a thousand thanks

hello feministjuice readers and supporters,

i would like to extend a sincere thank you to those who helped make our annual bake sale and lemonade stand a smashing success last Thursday. whether you (wo)manned our busy table in the CAW, donated baked goods or gave some extra change, we appreciate your support.

most members of the wssa

most members of the wssa

at the end of the day, our lemonade stand and bake sale brought in a whopping $335.14.

with these funds, the wssa is able to sponsor another subscription to feministjuice. moreover, we have been able to donate $200 in the form of grocery store gift cards to the CanAm Indian Friendship Centre of Windsor. these gift cards will be able to provide relief to First Nations families in Windsor and help them celebrate the winter season.

to me, feministjuice and the wssa is an example of feminist grassroots communities who are able to band together in the name of feminist activism and support networking. while feminist juice may be a small blog and the wssa a small action group, both provide

our beautiful sign!

our beautiful sign!

followers and members with an outlet and a sisterhood that they may not have in their everyday lives. thank you for supporting the blog and the wssa. without your help, we would not be able to pursue feminist activism, whether it be through writing and social media or connecting to other like-minded grassroots organizations like CanAM.

thank you thank you thank you
peace, love and sisterhood

karly, blog editor and co-president of wssa
the wssa (women’ studies student association)

thankyouwssa

feministjuice fundraising

Image

feministjuice bake sale and lemonade stand

the wssa (women’s studies student association) at the university of windsor has consistently been a supporter of feministjuice, whether by promoting the blog, finding student submitters or writing blog posts themselves. the wssa has also graciously allowed feministjuice to hold an annual bake sale under the wssa’s name. this gives feministjuice a chance to promote the blog, reach a large student population and fund the yearly cost of running the blog itself.

feministjuice would like to thank the wssa for always being a supportive partner in helping keep this blog on the map. as small as the blog itself may seem, there is a dedicated following that feministjuice is able to reach.

peace, love and sisterhood.

legislating what women can wear

Submitted by: Ayan Nur

editors note: The following post is a written portion of a speech given by Social Work/Women’s Studies student Ayan Nur. Ayan gave her speech at a Distinguished Visitor panel discussion on the ongoing N.S. v. Her Majesty the Queen et al case that has many layers, most notably the debate surrounding N.S.’s right to wear a niqaab in the Supreme Court while testifying. 

Legislating What Women Can Wear

I am honored and excited to be here today to address the experiences of Muslim women in Canada. As honored as I am today I would like to clarify that the opinions and views expressed by me, although shared by many Muslims do not in any way represent the thoughts and beliefs of all Muslim women. These views I share with you today are my own individual views. They are a culmination of my religious beliefs, my gender, my race, my personal experiences and me identifying as a proud feminist. Although I am a Muslim woman and wear the hijab, I cannot compare the experience of wearing a hijab with the experience of wearing the niqaab. Different women experience oppression differently.

Having said that. I would like to start off by thanking Dr. Forrest and the women studies department for valuing my views to have me speak at such an event. Thank you to my family and friends who have taken the time out of their busy schedules to show their support.

Before I begin, I would like to clarify some terms I will be using in my speech. The first word being, niqaab. The niqaab is a face covering or veil worn by Muslim women in public and in front of men who are not apart of their immediate family. The niqaab has been a hot topic not only in the western media but also amongst Muslim scholars and Muslim women.

A woman wearing a burqa.

Unlike the hijab, many Muslims are split when it comes to the niqaab being a mandatory dress code for Muslim women. Some scholars believe that there is not enough evidence stating the niqaab to be mandatory, while others point out there is clear proof of the niqaab being mandatory. Many people confuse the niqaab and the burqa as being the same thing when in fact they are not. The niqaab is a face covering, while the burqa not only covers the face but the entire body from head to toe.

Women wearing a niqab.

