21 September 2005

All cultures have lesbians

I saw a great film last night at the AFF called Saving Face. It was a comedy about a Chinese American lesbian who has been hiding her life from her family and community and it all starts to unravel when her widowed mother shows up on her doorstep, pregnant, having been kicked out of her father's house.

Hijinks ensue. Seriously, if you don't mind some hot girl-on-girl action, check it out. It's pretty funny, and the cast is really well chosen for their roles. Vivian makes me want to punch her, but the rest are all really engaging.

My point: There's a scene when the pregnant mother is being dressed down by her father. He goes on about what a disgrace she is, how her honour is ruined and how she has shamed the family. This is when I had my little epiphany. Obvious to many, but sometimes you need to put things in front of people to make them click.

Often people will point to certain religions as examples of oppresive behaviours toward women. Two that come to mind are extreme right-wing Christian groups and extreme Muslim groups. The former in Western society as advocates of the anti-abortion and anti-birth control movements, the latter in the Middle East as having regimes that keep women out of the workforce, and as the property of men (note: this is a basically another bastardization of the Koran/Qu'ran -- it doesn't say to keep your women locked up at home and you have to let people rape her if you do something wrong).

But, you know what? It's really everywhere. And it's not just based in religion. Even though Andrew and I even had a debate (which I won) about how Christianity (early Roman Catholic church) corrupted women's traditional role in (Western) society in favour of giving all the status and power to men. This is another debate for another time.

What struck me last night is that what happened to this pregnant mother is exactly what happened to the character Missy on Jack & Bobby. She was a minister's daughter. I think the presumption was supposed to be that he was evangelical, because they're the acceptable punching bag these days. Missy was not a "good little Christian"; she ahd sex. Then, she got pregnant. She originally blamed it on Jack because she knew he'd do the right thing (i.e., marry her). When the truth came out, "The Rev" kicked her out until she was absolved of her sin. Apparently, this means two things: a) get married; b) get rid of it. So, Missy got an abortion. (Much easier then labour and adoption, plus, c'mon, we're on a schedule people! We have to solve this before the season ends!)

The mother from Saving Face was offered similar choices. "Don't come back without a husband!" Her daughter and others ask her if she's going to keep it. The whole community knows the quandary: She's a whore if she keeps it, she's immoral if she gets rid of it, and without a husband, she's a dishonour to herself and her family.

Did I mention that this is a comedy? It really is. I swear!

My epiphany? Oh, yeah! Other cultures do this too. And it's not based in religious dogma.

It is still based in a women-as-chattel mentality that relegates us to "weaker sex" status, but living in a culture where all the arguments for limits to personal freedom and civil rights seem to be based in religious doctrine, I guess it's easy to forget that it's not the only reason for the battle.

I know a little about how the aforementioned extremist Muslim culture grew to push women down so much; about how women used to be prized as opposed a burden and a shame. I don't know how it evolved in Chinese culture (apart from scattered references in Mulan) or how prevalent it is contemporarily. I also don't know how it affects social debate (of which there is very little in a "Communist" dictatorship, I understand).

All I know is that, in the same way that Fire opened my eyes to homosexual struggles in India (in a much more tragic story), Saving Face reminded me that not all morals or values are institutionalized in religion.

Not bad for a comedy about some hot lesbian lovin'.

19 September 2005

I am sick

Because of my illness, I have little will to write anything. So instead I'll introduce you to Amelia.

15 September 2005

Moved in

I am officially living in my condo. I still have lots of cleaning and organizing to do, but most of that will have to wait. Some days the hot water works, some days it doesn't, but that will have to wait. Some days I love my kitchen, some days I'm ready to gut the whole thing, but that will have to wait.

Currently I am in WEDDING MODE. Lew is getting married next Saturday, and as a bridesmaid, I have much work. For example, the bachelorette is tomorrow night. Dinner, drinking, dancing. The usual fare. Plus some Lew-specific fun; GNI with movies and sugar.

I'm also taking two days off next week to help with anything I can. That will also include an appointment for underarm torture and eyebrow weeding. And, if I can squeeze it in, a manicure. I'd really like to go get a spray tan for my pasty skin, but they're expensive and I'm afraid of looking like a streaky blood orange. Jury's still out.

