slogans about Bylaw P6 being declared unconstitutional, but the protest remained peaceful. The police stayed as an escort and no major intervention was reported.

Safia Nolin, Queen Ka and other artists on stage

Meanwhile, organizers and many protesters converged on Club Soda for a post-protest show. The event was organized by a group of women from different backgrounds.

Among them were reporter Sue Montgomery, known for starting the trending hashtag #beenrapedneverreported on Twitter, and Tanya Saint-Jean, co-founder of the Montreal collective Je Suis Indestructible, as well as militant authors Natasha Kanapé Fontaine and Léa Clermont-Dion. After their speeches, the crowd was treated to a high quality music shoanti-rape-culture-march-montreal-december-26-2016-2w.

First came the Buffalo Hat Singers, a contemporary Powwow band that provided a nice continuity with the protest’s ambiance. Then followed widely popular female artists Safia Nolin and the Sisters Boulay. They each provided a solid performance of their own before uniting for a song.

Sabrina Halde (Groenland) and Laurence Nerbonne were also featured. Slammer Queen Ka notably delivered a brilliant poem about rape culture that she said she wrote the same morning.

A few artists hinted that they’d had minimal preparation and openly admitted to being nervous, but it didn’t hurt the show. What was missing in sophistication was more than compensated for in authenticity.

Stéphanie Boulay’s spoken text about her personal experience with rape culture and Safia Nolin’s spontaneous anecdote about a driving teacher with wandering hands contributed to a general feeling of intimacy with the public.

The night ended with an open mic.  Anyone who wanted to was invited on stage to share experiences, poems and anything they wanted about rape culture.

“The fight will be intersectional or it will not be”

That’s what the humorous duo Les Brutes said when they introduced the open-mic segment of the show. It was a prevalent theme of the event.

Intersectionality is an academic concept according to which the fight against one type of oppression must intersect with fights against other types of oppression. The failure to integrate this concept in past feminist movements has lead them to focus on the rights of cis, abled, white women.

The organizers of Thursday’s event did their best to address the compounded vulnerability of disabled women, trans women and women of colour.  A special effort was made for the event to be as inclusive as possible.

Both the protest and the show were held in wheelchair accessible places and a sign language interpreter was present at all times. One even masterfully translated the entire performances in Club Soda. Organizers also acknowledged Indigenous issues on several occasions, starting by recognizing they were standing on unsurrendered Mohawk grounds.

That effort was greatly appreciated by two young indigenous women who spoke to FTB after the show.

“I had the impression that there was decent representation, with native presence and Natasha Kanapé Fontaine, who is an excellent  spokesperson, especially for indigenous people,” said the first.

Her friend underlined however, the importance of also having events with native women as a soul focus.

According to Statistics Canada, one out of three women has been assaulted at least once since turning 16. 40% of women with physical handicaps will be assaulted at least once in their life. 75% of indigenous girls will be sexually assaulted before they turn 18. A 2014 government report estimated that only 5% of all sexual assaults are reported to the police.

Ed’s Note: Following publication of this article, The Conseil d’Etat (State Council), France’s highest administrative court, ruled that burkini bans were “strictly illegal”

France is enhancing its reputation as a racist country. The mayor in Cannes has banned the use of the burkini on its public beaches. Other French cities have followed suit and there is some talk about Quebec doing the same. Everyone knows that adopting such a ban in Quebec would be disastrous.

It’s time to fully discuss why.

The burkini is in essence a full body wetsuit with a head and neck covering and sometimes a sort of over dress. The arguments in favor of such bans in France have been those of secularism, anti-terrorism and ironically, “good morals.” Sadly, these bans only serve to alienate Muslims and encourage the kind of behavior in many non-Muslims that could only be called immoral.

One Montreal lifeguard described the complaints she got when women came to the public pool in burkinis.

Many whiners would claim the burkini wasn’t a real swimsuit and that Muslim women were swimming in their dirty pajamas. The complainers, the most vocal of whom were white middle aged men and seniors, would argue that if Muslim women could wear it to swim, it would encourage others to wear whatever they wanted to the pool. She described one incident she witnessed at a pool in Ville Saint Laurent where one such man spat on a woman wearing a burkini and told her to

“Leave and don’t come back, Dirty Arab!”

When officials at the pool confronted the man and told him to leave, pointing that the first rule of pool use was that it was a safe and respectful environment, he claimed that spitting on her was ok because the woman was already dirty.

This kind of behavior is only going to increase if a burkini ban is imposed as bigots will see such a law as carte blanche to continue to express their hate. Fortunately, Quebec and Canada have laws against imposing a ban like those in France and any such ban would surely be challenged in the courts the moment the government would try to enforce it.

burkini underwater

First, we have the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which is part of the Canadian Constitution and is therefore among the highest, most entrenched laws in Canada.

The Charter not only guarantees freedom of conscience and religion, but also the right “to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability” (my underlines).

The law applies to any and all actions by the government and anyone acting on the government’s behalf. If a law is successfully challenged under the Canadian Charter, the courts will strike it down or keep it in place to avoid chaos, thus giving the government a chance to enact another law that better conforms to the Charter.

The Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms also has protections against the laws like burkini bans.