The case of N.S is not only a case that holds great interest only for Muslim women but for every women in this room today, for every women in this country, and for every women across the world.  This is a case not about a Muslim women’s right to wear her niqaab, but of victim shaming. Shaming or blaming the victim has been a technique used for many years by the criminal justice system.  I learned this through watching many episodes of law and order (hehe) and my second year Women and the Law class, which opened my eyes to the injustices and cruelty rape victims go through.  Society places women in a binary of the angel in the house and the temptress. Women are to neatly fall into either of these categories, and when they don’t, society makes sure they are put back in their place.

There is the initial shock and trauma of being raped then there is something called the second rape or second assault. The second rape is a process victims experience by the police force, the hospital personnel, the court system and society as a whole.  When these authoritative figures are insensitive to the needs of the victims, it places the victims in a vulnerable position and can trigger the rape all over again. Having to go through rape, sexual harassment or any kind of physical attack can be scaring, and to add to that nightmare the legal system uses victim blaming to fluster and to place these victims in a vulnerable position. Many times instead of placing the rapist on trail the victim is attacked with questions of their sexuality, the number of sexual partners they have had, what type of clothes the victim had on and so forth. These questions are specifically made to attack, undermine and degrade the dignity of the rape victim. These questions imply that the victim is some how to blame. In the case of N.S, she is not being asked to remove her niqaab because the prosecution wants the truth: she is being asked to remove her niqaab to use this ‘unveiling’ as a form of victim shaming. Since N.S would fit into the binary of “the angel in the house”, the prosecution is forced to resort to underhanded tactics to make N.S feel uncomfortable and vulnerable to attack.

I’ve heard many people wonder aloud why doesn’t N.S remove her niqaab in order to receive justice against her assault, while others have said it’s permitted in Islam that she abide by the law of the country she lives in. First I would like to speak to the reason why N.S chose to keep her niqaab on. Muslim women wear the hijab and the niqaab as an expression of their spirituality and devotion to their Lord.

To illustrate the discomfort N.S has experienced, I would like to give an example everyone can relate to.

Imagine yourself on trail, imagine the courage and conviction you had to acquire in order to face your assailants, then imagine being attacked and told to take your top off or to stand in front of the court room with no pants.  Seems a bit extreme right? Actually it’s not. I cannot imagine the embarrassment and the shame I would feel if someone asked me to remove my hijab. I would feel naked, uncomfortable: I would fidget and become flustered, stutter, not keep eye contact. All these acts are ways to detect if someone is lying. If someone does exhibit these acts, they are assumed not to be telling the truth or hiding something. 

I’ve been wearing the hijab since I was eight years old. In those, many years that I have worn the hijab I have never felt ashamed or oppressed. The hijab has been my source of

A woman wearing a hijab.

comfort and confidence; it has contributed to my path as a feminist and made me who I am today. What many people don’t know is that Muslim women wear the hijab not because they are victims of oppression and a patriarchal society, but simply as an expression of their faith, much like what a cross symbolizes to Christians. The hijab is not something that is between men and women, but rather it is about the spiritual connection with God and the personal connection a woman has with her body. So, when the prosecutors asked N.S to remove her niqaab, she was stripped of her comfort, her anchor and of her identity.

One thing I learned from Women Studies was to respect every woman’s choice. You don’t have to agree or support something you don’t believe in but you do have to respect their personal choice. To take away someone’s choice is to take away their rights.

bring it on

My Experience With Take Back the Night 2012 and Radical Cheerleading

Submitted by: Amal Mohamed

To write about my experiences at the Take Back the Night Windsor 2012, and as my role as a Radical Cheerleader has been quite an interesting one. The reason is that while I am quite the talker, I feel like I can never really articulate myself in words; so bear with me on this as I try express my many feelings about my experiences.

The first time I came into contact with the whole Take Back the Night movement and Radical Cheerleading was when my dearest friend and soul sister, Ayan, introduce me to it. At that point I was two years into my studies as a Women’s Studies major and loving and questioning ever minute of it. I honestly didn’t even plan on attending the event and had gone because of my promise to her and the fact that I was bored out of my mind. However, my experience that night changed my life – so much that I remember every minute of it, as if it were engrained into my being. I remember the speakers and the countless faces, and the fact that no matter how close Ayan, her sisters, and I huddle we could not fight off the cold of that night. I remember feeling an overwhelming sense of power; nothing I had experienced in my 20 years of life could ever amount to it. I don’t know what the feeling was particularly, but it felt like I was coming home.

