Tools of the trade
Being an effective activist takes more than just a lot of rage and some free time. It makes the job a heck of a lot easier if you have the right tools. Here's a peek into my 'tool box'. (Unsurprisingly, a lot of my tools are yellow!)
Talking about rape culture with 13 year old boys
I have the privilege of working with youth on the regular and it feeds my soul. It really, truly does. It's my touchstone to the 'real world' and my reminder that this work is worth doing it.
With everything going on at the University of Ottawa right now, there have been lots of conversations about rape culture and engaging men.
When a group of guys threaten a womyn with rape and their defense is "Hey, this is just guy talk! This is how dudes roll. You don't understand us", it's proof that maybe we understand you all too well, asshole.
But besides my snarky knee jerk reaction, their defense breaks my heart. It breaks my heart because sadly, yeah, lots of dudes think that the best way to argue with a womyn is to resort to threatening her. But I truly believe that there are many more solid dudes than shitty ones.
So, I put it out there to my Twitter followers: If I was trying to explain rape culture to your 13 year old self, what would have resonated with you?
Too Legit To Quit
In December 2012, I was a speaker at TEDxSandyHill. Unfortunately, much time has passed and none of the videos have been released, nor any of the photos from the afternoon portion. And of course, I was in the afternoon. Oy!
Below is the text from my talk.
Resolutions + 'Fuck It' Lists
A new year! A new start! A new attempt at making resolutions that never pan out! A new deluge of self-help blog posts trying to help you keep to your resolutions! A new sense of failure!
Look, I can't get judgy. I make resolutions every year. I'm also stubborn enough to stick to them every year.
This year's resolution? Sit less.
I work a lot but most of it is in front of a computer or in meetings. Sitting is considered the contemporary health issue in North America and I can't deal with another health problem. I started being more aware of how much time I sit late last year and I want to keep it up.
What's really helped is the StandApp, an app that gives you an alarm to tell you to get up and then it gives you an exercise to do for a few minutes. Ignore the fat-shaming elements and just concentrate on the actual alarm and exercises and you're set. It's also free!
But don't like the inevitable guilt that comes from breaking your resolution? Make a "Fuck It List"! No, I'm serious.
In 2012, when it was all the rage to make a "Bucket List", my cynical self decided to make a "Fuck It List" instead. It was honestly one of the most freeing exercises I've ever done. It's a great way of staying true to yourself and saying "You know what? These are my vices/loves/no-fly-zones. Take it or leave it, universe".
I was reminded of my own list when friends on my timeline were circulating this great and hilarious post on Medium.
To help you get inspired, here is my own "Fuck It List", developed in 2012 and still standing today!