The Quebec Charter is considered a quasi-constitutional law, meaning that though it’s not entrenched in the constitution and was enacted like any other law, it is considered one of the highest laws in the province and is enforced as such. Unlike the Canadian Charter, the Quebec Charter applies not only to the government and anyone acting on its behalf, but also to private parties.

The Quebec Charter guarantees “freedom of conscience, freedom of religion, freedom of opinion, freedom of expression, freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of association.” It also guarantees freedom from discrimination, distinction, and exclusion based on race, colour, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, civil status, age except as provided by law, religion, political convictions, language, ethnic or national origin, social condition, a handicap. Since the burkini is an expression of one’s faith and culture, the right to wear it would certainly be protected under the Quebec Charter, which means that the government and any private establishment that would bar women wearing it would be breaking the law.

Whenever bans of anything religious are brought up, there is always someone who raises a secularist feminist argument. They’ll claim that such bans are good for women because they’ll free them from dress codes that oppress them.

The problem is that bans like these don’t free women.

They rob women of their sense of agency.

If a faith or culture, be it strict Islam, Mormonism, or Satmar Judaism, for example, forbids women from doing anything outside the home without being covered from head to toe, any law that keeps them from engaging in activities in those coverings is going to hold them back and make them more reluctant to participate in secular society, not less.

Instead of shaming women for dressing in a way that their faith or culture dictates, we should be expressing friendly curiosity and a sense of welcome.

A woman who feels safe taking a swim in a public pool in a burkini will feel safe going to a library to maybe pick up a copy of The Feminine Mystique, and maybe one day take a self-defense course (if she hasn’t already done these things).

Whether a woman is covered up of her own free will or under the pressure from an abusive family or religious leader is none of anyone’s business unless her safety and the safety of her children (if any) are in jeopardy. The only thing we can do is make sure that all women feel safe enough to make their own choices about their bodies, whether that choice includes remaining covered up or not.

Banning the burkini would only exacerbate tensions between secular society and Muslims in Quebec. After the disaster of the proposed Secular Charter, now is a time to heal rifts, not make them worse.

* Images via WikiMedia Commons

Rushing from watching the fireworks at Montreal’s Old Port, I was almost late to Cameron Esposito’s show at Montreal Improv. I’m glad I wasn’t, because it was perhaps one of the most entertaining and different sets I’ve ever seen.

What do I mean? For one, you know how stand-up comedians usually try to seem candid because it makes their spiel more believable? After all, you are listening to a complete stranger telling you stories about themselves. You need to first care about these people, before you can even consider laughing at them. Even then, more often than not, the line between the stage and the audience remains very palpable.

Yet with Esposito, her attempts at connecting with the audience not only do feel real, I’m pretty sure they are real. Throughout the show, she talked with two members of the audience. Usually, when that happens, the comedian tries to fit as many jokes as they can about that person’s life. Esposito, however, seemed genuinely interested in what these people had to say, and actually listened. Now, maybe she was just that good at acting, but I remain convinced that it was all real.

For second, there aren’t nearly enough LGBTQ comedians represented at JFL. As far as I can tell, most comedians I’ve seen at JFL have been straight folks, and mostly guys. After a while, these stories get old, because straight love/sex stories are the only stories you hear in the mainstream. Most movies, most TV shows, most anime, most anything – straight stories are everywhere.

So I’m really glad I got to see Esposito at this JFL. She and her wife Rhea Butcher – who also happened to be the opener for Esposito – are really funny. Both of their sets have your run-of-the-mill “America is awful, Canada is so much better” jokes as well as really thoughtful rants/commentaries about gender, politics, and gender and politics.

For instance, one part of Esposito’s set was literally a speech about why Hilary Clinton is fit to be the next president of the U.S. – if not the best candidate the U.S. has seen in a while. I’ve seen many comedians during this year’s JFL, and Esposito was the first one to talk less about Trump, and more about Hilary. Admittedly, it was strange that she got so serious during a stand-up comedy show, but I think I’m into it. In fact, I really like it and I think more people should do it.

We always talk about how comedians are supposed to critique society, point out its flaws or whatever. This is what it should be like. Pointing out problems about society and making you laugh on the side – I might add that no hearing impaired people with terminal illnesses were insulted in the process (looking at you Mr. Ward).

Furthermore, the topics Esposito talks about actually challenge people’s perceptions and understandings. To take that a step further, Esposito and Butcher are launching a new show on Seeso called Take my Wife. Unfortunately, Seeso doesn’t stream outside of U.S., so we won’t be able to watch the show in Canada, but as Esposito puts it, “we don’t need [the show], because we accept people.” The accuracy of our positive verdict notwithstanding, it was really amazing to see a lesbian comedian feel free to make jokes about her identity, without having to fear any bigoted hecklers.

Then again, maybe that was because she was preaching to the choir and the people at the show were already the kind of people who know that gender is a social construct and sexuality is a spectrum.

After this show, I’m very confident that I need more Cameron Esposito-kinda comedy in my life. Funny but not trivial stuff. If we truly want comedy to be a type of subversive act that will mould society into something better, that’s what we need.