TBTN Windsor 2012

TBTN marches are reknowed for their high energy and infectious electricity. Photo taken from http://www.LaurenHedges.com

And that night, I knew that whatever I did from that moment on would mean something for myself and every woman that came before or after me. The speeches left me humbled, sadden, and angry, but also hopeful. I was humbled for being privileged to those stories and lives, sadden and angry for all the women and children that were taken from us, and the many who were still with us, and hopeful that we could change as a society.

The moment the speaker introduce the Radical Cheerleaders, I was hooked. And that says a lot because to say I was very skeptical of cheerleading was a big understatement. I could rant and rave you into the next millennium on how oppressive I thought it was as an institution, and to have it be connected to my feminism was mind-blowing; but my God did those ladies rock that night. Their voices were so undeniable real, funny, and all shade of badass…how could someone not want to be a part of it? The march itself was validation of everything I, as a woman, had experienced. It was big ‘screw you’ to every moment that I had to hide within myself because I was scared and fearful of the threat of rape or violence. And I can’t even begin to explain how that can make you go insane as a person; to have to calculate every moment of your life from x to z because of that fear. Yet, fear was the last thing I felt that night. How come I wasn’t scared like I used to be? Simple: I wasn’t allowed. Those women, those survivors, those taken from us; none of those people would let me be scared anymore. I wouldn’t let me. So I screamed and screamed, for myself and for every woman I knew and for everyone woman I’ll never meet. And when my voice started to crack, I screamed louder because I would not be silenced. We wouldn’t be silenced.

And I am so thankful for that courage. By the end of that night (and every night since the first time I went), I was electrified. I felt unstoppable and it took everything in me not to fly out of my own skin from the excitement and the exhilaration of the chants, of the footsteps, as we marched to reclaim what was rightful ours. The basic right to walk our streets and to live life without the fear, threat, and reality of violence. I found home that night in the dark streets. I found home in all shades of pink and black.

Radical Cheerleaders 2012 dress in the TBTN traditional colours of pink and black, and are responsible for injecting energy into the march.

Since that moment, I have been going to this event with as much as enthusiasm as the previous year, and the last two years I have been a radical cheerleader and loving every minute as I cheer, kick, and pompom my way through the backwards maze of patriarchy. It is like I was destined to be a radical cheerleader as cheesy as it may sound, but the SHE inside me knew that I needed it. The morning after TBTN always feels different from any other day. I feel like a superhero, like Wonder Woman.

Radical Cheerleaders, 2011.

It doesn’t get any less awesome. The women and children who come out give me as much life as the previous year, as I run up and down the crowd yelling out chants. The honking and support is always welcomed and at times reduces you tears. It is so awesome to see our marshals out there as they keep us safe and go head to head with traffic. To see the faces of strangers, friends, family, professors, and doggies in solidarity: it is an insanely intense moment. To have women from off the street jump into the march and be welcomed by the voices and cheers of other women is beautiful. You need to live it, you need to see the lights, hear the voices, feel the energy in your bones and core; you will never, ever, feel the same way again, I promise you that.

UWindsor Masters of Social Work student Darrin Smith shows his support. Men are invited to line the streets with signs of support and lit candles in memories of those lost to violence against women. Photo courtesy of windsorite.ca.

So go out to your local Take Back the Night or even start one in your community. Beside the fact that it is all kinds of crazy fun, it has meaning and truth behind it. Because violence does not happen to one person, it happens to all of us. So use your voice to stop the cycle, to bring awareness to what has been happening and continues to happen. We are all accountable. We have lost so many and continue to lose so many: it is time we make it right. We need to have an honest dialogue. We need to look at how racism, sexism, transphobia, homophobia, classism, ableism, colonialism and all other isms and oppressions have resulted in the violence against women and children that continues to mark the lives of countless individuals. We need to say that we will not take it any more and create the proper measures to eradicate it from all sectors of society.

