This Week In Feminist News: Let Me Hear You Say No, No, No

·      Lady Gaga started the week off on a high with a badass and nostalgic performance at the Super Bowl half-time show and the announcement of her World Tour for Joanne. (Instagram)

·      A flight attendant in the U.S. saved a girl from human trafficking by picking up on unusual behaviour. Sheila Frederick noticed a much older man accompanied by a frightened looking young girl which prompted her to leave a concerned note in the bathroom for her to find. She later responded with “I need help”. (Independent)

·      A crowd of around 100 gathered at Patterson Park in Thunder Bay on Sunday evening to protest in solidarity with Indigenous women. The gathering was in support of First Nations woman Barbara Kentner, after she was struck with a trailer hitch by an 18-year-old male. (CBC)

·      Turkey’s Peoples’ Democratic Party Women’s Assembly launched a ‘NO’ campaign for the upcoming referendum on Turkey’s constitution to launch a One Man Rule. A powerful declaration was conducted that includes a list of NO statements:

Say NO to put a stop to rape and violence

Say NO to put a stop to violence against women

Say NO for our labor, our body, and our identity

Say NO to the mentality of ‘obey and be comfortable’

Say NO for equal representation, equal life

(Left Foot Forward)

·      The National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) of New York is sponsoring a series of events that will celebrate the history of Asian-American Feminism. The first event will be held at New York University on February 12th and will act as a Women’s March debrief focusing on reproductive rights, politics, and Asian American Feminism in the ‘Age of Trump’. (NBC News)

·      After a lengthy hiatus from the political limelight, Hilary Clinton attended the women’s empowerment conference on Monday evening to show her ongoing support for women’s rights. As per usual, she received quick criticisms from conservative political voices such as Charmaine Yoest, who argued that the ‘catch phrase’ The Future is Female is anti-male, reminiscent of those who deem BLM a racist movement towards non-black individuals. (NBC Washington)

·      Elizabeth Warren was silenced during a debate regarding Trump’s nominee for attorney general, Jeff Sessions. Warren read Coretta Scott King’s letter on Sessions failed judicial nomination from 30 years ago, and was abruptly silenced by Republican Senators. (Fortune)

·       Chinese feminists have coined the term “Straight Man Cancer” as way to denounce Trump’s sexist and misogynist policies. Prominent Chinese feminist Zheng Churan has been active on twitter stating, “just like cancerous cells, straight-man cancer spreads everywhere damaging feminist movements and undermining social equality. It is pervasive.” Churan believes Trump is bringing Chinese feminists together and that as collectives begin to form, they will be stronger than ever. (Telesur)

 

ToFemCo is back with our first episode for Season 2: Galentines! We talk femme friendships, frenemies, friends we have crushes on, and more. Click on Underwire at the top of the page to check it out <3

Love, ToFemCo~

This Week In Feminist News: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly (As Usual)

·      Surprise, surprise. Trump makes another news headline for an anti-women, anti-human rights issue. It’s been reported that Trump prefers women in the White House to wear dresses, or to “dress like women”, while men must always be wearing ties – preferably designer brand. (The Guardian)

·      For Eating Disorders Awareness week, in collaboration with the National Initiative for Eating Disorders, the heroic Sophie Gregoire Trudeau hit instagram to share an imperative message:

Eating disorders are not a choice. They are not capricious episodes. They are so real, and they take away lives. ” (Instagram)

·      As you probably ALL already know, the Queen herself announced to the world on Wednesday that she will be adding TWO more to her dynasty. For more on Beyonce and her fam, The Read released a reaction episode titled Destiny’s Grandchild that is well worth the listen. (YouTube)

·      The brilliant ImeIme Umana becomes the 131st President of the Harvard Law Review, a title once owned by Barack Obama. Umana previously interned at the Bronx Defenders and will soon be part of the Public Defender service for D.C. (Harvard Law School News)

·      Hidden Figures wins the SAG award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. The 2017 drama commemorates the lives of Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson, three NASA mathematicians who played an integral role in the U.S. space program in the 1960’s, but went unrecognized for their invaluable contribution. The cast’s lead Tarahi P Henson concluded her emotional speech with “They are hidden no more!” (People)

Additionally, it is certainly worth noting (and applauding) that Denzel Washington took the award home for SAG’s Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor – not Shitty Casey Affleck. (Indiewire)

