Saturday, September 29, 2007

Important: Ladyfest Venue Change!

This Just In:

If there was anyone planning on stopping by tomorrow for my Ladyfest show, apparently there was a fire and subsequent flood at the Kapisanan Centre where the art show was supposed to happen, so there has been a sudden venue change.

So the NEW location is :

St. Stephen's Church at 103 Bellevue, just off of College. Set times are still the same (1pm to 7pm).

Thanks for your support!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Jem and Le Tigre!

In honour of this weekend's Ladyfest proceedings, I bring you Le Tigre ala Jem and the Hollograms. I LOVE IT!

Stolen via feministing, crossposted EVERYWHERE!

Happy Feminist Weekend, everybody!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Giving Condoms a Bad Name

So I've been reading this Jackson Katz article where he's talking about media representations of masculinity and how they are all infused with machismo and violence and virility. One of his points of reference was the names of the top-selling (at the time of publication anyway) brands of condoms: Ramses and Trojan.

So I got to thinking: those are actually pretty horrible names for condoms. I mean, if the point of condoms is to provide a barrier against sperm, other lovely juices, the things that they can carry, and therefore pregnancy and stds, then I don't think that calling your brand either Trojan or Ramses, whatever beacons of masculinity those names may represent, does your product much justice.

I mean, Ramses, he was an Egyptian pharaoh, right? Didn't he have a ridiculus amount of kids in his time? Like seriously ridiculus? So yeah, this was clearly a virile man, getting a lot of action, but getting A LOT of women knocked up too. Doesn't that seem to refute the part about the condoms where they are supposed to prevent unwanted pregnancies?

And then we have the Trojans. If my slightly drunken memory serves me correct, the Trojans were on the losing end of a classical Greek myth battle. The Greeks managed, in sculptural disguise, to sneak into Troy undetected and ravage the city. That doesn't bold to well with an analogy of protecting and guarding against stds, does it? You know, letting one slip past the goalie because you're so high on yourself that you weren't paying attention? Seems like a pretty bad reference in general to practising safe sex.

So, Trojan and Ramses: reiteration of masculine virility or horrible metaphors for safe sex? I'm going with the latter.

Countdown To Ladyfest Toronto 2007!

With less then three days til Ladyfest, I thought I'd post the press release here so everyone can take a look at what exactly's going on:
TORONTO - Ladyfest Toronto is a wide-ranging celebration of feminism
and the arts, taking place September 27th-30th in and around
Kensington Market. With four days of programming—by women, for
everyone—Ladyfest Toronto aims to reflect the varied experiences and
talents of women, while proving feminism can be fun. It's inspired by
a tradition of Ladyfests held worldwide since the first festival took
place in 2000 in Olympia, Washington, the birthplace of the riot grrrl
movement. Admission to individual events is on a sliding scale basis;
weekend passes are also available for $35 (youth passes $10) at Rotate
This, Soundscapes and Good For Her. Festival highlights include:

Kick-off Party: Taking place at the Tranzac on the 27th, it will
feature salsa dance, burlesque, spoken word and musical performances,
including a headlining slot by 2007 Polaris Prize nominee Julie

Concerts: There will be hip-hop by local artist Masia One and
Brooklyn's "queer-feminist, soul-sister co-conspiracy of acrobatic
poets," Climbing PoeTree (who have previously performed at Ladyfest
South in Texas and on HBO's Def Poetry Jam). D.C. dance-punks
Partyline (featuring Allison Wolfe, formerly of legendary riot grrrl
band Bratmobile) and Toronto acts like Cougar Party and Shitt Hottt
will be bringing the rock. On the softer side, there will be
experimental folkies The Weather Station and Laura Barrett—and that's
just a small sampling of the artists we have lined up.