While it is my last year, I don’t think I will be hanging up the pompoms just yet. I got some more cheer in me and the struggle is long and hard, but I know the fight is worth it. So I leave you with one thing:

What do we say ladies? Sisters Unite, We are Taking Back the Night!

editor’s note: amal is a fun, energetic and opinionated women’s studies/social work student in her final year. she is highly active in the WSSA (women’s studies student alliance). her vibrancy and energy is contagious, and she tends to light up the room every time she walks in late.

artist paints a different picture of women

By: Karly Van Puymbroeck

Perhaps one of most organic ways to foster human connections and social change is through the vehicle of art.

Tracey’s art and poetry fuses the physical with the spiritual. Photo taken and reprinted with artist’s permission.

At least that is what Roxane Tracey, artist, poet and owner of Poetic Art, her Toronto studio, suggested Saturday afternoon during the bustling atmosphere of Windsor’s annual Art in the Park.

Tracey is an artist who blends two artistic mediums of communication – acrylic paint and poetry – to translate powerful messages that are not conveyed often enough to girls and women in our contemporary society.

“So much emphasis is placed on the physicality of women…I think when we are girls, we are faced with the separation of our body from our spirit, and as we enter into womanhood, we run the risk of completely losing our spirit.”

An artist for much of her life, Tracey’s main artwork and poetry speaks to the empowerment that can be found when women begin to fuse their bodies with inner spirituality.

Tracey captures the depth and spirit of sisterhood. “Sisterhood” by Roxane Tracey. Photo taken from http://www.poeticart.com

“Her Layers” by Roxane Tracey. Photo taken from http://www.poeticart.com

Tracey’s work paints a different picture about women than the ones plastered on billboards and magazine ads – her art tells a story about the inherent strength, independence and beauty that exists in all women.

Her paintings and poetry place specific emphasis on the power and strength that can be found when a woman becomes in-tune with her inward self, rather than when women focus solely on physical appearance.

“Carry Your Heart” by Roxane Tracey. Photo taken from http://www.poeticart.com

“I very much feel that we are spiritual beings first, and that our bodies themselves are essentially the vessels for our spirits and souls. I try my best to speak to that and try to put spirituality first and foremost before other surface-like qualities,” Tracey tells me as she writes up a receipt for a customer.

“her world” by roxane tracey. photo taken from http://www.poeticart.com

As we talk, customers float in and admire her work. A couple women are visibly moved to tears after reading the messages on her paintings.

“I like her art because it’s relatable and personal, while at the same time reflecting what it truly means to be a woman,” said Shelby Marchand, an avid fan.

When asked about her audience, Tracey says her art acts as a testament of her desire to touch and empower women from all walks of life.

“I want the universality of womanhood to be able to speak through the paintings, directly to any woman in my audience.”

Her paintings show different women, surrounded by a myriad of colours, celebrating the unique experience of womanhood, from sisterhood and independence, to courage and determination.

“I think because women face so many barriers in their life, especially during the process of evolving through girlhood into womanhood, I’ve always felt that there needs to be some kind of positive social reinforcement out there,” Tracey said.

“Fight Like a Woman” by Roxane Tracey. Photo taken from http://www.poeticart.com

Tracey also spoke to the challenge of incorporating feminism into careers, relationships and every day life.

“Feminism has this contradicting definition and reputation in our culture. It gets to be hard to incorporate the strength people garner from feminist thought and womanhood into their everyday selves. I think depending on how it’s put forward, women and men are capable of interacting with their own feminist ideas and outside society. I think it’s all in the context and the approach.”

Tracey is also involved in various community events and organizations in Toronto, such as working with youth and in women’s shelters.

“Having art as a vehicle for social change is a really organic way to take part in our society around us,” she said.