* Featured image courtesy of Just for Laughs

The world has lost a true unbridled talent. Candye Kane was literally The Toughest Girl Alive!

Anyone who had the pleasure of knowing Candye knew she was a lovely and genuine spirit. She was an amazing friend, mother, performer, and mentor. She spent her life running uphill in heels, there were topsy turvy tribulations, but she never succumb to the hard times.

Candye used her artistic talent and voice to fight for sex workers rights, to end violence against women, was part of the body and sex positive movements, and co-founded United by Music, an organization that mentored developmentally disabled musicians. She was also openly bisexual and championed LGBTQ rights and headlined many pride events worldwide.

In her over thirty year career, she traveled the world spreading love positive energy. Candye played between 200 -250 shows annually despite battling cancer. She is a Super Hero!

Candye_KaneUpon her death she knew her popularity would again rise. We must remember her for the real talented activist that she was and celebrate her spectacular sunshine through the screen of sensationalized lies.

It is important to know her as more than just a sex object. Even years later gross dudes would recognize her tattoos and say lewd things to her. Have some respect!

Yes, Candye was a pinup model, she did play the piano with her breasts, and she was in pornographic magazines. She tucked away that part of her life and did not let it define her. She found success through hard work and touring.

She had a brain under all of that beauty and the voice of a true diva. Her music was her soul. She sang original songs about accepting your body and celebrating your social status.

She wanted to bring light to the women who came before her, some of which were forgotten in the male dominated industry. Big Maybelle, Big Mama Thorten, Bessie Smith, and Etta James were her main inspirations. Performers like Devil Doll, Imelda May, and The Horrorpops have a lot in common with the retro-inspired Rockabilly vibes that Candye personified during her tumultuous career.

Candye piano

Adversity causes the most profound art. Candye started life with her abusive mother, who taught her to shoplift. Then she became a mormon, only to be kicked out when she became pregnant at 17.

She then moved on to punk music, living with a Mexican Cholo gang, and adult entertainment. Her voluptuous body evolved and left her vulnerable. She used the short stint in the adult industry to support herself and her child. She did like to party, but was always a classy dame.

Candye’s son Evan was her drummer for many worldwide tours. Her son Tommy is also a musician. Evan and Laura Chavez performed with Candye in the play that was written about her called The Toughest Girl Alive (after Candye’s song Toughest Girl Alive from the album of the same name).

She raised her kids in San Diego and it was very important for her to be an effective parent. She was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer but still kept on trucking. Her best friend and collaborator was Laura Chavez. They met while wearing the same shirt and eventually became artistic soul mates who toured constantly.

Laura was Candye’s best friend, amazing guitarist, co-song writer, and producer. She lived at the hospital and was by Candye’s side though out her many stints in many hospitals in the US and around the world. Laura was even there by her side when Candye passed away.

candye and laura

Candye’s physique changed as she got sick. The cancer took away her curves but did not eat away at her raw loveliness. She always embraced her big beautiful body and was actually self conscious during the transition.

Candye briefly studied to be an opera singer. She loved classic standards and punkabilly music equally. Her close friend, Marika remembered a beautiful moment where Candye was singing Dream a Little Dream and Honeysuckle Rose while getting ready for a show.

Candye is a true inspiration, she never gave up, performed through sickness, and probably would have been happiest if she had died on stage. I was always amazed that even through her pain and hard times she still held her head up high and wanted to march on to the next town. She shared herself with the world in such a way that her legend will live on forever in the hearts and future artistic performances of all who knew who she was.

CandyeKaneDollBoobsI was lucky to open for her in 2013 with my burlesque troupe, The Stripteasers, at Nietzsches in Buffalo NY. She completely blew me away with her powerful attitude and unwavering positivity.

Candye loved playing in Buffalo, Rochester, and Canada. I knew that she was part of the reason I was where I was. I was honored to share a stage with her.

As a plus size girl I look to Candye for guidance. She was a BBW pinup model when it was hard to do it. She transcended size and was more than just a fetish. She was a true super hero.

I loved her flawless sense of style, especially the ridiculously amazing dress with doll faced boobs. You know you are doing well when you are spoofed by drag queens.

She was classic, original, and absolutely timeless. I especially relate to songds like 200 Pounds of Fun, You Need a Great Big Woman to Show You How to Love and Fit Fat and Fine. They fight size discrimination and make me feel good about my soft and squishy delicious body.

Candye Kane shall sparkle in the collective memory of us all, she will live on in the hearts of her fans, friends, and all of the women she inspired to be themselves and take pride in their beautiful bodies. Award winning Delta Blues diva punkabilly swing superstar feminist icon super hero, you are now singing with the angels.

You inspired a generation of women to not give up, you didn’t allow yourself to be discredited or shot down, you rose up and showed the world that there was no room for self doubt. Thank you Miss Candye Kane, the world will not be the same without you.

Despite hopes for socio-economic and cultural progress with the election of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, women in Canada have a long way to go before they reach de facto equality with men. Canadian women are paid an average of 72 cents for every dollar earned by men, but there is another sinister way in which society is systematically undermining women’s attempts to gain economic independence and equality.

It’s called Pink Pricing.