·      Jessica Williams, as she has done many times before, taught us all another important lesson this week after Salma Hayek cautioned others ‘to be careful not to fall into victimization’. Williams questioned the privilege and white point of view on the current political conflict in the U.S. She asked what those already living in conflict should do, a crucial reminder that simply feeling liberated is not a cure all for oppression. (Global Grind)

·      This weeks entertainment news included J.K. Rowling being hilarious on twitter, offering a match to those who threatened to burn her books after she took a political stance against Trump. (BBC)

·      Ontario plans to offer surgeries to young children affected by the travel ban. Many children had life-saving surgeries planned are now unable to return to the U.S. due to Trump’s 90-day ban against seven Muslim countries. (The Star) 

·      In the rural community of Bountiful, B.C., Gail and Brandon Blackmore have been found guilty for taking young girls across the border for arranged marriages in polygamous churches. Over the past year in the trial, the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ battled the judge on their beliefs of plural marriages, often with girls as young as 13. Trigger warning for sexual assault. (CTV News)

·      Sweden’s government posted an all-female photo to throw direct shade at Donald Trump’s oval office pic from January, priding their politics as “all feminist”. Politician Isabelle Lovin is pictured signing a new climate law that binds future governments to a net zero emissions by 2045.  (Huffington Post)

 

Thank you for another week of smashing the patriarchy with us ~

HOPE TO SEE YOU ALL AT GALENTINES! 

Seeking Contributions: Black History Month

TOFemCo is looking for podcast contributions, blog posts, poetry and any visual content (crafts, comics, photos, memes, typography) for Episode 15 of Underwire.

We're planning a Black History Month podcast episode for Underwire to be posted Feb. 22 and would of course like to centre as many diverse black voices as possible for this episode and always! We recognize how co-opted and watered down Black History Month has become and we want this episode to go against that--to truly centre black folks' experience and to be as radical and intersectional as possible. Because of that we're hoping to have some guests on that can essentially takeover the episode. They'll have the support of the collective but otherwise have the freedom to talk about whatever feels most important or relevant right now. If you don't have a mic available, recording on a laptop or a phone works very well.

Do you have a story, message, poem or artwork that you would like to share? You can use an alias to remain anonymous or we can tag/credit you directly.

We will continue to centre black lived experiences in upcoming topics. We have an editorial calendar for the rest of the year we can share with you if you think you'd be more interested in another topic down the line.

Please feel free to comment here or share with anyone else you think could be interested! We can be reached at tofemco@gmail.com for feedback, interest or any questions.

Submissions are due by Friday, Feb. 17 at the latest. 

Thank you! 

This Week In Feminist News: Legendary Females and Foul Politicians

·  The forever badass and inspirational Roxane Gay pulls from project with Simon and Schuster when it was announced that a book deal was made with Milo Yiannopoulos as well. (BuzzFeed) 

·      Riley Yesno from Eabametoong First Nation joins the Canadian Prime Ministers Youth Council. (CBC News)

·      Federal government gets approval from the Quebec Supreme Court for an extension to make changes to the Indian Act. For decades the Indian Act has disallowed Aboriginal women from keeping their Indian Status upon marrying a non-Aboriginal person, a rule Aboriginal men are exempt from. (CBC News)

·      Brilliant Nigerian Novelist Buchi Emecheta, who spent her life writing stories based on her experience as a black single mother in Britain, has passed away in her sleep at the age of 72. (The Guardian)

‘Her friend and publisher Margaret Busby paid tribute to her pioneering fiction, which explored sexual and racial politics in the Britain of the 1960s and 70s. “Given the odds she had to overcome, it was a triumph that she produced the powerful writing for which she will be remembered.” 