Tracey’s work is perhaps a great example of how people can bring about change just by sending out positive, alternative messages in a creative way.

“Shades of Beauty” by Roxane Tracey. Photo taken from http://www.poeticart.com

“The depth of her work reaches out and envelops the onlooker, almost as if the women in the paintings are inside of me. It mirrors the female experience so perfectly and makes me want to pass on the messages in her paintings,” said Sally Clements, a customer who bought three pieces of art.

“They’re not for me,” Clements laughs, “They are for my friends and family.”

As Tracey smiles and thanks her customers, an age-old cliché floats through my mind: it is clear her art is a representation of how becoming in-tune with the inner parts of our being can ultimately change our outer worlds.

Tracey’s work looks at how change starts with a single person. “We Believe” by Roxane Tracey. Photo taken from http://www.poeticart.com

Tracey’s work can be viewed at www.poeticart.com. All images printed with permission of artist.

walmart woes

About once a month, I usually find my cupboards empty, the cat food on it’s last cup and the toilet paper on its last roll.  When the shampoo is all gone and every sock is missing its pair, I start preparing for WW3 – War on Walmart in less than 30 minutes.

I head out, armed with a shopping list and a determined attitude to get in and get out of the  zoo as quick as humanly possible (a lofty goal, I might add). While the shopping experience at Wal-Mart leaves much to be desired (especially at the cheaply renovated Superstore Wal-Mart’s like the one on Dougall Ave), I’ll be the first to say it: I am a feminist, and I shop at Wal-Mart.

The contemporary fight against Wal-Mart is a rightful and necessary form of resistance. The concerns and issues surrounding Wal-Mart’s practices are long and dreary, ranging from discriminatory labour practices, exploitation of child labour, nasty globalization consequences (maquiladoras) and negative impacts on local economies (along with many others). Even Wikipedia had to create a new page on the problems of Wal-Mart. It’s safe to say, Wal-Mart is possibly our contemporary world’s most evil corporate enterprise. That’s all well and good – but I get a little tired of hearing feminists say they “don’t shop at Wal-Mart” and look to me for approval.

OK – I care about the issues listed above.  I know that as a consumer, I do have the choice to not shop at Wal-Mart.  I can boycott it until my face goes blue, but in the end, my financial situation dictates where I shop and what I buy.  Being a poor student narrows my shopping choices dramatically.  Even though I consider myself to be a more privileged student based on my upper-middle class upbringing, I still have to navigate a less-than substantial loan each new school year and have to figure out how to make ends meet for ten months.  I’m not exactly poor, but I don’t have money to throw around, buying all organic products or fair trade items every time I need a roll of paper towels.

Feminists shouldn’t look down on every person who shops at Wal-Mart or participates in such cultural practices that seem to perpetuate larger gender, race or class inequalities, especially when it is those very systems of oppression that force many people to shop at low-price stores like Wal-Mart.  It is a privilege for those who can afford to shop at stores that practice a more humane version of capitalism, but even then, can we ever be absolutely sure that a store does what it promises to do (fair trade, equal pay, green initiatives)?

Yes, it’s important to be critical of such stores and consumer practices, but I also think we tend to dismiss the larger external social/economic system that corporations like Wal-Mart participate in. We are in an era where we expect to pay the lowest possible prices with complete disregard for where our products came from and how they got there. But this is only half the problem. We exist in a cyclical pattern of consumerism, where we believe our  life experiences can be translated through the act of buying. Places like Wal-Mart thrive off their ability to provide items to the masses without incurring penalties for their inhumane means of production. So to me, it seems as if the choice to shop or not shop at Wal-Mart is only one side of the coin.  When we are critical about Wal-Mart, we have to also turn a critical eye on the larger social system that allows such a corporation to thrive off the exploitation of certain persons.