Pink Pricing is the commercial practice of dressing products up to look like they’re made to suit women’s needs so that companies can charge more for them.

The practice is brutally common, and it’s bullshit.

Don’t believe me?

Go shopping.

Unless we’re talking bras, dresses, and makeup (not saying that men don’t wear makeup, just saying it’s usually worn by women), and clothing items specifically designed to fit a woman’s shape, there is NO reason to pay more for items we all use regardless of gender identity.

Take deodorant.

Ingredient for ingredient, there is little difference between men and women’s deodorants. In spite of this, men will get about 85 grams of deodorant for the price of a woman’s deodorant containing half that amount of product.

What’s even sadder is that studies have shown that while only nine chemicals cover up the scent of male BO, there are twenty five chemicals that cover up the scent of female sweat. Theoretically it would make more sense for companies to charge men more for deodorant not less, but they don’t. Instead, they court female consumers with baby powder and gardenia scents and pretty packaging so they can charge more for less.

Save your money and buy men’s deodorant. Nobody will sniff your armpits long enough to notice the difference.

Razors are another great example. Women are charged more for razors that do the exact same thing as a man’s razor. The price difference is covered up by pretty colours and the lure of fancy moisturizing ingredients on or around the blades.

Here’s a wakeup call: men use razors on their FACES. If they’re safe to use on the sensitive skin of a man’s face, they’re safe to use on a woman’s body, and chances are that most women own enough moisturizers they can use to make up for the missing moisture strip.

T-shirts, jogging pants, and hoodies are another way companies steal from women’s already meager salaries.

Unless you have a model’s body, most women’s athletic wear isn’t going to fit comfortably, no matter the size. Men’s items are cheaper, come in more accommodating sizes, and do double duty as they’re comfortable to nap or work out in. All you need to do is buy smaller sizes.

Love women’s tees? Take a small or extra small man’s T-shirt and a pair of scissors and go on Youtube. There are TONS of tutorials on how to make men’s T-shirts fit a woman’s body.

Face Cream is probably the biggest gendered price gouge of them all. Despite dermatologist after dermatologist denouncing the beauty industry for false promises regarding anti-aging products, women still spend hundreds of dollars on creams and serums that promise to fight the signs of aging.

A random search on Amazon.ca revealed anti-aging creams that range in price from nine dollars to upwards of two hundred forty dollars an ounce! For those of you who think these things actually work, please accept the pity of all of us looking younger for cheap.

The only things that are going to affect how you age are genetics and proper skin care and nutrition.

What counts as proper skin care?

Soap, moisturizer, and sunscreen, that’s all. Wash your face, moisturize it, and protect it from the sun. You don’t need fancy soap or cream to pull this off. You can get a bar of Dove brand soap for as little as three dollars and twenty five cents and a bottle or jar of face cream with SPF that will last at least a month and cost you only ten or fifteen bucks.

If you have sensitive skin fear not, the cheaper brands also carry hypoallergenic variations. People with acne should speak to a dermatologist before blowing their paycheck on products that may do more harm than good.

Want a cheap makeup remover? Throw out your micellar waters and cleansing oils – or use them up so the money isn’t wasted and never buy them again. A tub of Vaseline costs a fraction of the price and does the job just fine.

Then there’s sleepwear.

Unless you’re looking to get laid on a given night you don’t need to spend ridiculous amounts of money on something you’re going to sleep in. Lingerie is one thing, comfortable functional sleepwear is another.

You could always sleep in the nude but if you don’t feel comfortable doing that feel free to invest in a pair of men’s pajamas or a man’s T-shirt and boxers for about five bucks each. While prices vary, women will still pay at least two bucks more for a pajama set coloured and cut to suit their alleged tastes. Don’t waste your money.

Companies have been aiding and abetting attempts to undermine women’s financial independence. They do this by telling us a product is really for us when it’s really the same thing they sell to men with different packaging. This chips away at our hard-earned unequal pay, thus tipping the scales against us.

On this International Women’s Day pledge to make companies accountable for pink pricing by refusing to buy into it.

A boycott when done right sends a powerful message.

On this International Women’s Day let this be the message: UNTIL YOU PAY US RIGHT, WE WON’T PAY MORE FOR LESS!

* Featured image kropekk_pl via Pixabay Creative Commons

Feminism is more than burning bras and not shaving your armpits. Being a feminist means demanding equal pay for equal work, taking charge of our bodies, gender freedom, ending domestic violence and rape culture, and crushing the all powerful patriarchy.

No, it does not mean we hate men, in fact many feminists actually are men! Yes, it does mean standing together with our sisters and trans sisters, but it does not mean bullying other women into thinking how we think and pushing our ideals on others.

I was offended when Gloria Steinem, a famous voice of the feminist movement, and Madeline Albright, the first female secretary of the state, said that any woman who doesn’t back Hilary Clinton is not a feminist. They went on to say that girls were just voting for Bernie Sanders because he was popular with men.

Albright said “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other.” She has famously used this phrase for other more appropriate situations in the past. “When you’re young, you’re thinking: ‘Where are the boys? The boys are with Bernie,’ ” Ms. Steinem said.

