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Bitter Truth

Bitter Truth

By: Anonymous In this world, there are many counties where gender discrimination still exists. It is also one of the major issues in this world[1]. Due to this, women have been facing much violence. Studies showed that globally approximately 35% of women report they were […]

But Really, Where Are you From?

But Really, Where Are you From?

By: Reenita V Here, there, everywhere! These are the exact places where you can find microaggressions. While microaggressions are perhaps not always intentional, they are out there and masking blatant racism. Essentially, microaggressions are racism covered in glitter, wrapped in a gold ribbon and are […]

WOC Dating

WOC Dating

By: Kali Dayn

The last time I slept with a white man was a long time ago. At that time, he made the classic off-handed remarks about me being “his brown beauty”, a “Bollywood goddess”, “we should try the kama sutra”, “you’re so wild, like a Bengal tiger”, and all of the other insolence that didn’t make the cut for mainstream discussion but were fair game for the bedroom apparently. Many people had treated me like a part of the monolith of brownness before. Many people had treated me as less than human, before, but being treated like this by someone who I shared intimacy with, who I felt, on some level, should have seen the real me, this made me feel not human in many more ways than I had before.

Fast forward a couple of years. I meet a Swedish PHD student at a conference. We start talking about his research – of course his accent isn’t laughable to the audience – he smiles and makes a few jokes about how Canada should catch up with Sweden on women’s health policy – before I know it, we had been chatting for over half an hour – he asks me out for drinks – “It would be my pleasure to go out with a beautiful chai latte goddess (The use of words an ironic metaphor for the way in which brown women’s bodies and brown culture is consumed by white people) such as yourself.” He winks. He thinks this makes the interaction less sleezy. It, in fact, makes it more sleezy. And so it happened again.

This type of thing had happened to me many times and it would keep happening. And I realized that day that I could tell. I could tell it was going to happen on some level inside of me. I could tell when the conversation turned, when the white man, in this conversation and every conversation before this, started looking at me like prey, I could tell when we started doing the dance, and I was the wild, exotic animal he had never, in his life, seen before, and only imagined, and was here to hunt now, come in for the kill. And I realized that despite being able to tell, I never terminated the interaction prematurely, I always let it go to full-term.

Because…there is a deeply ingrained monstrous, ugly, Beauty and the Beast style, part of me that wants to be loved by the white man in the conversation. Maybe loved is the wrong word, appreciated? Affirmed as a human being? Maybe loved is the right word. Because throughout my entire life, I have always been unloveable to white men. Because I was never loved/appreciated/affirmed as a human being by any of the white men I shared romance with. Nor with the white men I met as acquaintances. Or the white men that were my friends. They saw me as “other”, “less than”, animalistic, an outsider.

But this begs the deeper question, why did I yearn so much to be loved/appreciated/affirmed as a human being by white men? To the point that I danced this painful dance with them? Every time. Was I a masochist?

Well, because love from a white man is the only form in which I had seen love, or relationships at all. On TV. In books. In movies. On posters. And even when I saw love in Bollywood, there was always a sense that I got from my peers that Bollywood was unrealistic and “less than” compared to Hollywood/white media productions. And whenever people like me have appeared on Western television, they have been portrayed as ridiculous or savage or discounted. The white man, on the other hand, has goodness, manners, he is not savage, he is working, through charities, and non-profits, all over the world to save the rest of us from our savagery. The ways of life of the white man are thoroughly explained, rationalized, idealized, portrayed as normal, in western media, and the ways of life of others like me are depicted as strange. And so I estranged my own way of life. So much so that even though I critique capitalistic systems, sexist systems, on many levels on a daily basis, I still failed to critique the hypocrisy of my own mind, I still craved approval/love/appreciation from white men.

Today, I write this piece to argue that the most devastating part of colonialism was not the destruction of our communities, our economies, our relationships, the violence, the destitution. The most devastating part was the colonization of our minds. The colonization of our minds is a strange kind of hypnosis that makes us complicit and that we are unable to shake from generation to generation, like some sort of epigenetic nightmare. Because we can rebuild our civilizations, our communities, our economies, even our friendships, but only if we know to. We cannot rebuild if we hold ourselves in lower regard, if we value ourselves less in our own minds. If we carry that self-hate within ourselves. If we let our minds continue to be colonized, we have lost the fight before we have started. We have accepted that there is, after all, no fight to be had, and we are indeed lesser.

Repeat Offender

Repeat Offender

By: Kali Dayn It comes back again and again – a repeat offender When you’re least expecting it and you have it the most together The emptiness fills you – pushing out the memories of love and the warm feelings that form the foundation of […]

Trump Triumphs. What Now?

Trump Triumphs. What Now?

by: Reenita V It was a big day on Nov 8th for our neighbours to the South of us and there are many, many feelings. Confirmation that the United States of America now has an openly misogynist, xenophobic, racist, white man in power seemed to […]

Men, We Need You

Men, We Need You

BY: Reenita V

This one is not for the ladies. This one is written for the men… the men that we love and the men that love us. We ask that you to honor your love for us by helping to create a world where we can live without fear. We want you to protect us, not with a sword and shield but by looking inside yourself and emotionally fighting harder to be the kind of soldiers we need. We want you to address your misogyny and we want you to do it now.