In the meantime, I'm going home to the parentals for supper and a needle.

10 September 2005

Almost done

In about 24 hours or so, I will be officially living in my condo.

I have groceries. I have some clothes. I can do laundry and even bake a cake (Hooray for PC Organic cake mix!).

And how do I feel about all this? Tired. Stressed. Run down. Frustrated. And topping the list: Scared.

And all I get from people is "How exciting!" etc., etc. Except my mother who says, "You're leaving tomorrow? Forever?"

Yes. And it is exciting. And in the very near future I will become more and more aware of how wonderful it is to be a grown-up, and how I will enjoy being able to do ____ when I feel like it, and how much better it will be to have a shorter commute to work, etc., etc.

Until then, I just want to wake up and have it all done. My room here cleaned out, and everything magically away and organized in my new space. I want my new blinds bought and mounted. I want actual furniture. I want to find my dishpan, drying rack, shower curtain, and tools. And then I want all the old unusable, crappy stuff I own to magically organize itself into piles for my to sell at a yard sale.

Until then, I have laundry to do and pack.

I'm tired.

08 September 2005

Career remorse

Yesterday I discovered that I missed my chance to get my dream job by 30 minutes.

I had been talking to Amanda the night before and she said they were still posting term positions on the HRSB website and that I should check them out.

Bad idea.

There was a position posted for Grade 10 English, Drama, and Canadian History. It was a 100% full-year term position. I know I would have got it because I haev all the qualifications. Okay, so my history isn't the strongest, but I took lots of courses in university, and it's Canada! I think I could figure it out. At the very least, I could rent Canada: A People's History and base my course on that!!

I checked at 3:30, the job closed at 4. I didn't have a resume ready to post. And I accepted my current job a month ago. I felt so boxed in. Besides the fact that I work with my father, I'm prominently placed for a bunch of upcoming projects that I really want to work on. I don't want to shoot myself in the foot now.

But with all the kids (and some of my teacher-friends) going back to school this week, I'm feeling a little bit of remorse. A little bit of questioning. Should I have stuck it out longer? Should I have tried the subbing thing for more than a few months? How bad would it have been?

I know that I would have learned to hate teaching if I was stuck subbing for a long time, but I don't know how long "long" is.

So, today I am a little sad about that missed opportunity and wondering what I would have done if I'd seen that posting sooner. I know it's a pointless exercise, but I don't think it's a surprising reaction.

02 September 2005

Let me clarify

Moving out is great. Moving SUCKS.

I hate packing. I hate unpacking. I dislike big cleaning jobs. I dislike upfront organizing. I prefer to organize an already established mess.

My furniture is in. What I own, anyway. I have a bed. I have a dresser. I have a chair and ottoman (from IKEA!). I have a kitchen table and chairs. That's it. I do have a desk, but it's in MB, and I don't know when it'll get moved up.

Dad has a lead on some other furniture, which is great. The downside is that it will almost exactly match my carpet. Dad says I should just suck it up and live with it, which I will do for a while. But eventually, I want my condo to look like a home, not a dorm.

I'm obsessed with renewable energy now. I keep thining about solar panels and wind turbines. I know they're expensive up front, but I can't understand why more people don't use them, including our illustrious power corporation, who whine constanly about needing rate hikes so they can afford to buy more oil and coal. Hey. Stupid. They keep getting more expensive because they're running out.

I'd love for my condo corp to decide to invest in solar power. I think it would be a great investment. It's pricey up front, but if we get enough panels, we could sell power back to the grid and actually make money. Just think of the cost and energy savings!!

I think I'm going to look at some energy efficient and eco-friendly things I can do. When I live in w/v, I had this stuff called Ecogent. It was a biodegradable cleaning product. As far as I could tell, it worked just fine. And I understand that vinegar is amazing, too.

So, current predictions have me moving in completely a week from Sunday. Dad's going away next weekend and Mom doesn't want to be alone the whole time. She'll help me get set up, figure out what staples groceries I need, and (hopefully) organize my kitchen.

In the meantime, I plan on relaxing for most of the long weekend. It's supposed to be sunny and warm. Perfect conditions for being lazy. :D

01 September 2005


I've added a fun new feature. I haven't been comment spammed yet, but Andrew was recently, and I'd like to avoid it.