Art: Maureen Da Silva and Tamiko Winter explore questions of
femininity and desire through, respectively, comic-inspired art and
photography. Lumi, a wandering performance piece inspired by Hans
Christian Anderson's The Snow Queen will hit the streets, bringing
winter to Toronto in September. Spoken word artists include dub poet
d-lishus and writer Vivian Meyer, who will read from her book Bottom
Bracket and lead a 'Sleuthing 101' session. Films will be shown over
two nights at the Brunswick Cinema—Friday features short films and a
retrospective of the films of Allyson Mitchell and Christina Zeidler's
Freeshow Seymour collective. Saturday we'll get down and dirty with
feminist smut films by Jesika Joy, Angela Phong and Jill Rosenberg and
a live burlesque performance. There will also be a craft fair on
Sunday, featuring the work of local artisans and crafters.

Workshops: Workshop leaders will create dialogue around many important
issues, with sessions like Fat Activism 101, Shameless Magazine's
Media Literacy Boot Camp , Young Women's Crash Course in Getting it On
(presented by Good For Her) and more.

About Ladyfest
Ladyfest Toronto is a grassroots, do-it-yourself community-based
organization that operates under a framework that is pro-feminist,
trans-inclusive, pro-diversity and anti-oppression. Ladyfest Toronto
2007 continues the tradition of breaking down barriers for women
artists and marks the first time since 2004 that the festival has
taken place in Toronto.

In the last seven years Ladyfests have been held in North and South
America, Europe, Asia and Africa. Canadian cities that have hosted
Ladyfests include Vancouver, Guelph, Toronto, Halifax and Ottawa.


Media Contact:
Carly Beath

See you on the weekend!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

From the Inbox: Last Minute Plea to Harper About the Environment!

An email received from a friend of mine, who is a law student and quite concerned with the environment:
"The Kyoto Protocol Implementation Act legally requires the government to produce a plan that meets Canada's greenhouse gas emissions targets. Prime Minister Harper hasn’t even tried. The federal courts can force the government to comply with the law, but crucial and legally admissible public consultation process ends TOMORROW, September 20th, and almost no comments have been received!

Avaaz members are stepping in at the last hour to create a massive public outcry, by faxing open letters to Environment Canada who will have to submit them in court. If there are no comments, the government will claim in court that the public supports its illegal position. We have just 24 hours to make our voice heard - Please sign the letter at the link, below:"

Go! Quickly now!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Event Date Changed

Quickly now:

As previously posted, the WARC 'Zinefest featuring the work of the kids who participated in the Comic Book workshops was dated for Saturday, September 22nd, 2007.

This has been changed to Saturday, October 13th, 2007. The fest will go from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

That is all.

Upcoming Events: Some Art Happenings

It seems like today I've gone post-crazy, but it's probably because I not-so-secretly know that between my heavy academic schedule and my heavy work schedule (no student loans for this witch...begrudgingly...), I know that I won't have as much available time to write on this blog. In the meantime, however, here are some upcoming breaks to studying:

On Saturday September 22nd,2007 there will be a 'Zinefest as part of The Women's Art Resource Centre's (WARC)Youth Leaders Through the Arts outreach program. I volunteered with this project over the summer, helping to facilitate workshops for kids considered "at risk", in which literacy, research skills, group work and creative endeavours were emphasized through the making of comic books centred on environmental issues. The comic books the kids made will be showcased, as well as the process which was well-documented at the 'Zinefest at the WARC gallery space, at around 2 p.m. It was an amazing opportunity for me to be a part of, which I will talk about at a later date on this blog as the 'Zinefest happens.

WARC Gallery is located at 401 Richmond St. W.


The Cryptic Canvas is celebrating its new gallery space with a grand opening on Friday, September 28th, 2007. Its new venue, over on 8 Waterloo Terrace, has just been recently acquired, and will be hosting a great art party which you can rsvp to on the webpage. Art, cocktails and hors d'oeuvres will be at hand, so please rsvp by September 25th.


From the invite for FARRAGO at the Studio Gallery:
“FARRAGO” exhibition showcasing painting, photography, sculpture, textiles and print media by local Toronto art collective pursuing the correspondence between insulated communities of thought and belief; encouraging aesthetic accessibility and navigating esoteric re-entry. Show runs from September 19 to October 13, 2007.

**Opening reception is on Saturday September 29, 2007 from 7pm-close**

The Studio Gallery is located on the Third Floor of 9 Ossington, 9 Ossington Ave., Toronto.