·      Actress Mary Tyler Moore dies at the age of 80.  The 70’s hit, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, was known for challenging both the wage gap and workplace sexual harassment. (Market Watch)

·      During his first week in office the always-terrible Donald Trump reinstates the ‘gag rule’ which will refuse funding to any space that offers safe Abortions. (BBC News)

·      MP’s in the UK stress equality in the workforce for businesses that force women to wear high heels on the job. Evidence has been pushed to show that heels can develop musculo-skeletal health problems, a risk that can easily be avoided with change and fairness in employee dress codes. (The Guardian)

·      Russia passes an amendment to decriminalize first time domestic abuse offenses with a maximum penalty of a $500 fine. Putin and his constituents believe this decision will be the foundation of stronger families. Trigger warning for sexual and physical abuse. (NY Times)

·      Constance Wu hits twitter to respond to Casey Affleck’s Oscar nomination, fearlessly questioning why the f*ck actors in Hollywood accused of sexual assault are being nominated for any sort of award. (BuzzFeed) 

"Running for an award that honours a craft whose purpose is examining the dignity of the human experience, and young women are deeply human."  - Constance Wu, via Twitter

.....

Although the world may leave you feeling heavy hearted and angry, we hope This Week In Feminist News can leave you feeling the love and inspiration from the good that surely exists in the world. Have a happy weekend. Love ~ ToFemCo

 

You Care Too Much: Creative Women on the Question of Self Care

You Care Too Much: Creative Women on the Question of Self Care

Happy New Year, everybody! It’s 2017!

Some of us are feeling hopeful, fistful of resolutions in hand, after the garbage fire of 2016, which led to the disastrous election of Donald Trump among other horrid things. From his anti-abortion stance to his public objectification of women, Trump’s upcoming presidential inauguration on January 20th will be a day many feminists and like-minded folk will dread for years to come.

Since the election on November 9th, 2016, the internet has been urging us to look after ourselves in ways we maybe hadn't considered before, that in order to take care of our world, we must first take care of ourselves. Now, more than ever, we have fewer opportunities to shrug and say, “Who cares?”

That’s the question Erin Klassen, editor of the new anthology You Care Too Much, and friend of TOFEMCO, has never been able to ignore. With an intuitive sensitivity, she writes in the introduction of her book, published by her company with/out pretend: “I’ve always cared, so much, about everything.” But in dark times, Klassen asks a relevant question: “Where is the guide that will lead us to real healing, when we’re faced with the moments we need it the most?”

Read More

This Week In Feminist News: Terror At Standing Rock

Standing Rock isn’t the first time Native Americans have stood up for our rights. It’s just the first time in recent history that the non-Native world has paid attention. Anti-Indigenous racism functions through erasure. For the American story to come true, as Native people, we can no longer exist. We cannot be seen. Whenever I hear people talk about the extreme violence perpetrated against Native Americans by the U.S. government, I hear even “educated” and “liberal” people talk about it in the past tense. As if it is over. As if we are all already dead. The well-kept secret is that the genocide against the Indigenous people of this land never ended. We are a strong and resilient people. We are still here.
— Rebecca Nagle, via Bitch Media

This Week In Feminist News: The World Post-Election

Have a safe and happy weekend + keep smashing the patriarchy!
 

 

music monday: solange's a seat at the table

Solange is taking over this week's music monday.

her album A Seat at the Table dropped Friday and the sweet, delicate, and powerful tracks have been playing on repeat all weekend.

the album is beautifully cohesive with powerful interludes from her mother, father and hip hop genius Master P. her unapologetic lyrics and aesthetics are deep with meaning and frothing elegance addressing race, identity, and the experience of being black in America.

from Solange herself, the album is "a project on identity, empowerment, independence, grief and healing."

the video for Don't Touch My Hair is everything you want from Solange, who co-directed the video with her husband Alan Ferguson, Saint Heron and more.

listen to this album. watch the videos. and if you're a weirdo and don't follow our girl on instagram @saintrecords you're welcome. you've never seen shit as gorgeous as this.

don't let anybody steal your magic. #blackgirlmagic

Seeking Contributions: What Does the Word "Feminist" Mean to You?

TOFemCo is looking for podcast contributions, blog posts, and any visual content (crafts, comics, photos, memes, typography) for Episode 10 of Underwire.

We're looking for people who would be interested in talking about the word "feminist" and their relationship to that term, as well their thoughts on how “feminist” has been stereotyped and stigmatized. We want to know about how you were first introduced to feminism, and what your process has been in deciding to identify as a feminist (or not). Does the term “feminist” feel safe and inclusive for you? What could we do to make it so for yourself and for others? Is there another term that you identify with more? We want to hear about it!