In 1996, when Sanders faced Republican Susan Sweetser in a bid for re-election to the House, he found himself up against a female candidate. Then Gloria Steinem went to Vermont to endorse Sanders, saying in jest that she’d come to dub him “an honorary woman.”

Even though Bernie Sanders is a cis gender white male he is more of a feminist than Hilary Clinton. I feel the Bern because I did my homework, not because any boy told me to do so.

Women for Bernie
Feminists for Sanders in the Vermont Vanguard. Will You Vote for…Substance or Image? | Vanguard Press | Nov. 2, 1986

Hilary Clinton responded to the female criticism by saying “I have spent my entire adult life making sure that women are empowered to make their own choices—even if that choice is not to vote for me.” If Hilary does win the democratic nod I will still vote for her over any Republican, I do agree with her on some things and definitely don’t think she is as evil as the other side.

Feeling The Bern is a movement that will improve the lives of women. He supports paid maternity leave, calls on men to join in fighting the gender wage gap, and has always supported gay rights.

She stated that she would have supported the Defense of Marriage Act if she was in power and then only “evolved” to support gay marriage later in her career. I do not agree with her corporate strand of feminism and believe that in order for women or anyone to succeed in this country we need a democratic revolution and socialist overthrow.

Clinton has even accepted donations from countries that treat women terribly, while Sanders is being funded by the everyday people. Ideology is more important to me than gender.

I remember being 18, my first time voting. Candidates in the primary included Hilary Clinton and Barak Obama, a woman and a black man, holy shit. I stood in the booth and cried because I knew what kind of moment this was.

People fought for ME and that there was so much more to be done. Change is still brewing. There was a time where both women and people of color could not even vote let alone run for president. I thought of all the suffragettes and civil rights activists that fought for this basic human right.

Barack Obama got my vote that day just as Bernie Sanders will get my vote this coming election. I will never understand why so many young voters don’t show, every voice counts. We must educate ourselves and join together to take charge of our own future while fighting oppression. You can’t complain if you don’t vote.

Feminist Art
Feminist Art in The Brooklyn Museum

There is no answer to why humans judge others based on the color of their flesh, age, sex, orientation, or presentation. We must accept each other’s differences and appreciate unique beauty. Be the change you want to see and never tolerate ignorance or hate. Strive for peace, acceptance, freedom and above all else love. Sexism infiltrates all parts of life.

I was bartending last night and a man came in with two of his grown sons. He said to me early in the conversation ” Are you married?” I said no happily, still smiling, and told him that wasn’t in my cards. He then asked me if I wanted children, I laughed and said NO, “Oh that will change when you find the right man.”

WHAT? The smile was gone. No, I do not need to find the right man to complete my life, I don’t need anyone. I am perfectly happy with my cats and independence.

It was so ignorant for him to assume anything about my sexuality and throw his values on me. He was obviously religious and has money, he mentioned that he had eight children and it was the best thing in his life, especially now being older. I told him that over population was a real thing and I would have no part of it.

A moment later a man playing in the band said to two women sitting at the bar (who were obviously on a date with each other) “Why are these two lovely ladies sitting alone at the bar? Come on men! Take care of these lonely girls!” They looked at each other and said,”No, thank you!”

No woman should ever feel judged or unsafe. Protest the propaganda and spark inspiration and change. Stifle hate with beauty and truth. Be a feminist, a humanist, an informed voter, and a person who stands up for what is just. Make the world a better place to live in by taking an active part in its reconstruction. Choose your candidate based on their history and credentials, not their gender. Of course I want a female president, but it must be the right woman!

* Featured image Meredith Nierman/WGBH

Daryush Valizadeh, aka Roosh V, is many things. Misogynist, blogger, advocate of legalizing rape on private property, attention seeker, the list goes on. One tactic he has used constantly through all of his guises has been encouraging his troll followers to find out as much personal info about the women opposed to or even remotely critical of him and share it. Sometimes, he even doxxes them himself.

There was the time he tried to have a woman who started a petition against him entering Canada lose her child for being an “unfit mother” because she spent some of her time criticizing him on Twitter. There were the countless female journalists he urged his followers to doxx for reporting on him in an unfavorable light. More recently, after discovering the identity of the mystery woman who threw a beer in his face when he visited Montreal, he created a thread in his (now non-public) forum asking his minions to help destroy her.

But now, the tables have turned…

The doxxer has himself been doxxed. And he doesn’t like it one bit.

Anonymous Drops Roosh’s Info

Most of this week, social media, and even the mainstream press, had been talking about the so-called “international meetups” planned by Roosh’s site Return of Kings and many had been planning to protest them, including an all-female boxing club in Toronto. That was until Roosh supposedly pulled the plug on Wednesday, causing many to speculate that they weren’t cancelled, just now hidden and others to argue that they were merely nothing more than a publicity stunt all along.

The discourse changed yesterday. First, UK tabloid The Daily Mail revealed that this self-proclaimed alpha-male lived in his mother’s basement, causing many to snicker, then Anonymous (or more specifically the @WeAreAnonymous Facebook page) released Roosh’s home address, telephone number, cellphone number and even date of birth.

They doxxed the doxxer. The original post was reported and taken down, but only after receiving over a million views and over 10,000 shares.