Gallery hours:
Wednesday/Thursday/Friday -- 6pm to 10pm.
Saturday/Sunday -- 11am to 6pm.

And, of course, in the midst of it all, there is Nuit Blanche on Saturday, September 29th, 2007, a free, all night, art event across the city to enjoy. WARC Gallery, with its Camille Turner exhibition, will be one of the many participating locations, as well. I believe this event starts shortly after 7 p.m. and goes 'til 7 a.m.

What a crazy-busy month September is shaping out to be.


Thursday, September 13, 2007

From the Inbox: YorkU Activism Against Violence Against Women

Taken directly from my women's studies listserv:
In light of the recent sexual assaults on campus, The York Federation of Students along with other community organizations will be holding the following events.

Forum for Women and Trans people only!
Stand Up Speak Out
End Violence Against Women.

An opportunity for women and Tran people to openly discuss issues of safety, security and violence effecting them.

When: Wed Sept 19th
Where: 430 Student Centre

Women Unite, Reclaim the Night!
Rally and March: End Violence Against Women and Tran people
***Note: Rally- everyone is welcome
March- For women and Tran people only

When: Wed Sept 19th
Time: 7-9pm
Location: In front of Vari Hall

This event is brought to you by:
York Federation of Students
York University Grad Students Association
SASSL - Sexual Assault Survivor's Support line
Centre for Women and Trans people
The Office of the Ombudsperson & Centre for Human Rights

For more information please contact: Gilary Massa at 647-869-2101,

Once again, I get to be a bad feminist, ironically because one of my women's studies classes coincides with these dates, but I strongly encourage everyone who can make it to go, or support it in one way or the other. Almost every year I've been at York, and there have been many, there has been a sexual assault and violent attack on women. What is the school year, it seems, without a campus security alert? Though, in light of what I've read in the past about the way some schools have dealt with (or rather NOT dealt with) on-campus rapists, I am grateful that at least York is warning us and letting us know that these assaults are happening.

LadyFest 2007 Update

Directly from the Ladyfest page, here is the update ticket info and schedule of events:

19+ pass = $35
Youth pass = $10
Available at:
Rotate this
Good for her

Or you can also purchase passes online through Paypal (account name =, which will then be available for pick-up at any Ladyfest events.


Venue: Tranzac, 7pm, 19+
$5-10 sliding scale

Featuring performances by:
Julie Doiron
Laura Barrett
LGBT Dance Club
Shameless Dames
Bianca Sidaravicius
Cry Rumble
Lisa Bozikovic
Meagan O'Shea
Shirin Yousefi


Venue: The Boat, 9pm, 19+

$5-10 sliding scale

Featuring music and spoken word by:
Masia One
Climbing PoeTree (from Brooklyn, NY)
Nolan Natasha Pike (of Scandalnavia)
Tara-Michelle Ziniuk
DJ Winnie

Venue: Brunswick Theatre, 7pm, ALL AGES
$5-10 sliding scale

Featuring a collection of short films by:
Micheline Durocher
Kim Kielhofner
Cara Spooner
Allie Caldwell
Sidrah Laldin
Freeshow Seymour: the films of Allyson Mitchell and Christina Zeidler


Venue: St. Stephen's, 11-7pm
Cost TBD

Shameless Magazine: Media Literacy Boot Camp
Daily Detox
Sex Work and Sex Worker Rights (18+)
Mission FATpossible! Fat Activism (women-identified people only)

Venue: Kapisanan Philipines Centre, 1pm, ALL AGES
Cost: $5

Featuring music, art and spoken word:
Rae Spoon
Forest City Lovers
Jen Crawford
Stacey May Fowles
Vivian Meyer
Meagan O'Shea
Maureen Da Silva
Ikbal Singh
Tamiko Winter
Nicole Stoffman

Venue: Brunswick Theatre, 7pm, 18+
$10-15 sliding scale

An evening of feminist smut, with films by:
Jesika Joy
Dirty Pillows
Jill Rosenberg
Burlesque from Miss Kitten

Venue: Sneaky Dee's, 9pm, 19+
$5-10 sliding scale

Featuring musical performances by:
Partyline (ex-Bratmobile)
Shitt Hott
Cougar Party
Cherie Pyne (from Newfoundland)
The Tennessee Twin (Mint records)
DJ Amanda


Venue: St. Stephen's, 12-6pm
Cost: $2

All day craft sale - featuring a wide variety of vendors!