Read More

Friendship & Sisterhood Ritual

In the spirit of Episode 6: Bitchcraft, Sylvia and Alice offer you and your coven a spell for friendship & sisterhood. We do so with full respect to those who practise witchcraft or believe in Wiccan spirituality. This ritual, like many everyday rituals, takes something simple and makes it feel sacred. It turns out we unknowingly have been replicating this spell in our monthly book club as both our book club meetings and this ritual revolve around delicious food, positive energy and strong feminists.

You will need…

Read More

Our Guide To Pride Toronto

Pride is happening. Right now.

I can’t believe some of you need to be told but apparently we haven’t shouted at you enough - it’s TORONTO PRIDE

Whew. Pride can be overwhelming, especially if you’re new, or you don’t like crowds, or you don’t know what to go to or whatever. It’s a lot. That’s the joy. You gotta turn that frown upside down and prepare yourselves. Sparks for life! (It’s a Canadian girls thing)

We decided to share with you our little guide to Pride Toronto this year. There are some actually incredible events and everyone should go! ToFemCo is going to hit up as many of these as possible.

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Loud & Proud

It’s the end of June in Toronto and that means Pride is full blown.

Toronto loves Pride. Especially after we hosted World Pride in 2014, it’s become a massive part of our cultural identity. This year we decided to go all OUT and we raised the damn flag (that should be permanently up) on June 1st. There have been events, parties, decorations, apologies (womp), fundraisers and all things rainbow ever since. Sadly by the morning of June 13th, we were all reminded how much work is left to be done. We’ve been mourning yet feeling proud for almost a month.

Pride is one my favourite times of the year. First, It’s officially summer and summer is the season of love, laughter, and beauty. Everyone/everything is more gorgeous, funnier and loving it’s hot hot hot.

Read More

My Girl Powers

When the Girls called Spice came into my life I was a wee babe.

I was just a lil hunny who never had the opportunity to really be diminished because of my gender so when the Girls started preaching Girl Power all I said was, “Duh.”

Sporty, Posh, Baby, Scary, and Ginger were so pumped to tell me and every girl I knew that us girls were the coolest and didn’t need to be anything else. I was a feminist and I couldn't even spell it. They made the catchiest songs, wore the most interesting outfits and praised women. I was more than into it.

Their phenomenal success didn’t come wily nily, they did what The Andrews Sisters, The Marvelettes, The Supremes, Banarama, En Vogue and hundreds of other girl groups did before them. They sang in badass harmonies with choreography and made every girl, and children of all orientations want to be just like them.

Read More

Introducing TOFemCo

TOFemCo began more than a year ago as a group of women and non-binary people gathered in my apartment in the heart of Toronto, reading books and discussing them with a feminist lens and a sense of humour. For months before, I would dream about being part of a feminist collective that would fulfill my need for deep, interesting discussions about feminist issues that were fuelling my passion and, mostly, my rage. I felt that, on social media, I had access to all these smart funny people who were feeling that rage with me, and my Facebook rants were getting tons of likes, but IRL I was kinda lonely with my thoughts and my copies of bell hooks. I had real-people feminist friends, but they were spread out around my social circle and they didn’t know each other. One day I realized I could stop waiting for someone to invite me into this perfect vision of a collective and just...start one.

Since then, we have grown into a real community that supports each other when we need to vent, shares food at monthly potlucks and plans social gatherings for local feminists. We’ve developed a space where we can be together and talk about REAL SHIT, without having to get sidetracked by people who will interrupt with “Not All Men.”

So here we are, creating platforms so we can share our insights and support, and hear from all of you. We’re creating a bigger conversation and we can’t wait to hear your thoughts about it.

You’ll get to meet all of us in the first episode of our podcast, Underwire: Support for the Girls. We’re all fiercely committed to being trans-inclusive and queer-positive with an anti-racist, anti-oppressive framework, but we’re also all at different places and stages with our feminism so you don’t have to be an Audre Lorde scholar to join in and relate.

So what can you expect from our podcast and blog? We’ll discuss a variety of topics from a feminist perspective--anything and everything from current events in Toronto, and the rest of the world, sexuality in all its forms, geek culture, mental health, the fight for reproductive rights and anything else that we feel we need to get off our chests. We’ll get you thinking and talking with a Twitter question, engage our critical analysis skills with a pop culture review, or share a rant every now and then.

We hope it will feel like you’re sitting with us in my apartment, listening in and joining in on the conversation through social media.

- Alice