(UPDATE: The second post containing the details by Anonymous has also been removed, but there are still several tweets and FB posts you can find that have them, just search the #rooshv hashtag)

Roosh Not Happy

Not surprisingly, but completely hypocritically, Roosh took to Twitter to voice his displeasure:

While normally I would agree with someone, anyone, decrying being doxxed and fearing for their safety or the safety of loved ones, this one time, it is different. Why? Because of the complete disregard Roosh has had over years of internet stalking and releasing personal information of women who dared to challenge his dangerous, misogynistic views.

I guess it doesn’t feel that good to be on the receiving end of a doxx, does it, Roosh?

This year marks the 10th anniversary of Andrea Dworkin’s death. On September 26th, 2015 she would have been 69 years old. Opening on September 17th and running until the 27th, Montreal Theatre company Waterworks will be presenting a world premier full staging performance of Aftermath.

Based on a text written by Andrea Dworkin after her drug-rape in Paris in 1999. Her life partner, well known author and activist John Stoltenberg, found the original document on her computer.

“…what I discovered was a 24,000-word autobiographical essay, composed in twelve impassioned sections, as powerful and beautifully written as anything Andrea ever wrote. It was searingly personal, fierce and irreverent, mordantly witty, emotionally raw. It was also clearly not a draft; it was finished, polished as if for publication.”

The piece was edited and cut in half to about 90 minutes and directed by Stoltenberg and Dworkin’s longtime friend and collaborator Adam Thorburn. It was performed as a staged reading in New York by Maria Silverman in May of 2014. “At each step in putting this theater project together, I have wished I could talk with Andrea about it. I would want to tell her how the words she showed no one are now reaching and affecting audiences in live performance,” Stoltenberg writes.

The Montreal production is being directed by Waterworks artistic directors Tracey Houston and Rob Langford and being performed by Montreal actor Helena Levitt as Dworkin.

We’ve heard of this type of story before, more recently with the Bill Cosby allegations and Jian Ghomeshi spectacle where the victim’s creditability was brought into question. “If she can’t remember everything, then maybe it didn’t happen.” It was so long ago, maybe she’s a little sketchy on the details” ad infinitum.

In the text, Dworkin refers to the drug Rohypnol and GBH. “This isn’t an aspirin in your drink. It’s not like getting drunk. It’s not like getting high. This is so easy for the boy. This is so simple for the boy. This is foolproof rape. The gang who can’t shoot straight can do this kind of rape. You can do this hundreds of times with virtually no chance of getting caught. I think how easy this evil is to do.” She goes on to describe how powerless one is to fight back from this kind of rape even after the fact, when there is no memory to report or very little if any evidence left behind.

Aftermath is a very passionate, personal account of Dworkin’s life, family, work and thought process that very few people not familiar with her writings have yet to see or be aware of. Stoltenberg explains, “[Dworkin’s] stirring writing ranges dramatically over many themes—her aspirations when she was young, her erotic and romantic relationships, the marriage in which she was battered, her understanding of the connection between Jews and women, her take on President Clinton’s behavior, her deep commitment to helping women, her critique of women who betray women. And the fact that Aftermath is acted means audiences get to hear an emotional dimensionality in Andrea’s voice that in life she shared only with me and her closest friends—trenchant and oracular, as the public knew her, but also tender, sardonic, sorrowful, vulnerable, funny.”

Rob Langford and Tracey Houston, founders of Montreal’s The Waterworks Company (Palace of the End, Gidion’s Knot, Glory Dazed), a troupe committed to staging the best of contemporary playwriting by women, found out about Aftermath last year from Stoltenberg’s Twitter feed, Langford contacted Stoltenberg, proposing to give Aftermath its first full staging here in Montreal.

Aftermath runs September 17th to 27th, 2015, at the Centre culturel Georges-Vanier, 2450 Workman, Little Burgundy, a couple of blocks northeast of the Atwater Market. METRO: Lionel- Groulx.

A special première takes place on September 17th at 8pm; the show runs over the next two weekends Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 4pm and 8pm, and Sundays at 4pm. Post-show talkbacks, with special guests, will take place throughout the first weekend.

Admission is $18 / $13 (buyer chooses price). Tickets are available, via Eventbrite, 
at waterworksmontreal.com, or at the door.

Bon Voyage parties are bittersweet celebrations for a friend who is leaving town. It’s a chance to wish them well in their travels while secretly hoping they return some day. What’s happening this Saturday at Vol de Nuit is, well, different.

You can call it a Good Riddance party, celebrating the fact that a total asshole has left town, wishing their travels are as rocky as possible and hoping they never return. More specifically, though, this is the Montreal Victory Party, a chance to celebrate the mystery women who gave Roosh V what he so rightly deserved, beer all over his face and wig.

Montreal Stepped Up

Last weekend, Montreal really came together and showed so-called “pick-up artist” (maybe sexual predator is a better term) Roosh V that he was not welcome. While we may have our differences, our community, by and large, respects women and doesn’t want a man who supports legalizing rape on private property and has admitted to committing rape online to speak here or prey on our fellow Montrealers.