And, workshops! Also at St. Stephen's, 11-7pm

Write at the Start (women-identified only)
Young Women's Crash Course in Getting it on (women-identified only)
Unpacking White Privilege: Becoming an Anti-Racist Ally
Trans 101
How to make it as a self-taught designer

Venue: Kensington market - during the afternoon as part of
PS Kensington

Performance art and music:
Ikbal Singh
Heather Mazhar
Lisa Marie

Venue: The Boat, 9pm, 19+
$5-10 sliding scale

Musical performances by:
Wendy Atkinson (K records, from Vancouver)
Weather Station
Alanna Stuart (of Bonjay)
DJs Carly's OK, Shae and Moist Fowlette

Between Ladyfest, Nuit Blanche, and two other art openings for friends of mine (will post about later)this is going to be a crazy, art-filled weekend! I'm grateful to be a part of it. Can't wait!

Pre-Weekend Reading

In my final moments of academic freedom before the school semester really starts to kick my ass, I've managed to get in some last-minute reading-for-pleasure.

Up on the docket last week was Arthur C. Clarke's Rendezvous With Rama, a story of the exploration of a mysterious, mechanical planet that takes place in the 22nd century.

I have to say, this book gave me a few chuckles. What dated this 1973 sci-fi tome was not the science meticulously described (not that I would know anyway; it's been about about four or five years since I last took a science course and I didn't do very well--*head hangs in academic shame*), but rather the social attitudes and interactions of the characters. Here's an example:
Some women, Commander Norton had decided long ago, should not be allowed aboard ship; weightlessness did things to their breasts that were too damn distracting. It was bad enough when they were motionless; but when they started to move, and sympathetic vibrations set in, it was more than any warm-blooded male should be asked to take. He was quite sure that at least one serious space accident had been caused by accute crew distraction, after the transit of an unholstered lady officer through the control cabin. (Chapter 11, page 57)

Oh, where to begin, where to begin...Maybe with unholstered lady officer? Sounds like an extra in a space porn or something. Or a type of horse. And I guess the future is still pretty heterosexist too, since it seems that all warm-blooded males in Commander Norton's experience are instantly distracted/erect from their complicated, intricate big important science-guy jobs by the mere-est breast movements from the "lady officers". In the future, it seems, it's still the woman's fault for having breasts and distracting what are supposed to be highly competenant, intelligent men doing extremely specialized work.

Sigh, with a side of chuckle at this sillyness.

I call this dated, but then I think of the current Southwest Airlines fiasco in the States, and I have to wonder if really, Arthur C. Clarke was simply not expecting much to change in terms of sexist attitudes anytime soon. Damn. And this wasn't even apocalyptic science fiction. It was actually pretty quiet sci-fi.

And so was the sex in the book! Especially for a character like Commander Norton, who not only has two wifes on two different planets, but a some-time mistress named Laura on board. Check out this hot and heavy action:

"This visit," protested Laura rather feebly, "was purely in a professional capacity."
"After all these years," replied Norton, "we know each other better than that. Anyway, you're off duty now." This situation, he knew, was doubtless being repeated throughout the ship. Even though they were weeks from home, the end-of-mission "orbital orgy" would be in full swing.
"Now what are you thinking?" demanded Laura, much later...(Chapter 46, page 272)

And that's it! That's all Clarke gives us after bragging about all the orgies on board (which has a curious imbalance of males to females...hmm...maybe this book isn't so heterosexist after all...wink wink), that's all he bothers to describe! I want my money back! Hand me a V.C. Andrews please!

Considering the amount of scientific detail, to Clarke's credit it was a pretty accessible read to get through, and he articulated the exploratory and political intrigue quite well. It's a shame that the characters were written so flatly and with old gender stereotypes intact, despite the presence of some women in top jobs--though not too many of course. At least I could laugh at it in this text.