So, part of me wants to say to the non-Wal-Mart shoppers: back off. For people of low-income, it’s a matter of constrained choice, not ignorance. What happens when you want to resist, but you can’t? How can we activate for change when we ourselves are party to the deal, as de Beauvoir would say?

still i stand

Submitted By: dante l. simonato

I am a feminist: proud, intelligent, and motivated to stop the male violence against women and children. When I was in my second year at the University of Windsor, another female student came up to me after our Women Studies class we were taking together. She noticed the passion and energy I had during our discussions in class that helped us students understand how oppression, inequality, patriarchy, injustice, social constructions, and language affects women’s lives. That same day my friend took me to the Womyn’s Centre in the CAW Building on the second floor in room 291. There, we met other like-minded feminists who believed that violence against women and children is unacceptable.  We all shared the same view: we will not stand by and allow this abuse to go on any longer.

Being an official radical cheerleader for the international annual event “Take Back the Night” has kept me focused on the goal of making our community aware of the systemic gendered violence that makes women victims of abuse. This violence is enacted not just by strangers, but mainly by known males in their lives: it could be a close friend of the family, a brother, uncle, father, or a husband.

My own personal experience with physical, emotional, sexual, and psychological abuse started at the age of sixteen by one of my sister’s ex-boyfriends. When I told my mother about his advances she explained like many mothers before her had to tell their daughters to just stay away from him and avoid being alone with him. Well, I never knew what this was called, even though I knew he was wrong for what he tried to do to me that night when I was babysitting him and my sister’s child.  In my Women’s Studies class this was given the name “Not Quite Rape or Harrassment”, and the meaning sat with me from that day on. Many of us females have experienced that sexist, racist, male privilege that seems to give people with penises the right to make sexual advances at any female body without consequences or punishment.

I remember feeling disgusted in his behaviour, and still to this day I feel that betrayal and distrust of men in general. I have talked to my sisters about this incident and we were all able to think of a time that we have been violated by a man. What I do not understand is why do we women have more loyality to men than towards other women? I have been in the presence of women that have choosen to stay in an abusive marriage for the sake of the children. What is it about being a single mother that is worse than having your power as a woman stripped away from you day by day by a husband, father and love?

When I divorced my daughter’s father I felt that I would rather be alone with my three month old baby struggling than to put up with one more day with her abusive father. A man that puts his hands on a woman is a coward and I believe that it’s more harmful to the children to witness their mother being abused by father than to grow up in a single parent household. As time went on, I continued to educate myself because in that first marriage I was considered utterly stupid: I was unable to speak properly.  But, when he went racial on me, that was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I was a fat, black, bitch…I planned my escape from that moment on and have not looked back since. Today I fight for other women to escape when they are ready to leave this fucked up situation. I will fight to make sure that the resources are there for them to stand up and fight back against their oppressor. Sleeping With the Enemy was a movie I watched long ago and now I fully understand what it was like for the lead character to leave her husband.  And now, I am speaking to the females out there: if you are in that situation please stay strong, think about what life you and your children really deserve and remember that you are not alone.

I want to thank the sisters that have worked hard to produce this feminist blog because through writing about my experiences, these words heal the wounds created by the men that tried to destroyed me and still I stand, cheer, laugh, love and will conquer these chains and will break them with this energy. Be postive sisters because the movement is alive and well. She just marches to a different beat…

editor’s note: university of windsor’s women’s studies classrooms have been honoured with Dante’s passion, courage and determination that has touched and empowered many budding feminists to stand proud and speak loud. 

bathroom blues

About a month ago, I was eating lunch at the Sunset Café on campus with some friends. This was the first time I have ever been to this restaurant, but it is conveniently located on campus so I decided to give it a try. After I finished my food, I had to go to the bathroom. I noticed that there was a men’s bathroom and a unisex/wheelchair accessible bathroom (which was occupied). This confused me. Where do I go to the bathroom?  I was always taught not to use wheelchair accessible bathrooms, as a sign of respect for those who need them. And the only remaining bathroom to use was clearly marked “Men’s.” I walked over to the woman at the cash register and I asked her where the women’s bathroom was. She told me there wasn’t one and that concerned me.  I went back over to my friends and they told me to just use the men’s bathroom…

I want a bathroom where I can feel comfortable being in. It’s bad enough that most public spaces are already male dominated!  What if I was on my period that day and I needed somewhere to dispose of my pad? There is no female disposal box in the men’s bathroom…and how awkward would that be if a guy seen me coming out of the stall with my dirty “sanitary napkin”? Yes – some people wouldn’t care. But most of our culture is socialized to act in specific and gendered ways every day.  All it would take would be for me to walk into the men’s washroom with my pad or tampon and have someone see me and all hell would break loose.