Image by cindycypress
Image by cindycypress

First he lost his venue, then the Mayor said he wasn’t welcome, then there was an official protest, then bars and other establishments started banning him. It culminated with him trying to pick up the wrong woman who knew exactly who he was, even though he was going by the name Luke and wearing a wig. (Really? Apparently.) After Roosh and his acolytes tried every trick in their misogynistic book, which pretty much amounted to lying (one even said he was with Doctors Without Borders), the woman, who is now going by the pseudonym Jennifer, threw her beer in his face and the rest, as they say, is history.

Montreal history. Something to be proud of. We have the Habs. We have the best bagels in the world. And now we have proven to everyone that we are a people who say no to misogyny and rape and have some of the most kickass feminist shit disturbers to drive the point home. This just fills me with Montreal civic pride.

The Saga Continues

If you’re wondering where I’m getting these little nuggets of bullshit Roosh trains his folllowers to use, you should follow the Twitter account Amy Lee. I doubt that is really the name of the person behind it, but it is way more real than any of the characters Roosh tries to be.

You see, following his humiliation, Roosh contacted Montreal police saying he was assaulted. I’ll give you a minute to stop laughing. Done? Good. He even accused “Jennifer” of seducing him, though I imagine seducing a man like Roosh takes only two things: being female and the ability to not vomit while listening to him talk.

Roosh is desperately searching for a woman to charge. Oh well, I guess it’s better than him searching for a woman to rape, but still, it does force some people into anonymity.

He’s now in Toronto and facing what looks like an equally vocal opposition. He’s in what he calls war mode, though it looks more like running scared mode.

Also, apparently he’s now a Muslim, claiming that his views on women stem from his faith and calling his critics Islamophobes. Interesting considering he has displayed some rather Islamophobic views in the past. Sudden conversion to Islam? More like desperate trolling. Roosh, we’re not that fucking stupid.

This guy really pisses me off. And he should piss you off, too and not just if you’re a woman and a potential target. He really gives men a bad name, too. Come to think of it, he gives humans a bad name. I really don’t like that I’m from the same species as this piece of human excrement.

And, in one of the oddest segues ever, let’s get ready to party!

Party Deets and Rules

Okay, back to the fun stuff. Now that Roosh is Toronto’s problem now, in Montreal we get to celebrate! The event is being put together by Fuck Yeah Feminism and takes place at the scene of what Roosh considers to be a crime, but the rest of us see as justice, Vol de Nuit.

Misogynists, Roosh Minions, Rapists, and Rape Apologists aren’t welcome and don’t come expecting to pick up women. Not too hard to follow, but you break one of the rules, well, ask Roosh how well that worked out for him. Also, this is a safe space, LGBTQ friendly, Trans and Queer inclusive.

The fun starts at 10pm, Vol de Nuit, 14 rue Prince Arthur Est, details on Facebook. Feel free to drink your drink instead of throwing it. Bring your own wig.

Yesterday, I told you about how Roosh V, the US blogger and “pick up artist” who thinks rape should be legal on private property was in Montreal and people weren’t happy about it. Apparently, his seduction techniques are lacking, too, especially on the women in this city.

Makes sense, considering people here are social-media savvy, know exactly who he is and don’t stand for that sort of bullshit. Even the Mayor doesn’t want him here:

Last night, several bars made it clear that Roosh was not welcome in their establishment, some, like Casa del Popolo even posted notices to that effect.

Beer in the Face on Video

That, apparently, didn’t stop Roosh from going out and trying his “technique” on Montreal women. He got a little more than he bargained for in the form of a drink in his face. Have a look for yourself:

Beer Throwing Happened on Private Property

Apparently, Roosh wasn’t too happy about being called out in such a manner. He even went as far as Tweeting that he thought beer in the face was “assault” and he apparently told the SPVM as much:

How he doesn’t realize that calling a beer in the face assault makes him look really pathetic is beyond me. But even if he does feel it is assault, didn’t it happen in a bar? Isn’t a bar private property? I thought he was cool with assault on private property. Or is that just sexual assault?

Final Thoughts

I’m going to give the final words here to the woman whom Roosh said on Twitter had “sexy legs” and who is a hero to many Montrealers and people on the internet today:

dear roosh

Sometimes when you write opinion pieces, you spend time trying to argue why something is a bad thing. Every now and then, though, you can just lay out a few facts and that pretty much proves your point.

Daryush Valizadeh aka Roosh V is professional pick-up artist (PUA), Men’s Rights Activist (MRA) and touring speaker. Oh, one more thing: he wants to decriminalize rape on private property.

He’s in Montreal to give a talk and if you don’t see a huge problem with that or with what he argues for, then there’s something wrong with you. You’re part of the problem.

According to a blog post on his site Return of Kings (no, I will not link to that site, Google it if you must), Roosh argues that legalising rape on private property will force women to take “greater responsibility for their own safety and security.” He goes on to say that “if rape becomes legal, she will never be unchaperoned with a man she doesn’t want to sleep with.”

There’s misogyny, really bad misogyny and then there’s Roosh V.