Up next: John Updyke's The Witches of Eastwick. I loved the movie for years, so I thought it time to read its source. I'm about a third of the way through, and it's certainly stirring up some mixed feelings on my part so far...

Until next time then, when I should be studying instead of blogging...

Monday, September 10, 2007

The Return of Baghdad Burning!

Riverbend, of the blog Baghdad Burning, is back!

Safely past the Syrian border, she has made her long-awaited return post since her plans to leave Iraq in late April.

I am so glad to read that she is okay!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

York University School Year Off to a Great Start...

This was posted on the YorkU livejournal community:

Women sexually assaulted in York University dorms

Toronto police are searching for two men after two women were sexually assaulted in dorms at York University.

According to authorities, two men entered Vanier College residence located on Keele Street near Steeles Avenue West in the early hours of Friday morning.

The men discovered a female on her own and sexually assaulted her.

The men later gained access to another dorm room within the same residence and sexually assaulted a second lone woman.

The attackers then entered another room within the same building and attempted to assault a third woman.

The two men tried to enter two other rooms by were scared off and fled the scene.

Police confirm two women were taken to hospital, treated and released. It has yet to be confirmed whether any of the women were students at the university.

The first suspect is described as:

White, with a dark complexion and short dark hair
In his early 20s, 5-foot-5 to 5-foot-7
Wore blue jeans and running shoes
The second suspect is described as:

White, with a slim build
In his early 20s, 6-foot to 6-foot-1
Short, light-colored hair
Wore blue jeans
Security at York University has been heightened since the attacks and police are reminding women to be vigilant with ensuring their personal safety.

Anyone with information is asked to call police at 416-808-7474, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), or online at

Fucking fabulous way to begin the school year.

CTV Toronto Source

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

It's time to erradicate the institutions that control us!

Please everyone take the time to go to this website and watch this amazing documentary: It's amazingly powerful.

The documentary begins with how religion came about using historic explanations of how societies interpreted astrology, and how this became the advent for the major religions of today (except for the more recent scams like Scientology, Mormons, etc...).

Then part 2 discusses how 9/11 was perpetrated and funded by the U.S. Government. I'm sure you guys are familiar with Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 and the CBC's Fifth Estate Report, this documentary is so much more than either. As someone who went to New York and saw the World Trade Centre holes, the first thing I thought of was how 2 gigantic towers didn't cause any real surrounding damage.
Remember how when they found those guys a while back that "allegedly" were going to blow up the CN Tower (Bullshit!), well the comments were how much devastation that would cause in Toronto. Well what about the World Trade Centre, perfect take down, planned explosives, watch this movie!

Then part 3 discusses the formation of the U.S. Federal Bank and the creation of the U.S. itself after independence. I didn't know this but the U.S. Federal Bank is not regulated by the Government, despite it being the "National" bank, which prints and distributes the currency, not to mention has set inflation and interest rates!

I would say I'm fairly well informed and I was shocked at a lot of the facts in this documentary. The site listed above cites all the sources for their facts, so feel free to check up on the references if you have any doubts. We need to push this information out there so people become aware of the deceptions all around them, it's time to end the control over us all!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Upcoming Event: Ladyfest Toronto 2007!

Check it out!

From September 27th to the 30th of this year 2007, Toronto will be graced with the yearly riot-grrl inspired festival LADYFEST!

Festival passes are available for purchase now, as well the schedule of performances and workshops and venues are listed up over at the Ladyfest homepage.

Shameless self-promotion bit:

Yours truly will be having my art project, also entitled "Electric Furr", on view at this event. My work steals from the comic book format of storytelling in order to engage the viewer about my ambiguous feelings surrounded body hair. This work was a year long labour of love, which I am proud to present at Ladyfest. When I find out its exact location, this witch will be sure to let you all know. I'm very excited to be a part of this amazing festival of feminist art and activism!

Other far-more-amazing-then-me artists to check out include:
Masia One!
Julie Doiron!
Shameless Dames!
Freeshow Seymour: the films of Allyson Mitchell and Christina Zeidler!


Come check it out! See what's going on in feminism in Toronto.

I'll be most definitely posting some reminders closer to the dates!