To be misogynistic is to dislike us, to not see us as equals, to think we simply require you because we are not anything without a man. You might not even know that you are helping with the continuation of a misogynistic, sexiest world because the patriarchy is so ingrained our society. We do not need to learn these behaviours; they are simply a way of living. It might be hard to rip apart and learn everything that determines your manhood. Women are supposed to do this all the time; when we go from being a carefree child, to the savoury delectable of a man’s desire, growing and trying to find balance between beauty and brains, to being a mother, a lover, a wife. If feeble women can make these adjustments and learn and unlearn, then we know you men can do it too, probably better than we can.

Why do you need to understand that misogyny? The world we live in tell us that are not good enough but she can learn otherwise. Firstly, we need to understand that we are powerful, important, gifted and an equal and we need to learn that from you. In this patriarchal world, the dominant forces will tell us, show us, make us feel less than. Do you want to ignite the power within us, or do you simply want to take her out like the rest? We always need to know that you are our cheerleader and empathize that our fight is going to be harder, but we can fight and you know we will win.

How does one unpack and unlearn misogyny and sexism? It won’t be easy; you will have to confront the very gross realizations as to who you are and what you understand about being a man with a woman. While there is a mass amount of literature out there, which I do suggest you read (Bell Hooks Patriarchy is a fabulous start) I ask that you do some reflecting on how you engage with women. Ask yourself how you genuinely feel about women, perhaps the women who you are surrounded by daily. Do you see women on the street and whistle, cat call, sexualize her by staring at her body? Just remember that that women, isn’t just a stranger anymore, she is an individual who deserves respect and she always has been. But, when it comes to misogynistic, sexist ways, this stranger is actually just a stranger and she holds no real value to you except to be your object of gratification. Well, we need to start somewhere so let’s use sexism to understand sexism. Your loved one is not your property, you don’t own her and she is her own person; however, you need to understand the stranger as the reflection to your loved one, then let’s. That stranger isn’t your daughter, mother, wife, cousin, and friend and yeah, she might hold some of these relationships with others but that doesn’t really affect you. Well how about this, your loved one is someone else’s stranger. Let’s get deep, uncomfortable and honest, your actions towards this stranger or women you interact with is a reflection on you and how you really understand and view women.

If there was ever a time when we needed you most, it is now. We need you to dig deep and unlearn how you can make a real impact in our lives by taking out misogyny.

Incomplete

Incomplete

By: Reenita V Have you ever had an exciting moment in life where you have accomplished a huge goal but had this gut wrenching feeling that there is a tiny piece missing because you do not have a romantic partner to share in these accomplishments […]

That’s Not My Name

That’s Not My Name

By: Majureka R BIO: Majureka R is a first generation Tamil Sri Lankan Canadian who has lived in Toronto her whole life. She is currently obtaining her Social Service Worker – Immigrant and Refugee diploma. She hopes to learn more about the Tamil Sri Lankan […]

Foreplay

Foreplay

By: Reenita V

North America is a goal oriented place. We plan for our futures, set goals at work, create “To Do” lists all to ensure we achieve an end goal. Well, there is one thing that we need to remove from this check list and it’s the fabulous oh, oh, orgasm! Listen, orgasms are really great. Having an orgasm or helping someone else have one is no doubt a pretty awesome experience. However, we can easily forget that heading straight for the goods and neglecting the buildup is just as or more important.
Sex, as always is never a one size fits all so it is always incredibly important to talk with your partners about their desires and what you are both comfortable with. As well, the idea of exploring the process before the big O is not always for everyone. But for those that believe the whole point of intimacy is the final moment, perhaps we need to take an itty bitty pause and remember it’s not about the end goal but how you got there. Sex is supposed to feel good – it is about pleasure, exploration, maybe pain, maybe love, basically, sex cannot be defined just by one word, it can be complicated but incredibly fun. . So to sum up the thinking of sex as just a way to get off, creates an image of someone disrobing and making a quick b-line for a clit. Why not take those jackhammer thoughts away from this clit and take some time to focus on pleasure – not just pleasure for the sake of cumming but pleasure for the sake of feeling good? Let’s all remember that having an orgasm can be difficult for some people and some people just haven’t had one at all. Orgasms are not always a guarantee but pleasure can be!

 

Again, always super important to discuss what feels good with your partner(s). That whole time between the start and end is when you get to spend time learning and pleasuring another person. This is the roller coaster ride – the anticipation, the ups and downs, the time when your tummy gets knots and butterflies. Find a pace of exploration that works with your lover and enjoy, play, lust, learn. Each and every one of us has the ability to define pleasure in the way we see fit and how we can discover what pleasure means by giving ourselves the opportunity to feel all the lovely moments between the start and finish or as some call it – foreplay.
Just as education teaches us reading, writing and arithmetic, foreplay teaches us what another person likes, what we like and what gets them/us going and it is in those moments where we create this experience of phenomenal sex. Instead of focusing on the idea of getting off, let’s start focusing on actual pleasure, what it means and how you can explore a lover while invoking their sensors. Sex shouldn’t be another task on the ‘To Do List’, slow down and enjoy it – start, middle and end.

Nipping Health Issues In The Bud!

Nipping Health Issues In The Bud!

By: Shriya H   I was sitting at my desk at ASAAP when I got the call from the walk-in clinic letting me know my results had arrived. Outwardly, I think I appeared calm and controlled as I slowly moved to a more private area […]