Most recently published stories in Viva.
An Idiot's Guide to Feminism
I, like many others, hear the word feminism thrown around as much as empty promises from a politician in election year. Celebrities use it, Facebook and its millions of keyboard warriors use it, so do all the strong women striving to change the mind frames of a generation, but does anyone actually look for the real life examples that confront us? I can say I didn't, not until I tried to lose a bit of weight. So, if I may, I will start from the beginning.
Enchantress Archetypes Past and Present
Spirituality that fell outside of organized religion was once regarded as a fringe hippie hobby, but times are changing. Metaphysical pastimes like crystals, essential oils, energy healing, and tarot cards are now more popular than ever. The archetypal Witch has become the new symbol of the feminist movement. It's my belief that this is exactly what feminism needs, a ritual fire that reignites the weary warrior, the magick potion that soothes those whose voices have gone hoarse from protesting. Maleficent the enchantress has had enough of men's greed and heartlessness and is reclaiming her power. Women are no longer afraid of being badass and intimidating and I couldn't be more thrilled. Today's political landscape is mobilizing Millennial women to become both activists and priestesses, and that's one giant leap for woman kind. At least some positive change has come out of this mess.
Sometimes you just don't know how to begin. Well, hey, a photo of my wedding should break the ice?! My wedding day was superb. The church was beautiful. The bridesmaids shimmered in Cadbury's purple gowns. The Rolls Royce cars swaggered up to the gates. The champagne flowed. I married a man whom I adore and who adores me. One other small detail that probably wouldn't ordinarily get shared but was hugely important to me. I got my period. Most brides would be weeping into their something borrowed and would most certainly feel blue. I, however, suffer from PMDD and the arrival of my menstrual cycle was akin to Tom Hardy arriving on horseback and agreeing to be the vicar. Husband, if you are reading this I said, "Be the vicar." Alright, not replace you at the altar, just be there also!
Gender Criticism of Junot Diaz's 'The Cheater's Guide to Love'
In today's society, gender plays an important role in almost every aspect of our lives. Much like racism, and religious intolerance, sexism is a learned behavior. It is prevalent in many cultures, including our own. For example, in our last presidential election, the objectification of women became a key narrative. At that time, candidate Donald Trump was secretly recorded speaking vulgarly about touching women’s body parts with Entertainment Tonight's correspondent Billy Bush. He later justified it, by saying it was only “locker room” talk. Despite this, Donald Trump still became president. What does that say about our culture? It says that, when it comes to gender roles, we have not made much progress. Generally speaking, so called "locker room" talk is common among most men in our country. It is obvious that there are still many elements of sexism left in our culture. Dominican author Junot Diaz's touches on this, in his short story, "The Cheater's Guide to Love," which is the culmination of a collection of short stories called "This Is How You Lose Her." In the story, there is no question that the narrator, Yunior, is a womanizing sexist. However, some gender based critics contend that even though Yunior is a sexist, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the story is sexist.
I've been thinking about what it was like to be a teenager. It was horrible. People who look back on their teenage years with nostalgia and fond memories must be sniffing glue and altering their memories. I was fat, smart, weird, and from a poor family... The absolutely worst combination for the battle zone that is North American high schools. Not only is your body changing fast, hormones are racing, boobs are sprouting, you're confused, you're developing your sexuality, deciding who you are gonna be, and on top of all of that, you become the target for all the body hate North American society can heap on you.
Reclaiming My Own #AuntieMaxine
"Give evil nothing to oppose and it will disappear by itself." - Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching We have seen a value in speaking out recently. We have seen the power behind making the choice to "put self first." Whether it is in public or in private, as a country we have seen the counter action to closed-minded hate and the remedy is "self-love."
To the Girl I Was and the Girl That Is
Dear Beautiful Girl, I want to take this moment to tell you that you are beautiful right now. Your beauty isn't something that is going to happen once you find the perfect shirt, get the best manicure, take the most loved Instagram photo, or start dating the "right" person. Your beauty is in you, as you are, right now.
Stereotype is typically defined as a simplified generalization about members of a particular group. And, gender stereotype is a widely adopted concept about different gender attributes. The way our society portrays women as inferior to men in toughness, whether it is courage, physical strength, or intelligence expresses a common gender stereotype. Such portrayals are often carried out by propaganda, entertainment, communities, and cultures in general as we experience it or see it around us. And the reasons for the persistence of a belief that women are inferior to men in toughness are due to scientific prejudices based on biological differences, social barriers of domestication, and the influence of multimedia.
I have an established dislike for school periods. But now I want to emphasise my hate for p e r i o d s. A scary word, I can’t even type it properly. The teachers fear it, the parents shush it, the boys run from it. Top secret operation that must be contained, else the world will die from disgust. But… It’s not! I know, shocking! Confusion! Sirens in the distance! Suburban moms, cover your kids' eyes and ears!
Hairy Little Girl
If you're a female like me, take a minute to think back to when you were a little girl. See if you can remember the first time you shaved. Do you remember it, do you remember how old you were, but most importantly, do you remember why? Maybe you share my story.
Dope Moments in History: Ellen Degeneres
There's this shirt that I see a lot, it says "Well Behaved Women Rarely Make History." Hell yeah. (I actually believe that well-behaved people don't often make history, but I'm not touching that issue. Not here at least.)
We Are Queens
Before we are born, our parents have the opportunity to know if we are male or female. This gives them the chance to plan for the color of the nursery, clothing, toys, and more. Boys will get a blue-themed nursery, trucks and toy cars, and clothing with "boy" slurs and dinosaurs. Girls get a pink-themed nursery, dolls and teddy bears, and clothing with bows, flowers, and polka dots. This begins what our society calls gender roles.