This blew my mind. How can people walk by these two bathrooms for so long, and not be outraged? Has society taught us that able bodied men deserve these types of privileges? Why is it okay for able bodied men to have their own bathroom, while everyone else is crammed together into another bathroom?

The course of action I took was contacting the HR office at the University of Windsor. They informed the Graduate Student Society (who own the Sunset Café) of my concerns and they have contacted me since. They have fixed the problem (they made both of the bathrooms unisex), and I am satisfied with the change. This was my first time taking action by promoting equal rights by myself, and I am very happy with the outcome.  I hope my actions have opened people’s eyes by showing them that things like this should not be tolerated, and not to be afraid to take some action if you don’t agree with something.

editor’s note: katie is a first year women’s studies and social work student and is the youngest member of the wssa.  she likes watching hockey and eating pizza for breakfast.

beauty school dropout

By: Aholland

The idea of beauty is to be; white, able-bodied, and blue eyed.  Beauty is a societal norm that we must conform too, and if we don’t we will be punished. God forbid if that happens!

If beauty is shaking my assets on TV, then I most definitely don’t want to be a part of it! As men and women we are coerced to believe this ideology of reaching the goal of beauty, men are to be muscular, insensitive, have short hair, with washboard abs. Whereas women are considered to look “feminine & petite,” able-bodied, have long hair, emotional, and wake-up with perfect make-up in the morning! (Now you know that ain’t gonna happen!) I know many females that obsess over their photos: Does my hair look okay? Do I look fat? Am I wearing too much make-up?

It never ceases to amaze me when males decide to look macho and take photos of their abs and newly worked biceps just to fill  their egos, and girls that rack their brain until the wee hours of the night trying to figure out the perfect comment! Society continues to change but yet we make the mistake of trying to keep up with the latest trends and fashions. In a perfect world we must conform but I say forget THAT; lets break down the barriers of what society says and rise up to be our own women and man! Let’s become role-models, and owners of our sexuality. What is considered beauty cannot be defined as one size, one skin colour, one hair style, and one cup size. Beauty is on the inside and we gotta let it shine through on the outside!

Peace & Love,

Aholland

editor’s note: Aholland is a first year psychology and women’s studies student.  she is involved in different types of feminist activism, with a particular interest in Afrocentrism.

freshly squeezed feminist perspective

Welcome to feminist juice!

Finally, Nicole and I have launched the blog.  This is my first time ever writing a blog – so once this post is done, I will feel that split second of relief and satisfaction, quickly followed by a wave of anxiety and thoughts like “I should never have done this” and “what the f*** was I thinking?”.  Ah, the feelings of loosing one’s virginity to any new experience is always somewhat liberating and daunting all at once.

The idea of a student orientated, feminist blog has been bouncing around in my head for a while now.  Being a fourth year Women’s Studies major, I have had my fair share of opportunities to collaborate with feminists from a multitude of backgrounds, experiences and standpoints.  I admit, most of these occasions were academically inclined, so the idea of a student blog that was casual and inviting seemed like a perfect chance to interact with feminist students from my living room or whichever coffee bar I happened to find myself at.

With the help of professionals (i.e. Nicole Beuglet), a blog that relies solely on student voices has been created.  I want this blog to be a place where any student, from any department or field of study, can share their insights and experiences with the big world of feminist thought.  Our ‘About’ page outlines more of our mission statement, but overall, I hope this blog can be an outlet where students can develop their feminist thinking.

Karly