Response Gets A Response

This is Montreal, a city that doesn’t stand for the type of crap that Roosh V is spewing for a ticket price ranging between $47 and $87. Understandably, response started with a petition to block his entry into Canada and a protest planned if that petition failed to achieve his goal, which, sadly, it did. On Thursday, reports  surfaced of him being spotted in the Plateau and on Friday he confirmed to a Quebec City radio station that he has been in Montreal since Monday.

Protesters successfully got his intended venue to cancel the event. Now, though, Roosh and his troll army are fighting back.

Their first move was to post the names of those who signed the petition. Let that sink in for a moment. If you sign an online petition, you are already agreeing to your name being posted online endorsing what the petition does. To copy those names, repost them as people supporting the petition and thinking that you are somehow outing those people takes a special type of ignorance.

The next move, though, this time by Roosh himself, is considerably more vile and dangerous. He asked his followers to Facebook stalk the women who started the petition against him as well as a Journal de Montreal journalist who published the venue info, which presumably led to the cancellation.

He wants info. He wants to make their lives hell by contacting their employers, friends and family. Now what he hopes to accomplish with this can only be one thing: intimidation.

I can only guess that the reaction of friends, family and employers of people who are against legalizing rape would be one of support for their friends, family and employees and utter disgust at the person contacting them to somehow shame their acquaintance.

The thought of this contact being made, though, can be jarring.

Making His Opponents’ Case for Them

With these actions, Roosh is proving that he much more than just a hypothetical threat to people in Montreal. He is effectively making the case for those who want to keep him out of the country.

Not only has he advocated for legal rape, he has directly encouraged stalking and harassment of specific women. That’s grounds to call him a threat as far as I’m concerned. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that he is a terrorist.

#findrooshv

instagram roosh vOne of the first Roosh sightings came courtesy of St-Denis café L’Artiste Affamé on their Instagram page. Roosh had stopped in for a coffee and someone snapped a pic and posted it with this caption: “Girls your main man is here. Roosh V! In the flesh. Should be here til 9 if you wanna show your undying “love” for the dickbag. The door’s open. Make it count MTL!”

Now, it appears his minions are targeting their Yelp page with fake reviews. Meanwhile, others are throwing them support online and promises of “throwing money” at them when they get the chance.

They also seem to be the inspiration behind the #findrooshv hashtag. Now people who encouter him have a mission: let people know where this unwanted guest is so they can watch out or speak out.

Not Ready for Montreal

Roosh encouraged his supporters to take over the protest event page. If you look at the comments his supporters posted, or just take my word for it so you don’t have to read that bile, you’ll see that only one of the trolls who actually commented pro-Roosh was from Montreal.

That makes perfect sense. We Montrealers may have our differences, but one thing is true of almost all of us: we don’t put up with the kind of horseshit Roosh V spews. Not only are we social media savvy, but we’re also, at the core, progressive. Feminism isn’t a dirty word here.

Roosh will realize this very soon if he hasn’t already. This is not the town for him. If he goes to war in Montreal, he will lose. Maybe he doesn’t care, and as one observer commented, is just using the negative reaction agianst his presence to sell future books.

Whether a public rejection of Roosh V in Montreal only helps him has yet to be seen, but regardless I think it’s important to show him that he’s not welcome in this town. He also makes me and my fellow men look bad. I hope he crawls back under whatever rock he came from and disappears.

If anyone reading this was planning to go to his talk, just know that everyone knows what he is about. He can’t teach you anything about picking up women, only how to hate them. If the sheer bile that this individual spews doesn’t turn you off right away, you should probably get help. But, for the time being, just know that showing up may end your chances of getting laid in this city forever.

Earlier this month, social media exploded when pop singer Ariana Grande posted an empowering essay she wrote about male and female double standards, following her highly publicized breakup from rapper Big Sean. She took to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to talk about one of many examples of double standards, whether a woman is in a relationship or just dating someone. She says: “If a woman has sex, she’s a s**t. If a man has sex, he’s a stud, a boss, a king.”

In today’s world, it is unfortunate that society still looks down on women for a number of reasons. We are constantly being judged about our looks, being assertive, and the main one, having too many ‘sexual’ partners. If only I can count the number of times I’ve heard men referring to women as being loose because of how many guys they’ve been with or dated, but yet they want to marry a woman who has been untouched.

If we thought the same way that men think, we wouldn’t marry 90 percent of them in this world. If they’re allowed to have an active sex life, why aren’t we allowed to do the same?

Grande also mentions that she’s tired of living in a world where the girl is known as a guy’s property or possession. Why must we be seen as a prize or a trophy? So they can show us off and brag about us to their buddies?

Speaking from my own personal experience, that is just disrespectful. After her split from the famous rapper, the songstress was known to the media as Big Sean’s ex’ She responds to that by saying she does not belong to anyone but herself.

She’s focused on making good music and is having the best time of her life while being on tour. Did I happen to mention she’s only 21 years old?!

I’ve got to hand it to this girl! Being in the spotlight and having people watch your every move is tough as it is. Obviously fame comes with a price and public figures need to accept that, but not many have the courage to speak up.

Ariana did just that but in a more polite and mature way, and expressing her feelings through social media was a good way to go. She even got the support from fellow artists Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez who both tweeted about the topic.

If you ask me, I give this essay a well deserved A+.

Here’s her full essay: