You’re Not Sorry

It’s time for another episode of “what really grinds my gears.” 


Today: why people need to stop dismissing sexual assault as “just…”

I hear it all of the time. It’s just a cat call. Just a kiss on the cheek (in the case of a reporter at Osheaga last week). It was just a friendly comment. Last year, I tweeted about an old man that catcalled me and numerous men on my Twitter feed told me it was a compliment. I should be flattered. Let me tell you, there is nothing flattering about being catcalled. It’s degrading to both parties. But they’re probably “nice guys” that just aren’t appreciated *cue eye roll emoji*. 

This week, Taylor Swift is making headlines as she is in court, battling a lawsuit filed by David Mueller, a Denver DJ who lost his job after an incident where he allegedly groped her. Swift has countersued for $1, demanding an apology.  While the trial is ongoing, a lot of comments I see online are “it was just a butt grab.” So called feminists who preach about defending women when forced to confront someone who assaulted them are notably silent (Demi Lovato, I’m looking in your direction. Maybe you’re matching on Capitol Hill…?). Feminists stop being feminists when Taylor Swift is involved it seems. No support for her. After all, it was just a butt grab. No big deal. Right?


A similar statement echoed through social media when a fan attending a live event commented that a child had slapped the posterior of WWE Raw Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss. 


The kid was praised, fans wanted to give the kid a high five. She wears such short shorts, she had it coming! Besides, he’s just a kid and it’s JUST a butt grab. No big deal! Calm down feminists, it’s not sexual assault. It’s just a playful slap on the butt! 


Except it’s not just a butt grab. It’s not “no big deal.” It’s not “calm down.” It IS sexual assault. Taylor Swift is an entertainer, but she’s also a human being. She deserves basic respect. She doesn’t deserve to be sued because she didn’t stand for being molested by a DJ. All of the “she’ll write a song about it,” etc. jokes do not take away from the fact that this man allegedly sexually assaulted Taylor Swift. I commend this smart, strong woman for standing her ground, because the millions of little girls that look up to her are watching & she’s showing them that you do not have to dismiss sexual assault as “just a butt grab.”


I’ve been in situations where a guy took liberties. Last year a customer grabbed my ass while throwing something in my garbage can. I was furious, but when I called a friend back home & told him the story, he pointed out it was “just a butt grab.” I wear tight pants to work, right? I kind of accepted it, but I sometimes wonder how many women dismiss sexual assault or harassment as “just…” I’ve even been told by female relatives that as we age, the catcalls stop and we should be flattered that men still find us attractive. But is it flattering when it makes us feel gross? To me, flattering is something that makes us feel good, not super gross. I can’t imagine Taylor felt good, and considering she complained & Mueller was fired. I can’t imagine Alexa Bliss feels good when grown ass men teach little boys to slap her ass and catcall her. It’s not flattering, nor a compliment. We need to stop referring to this behaviour as such and refer to it as what it is; harassment. To those who do these things; it’s a funny story and a high five, but to the women involved, it’s a loss of trust, a loss of personal safety. As guys like Mueller become legends around the bar, women like Taylor become labelled as cold and standoffish, because they’re not comfortable in those situations anymore. Great trade off, right?

If it makes you feel uncomfortable, unhappy, or unsafe, it’s not flattering and it’s okay to stand up for yourself and say that this is not acceptable behaviour. It’s not okay to tell a woman that it’s just a slap on the butt, or just a friendly catcall, be flattered. The more we diminish this very real harassment, the more we embolden others to think it’s okay. I commend Taylor for standing up for herself, not settling, and making this man accountable for his actions. Maybe this will encourage other women to speak up about harassment in the workplace, at a club, or even among friends when a joke went too far. After all, the only way this sort of behaviour will be stopped is when we as a society stop tolerating it, and kudos to Taylor for not just shaking it off, but standing her ground instead. 

Shady

Anyone who knows me knows that I love me some pop music. I’ve been a huge fan of Katy Perry and Taylor Swift, along with a bunch of other cheesy pop acts, including Carly Rae Jepsen. I was an entertainment editor, so I follow popular culture. I’ve largely kept silent about the feud between Katy & Taylor because I enjoy both artists, but the other day, after reading another interview about Katy discussing her side of this saga (again) & I found myself asking a friend;

I write about my life. I’m not gonna shade someone for writing a song about another human. I write about my reactions to certain things have shaped me. I’m sure some people out there aren’t happy with my opinion of their behaviour. That’s nice. But in the end, the lesson is what I learned from those experiences. It’s why I enjoy Taylor Swift as an artist. Her songs are about her feelings as they relate to certain  experiences. Sometimes she calls herself out for her own missteps (Out of the Woods, Back to December, and the forever soul crushing All Too Well). This applies to Bad Blood. Bad Blood isn’t some diss track; it’s someone expressing their feelings over the loss of a friendship. The “diss” was about actions, stressing what the person in question did and how it made her feel. But more importantly, Taylor never revealed any details, except it was about a friend creating a professional issue and the friendship ended. 


Taylor was called a fake feminist, catty, and a snake. What was meant to be a minor point about the 1989 writing process turned into a major event.  Leading the charge was Katy Perry, who revealed herself to be the subject. In fact, despite saying she doesn’t write songs about people, she released her “anti-bullying anthem” Swish Swish. The song was chock full of thinly veiled insults towards Swift and the promotion for the song has been about how she was the victim and is the bigger person and how Taylor overreacted. Perry constantly says “I’m done talking about it” and then proceeds to speak out more about she was wronged because of the song Bad Blood while promoting a song bullying Swift. What appears to be an almost obsessive need to appear as the victim of some unfair attack almost validates Swift’s position to ignore her and feel like she was being targeted professionally. But more importantly, it looks like Perry is using Swift to help boost sales of Witness, which is sad as Katy Perry is talented enough to sell albums on her own. 


This isn’t the only account of Perry’s bullying of other women. Earlier this year, she mocked Britney Spears’s mental breakdown a decade before. She regularly makes comments about Spears’s mental health. This is not how women should behave. You don’t need to belittle other women to elevate yourself. There is room on all of our phones for Britney Spears, Taylor Swift, and Katy Perry. Heck, my phone has 128gb of storage; there’s room for Gaga, and Carly Rae, Selena, and Beyoncé, with room left over for Nicki Minaj & maybe some Gwar. There’s no need to attack other women to elevate your status as HBIC. 


Maybe we as humans elevate the need for girl drama. Look at when Fifth Harmony member Camilla Cabello left the group. It wasn’t about creative differences; it was obviously about catfights and jealousy. When Zayn Malik chose to leave One Direction, it wasn’t rumoured that the guys were jealous of Zayn’s face and hair. It was “oh. He wants to go solo. Good for him.” Look at how fans pit artists against each other on social media. They’re still fighting about Britney vs. Christina. It’s been 20 years since they released their first singles. Is it the women, or are we obsessed with these supposed girl feuds? I’m guilty of it too. I was talking about it with friends. I just called attention to Katy Perry’s bullying of other women. Maybe the narrative continues because we encourage it. 


Or maybe, we should hold women accountable to walk their talk. Katy Perry talks about how women should build each other up and she wants to empower, and in the next breath shit talks another woman. She tells a story about how she stole background dancers from Taylor, and knew it would be a problem, but she’s the victim because Taylor wouldn’t apologize to her and wrote a song about her feelings. Then says women should build each other up, because she’s a feminist and not like that mean bitch Taylor, who could end all of this if she just apologized to Katy, the victim. Poor Katy. But don’t worry, she’s not crazy like Britney. See? She loves all women, just not ones with mental illness, or that made her feel bad. They’re bitches. She’s so sweet. That is true fake feminism & it makes all of us look like catty bitches who are desperate for attention. 


It’s okay to write about feelings. Some of the most powerful and moving songs were written by true life events (as long as they’re written by men, but that’s another rant for another time…wait, I’ve already written it!), but using those events, or the misfortunes of others, to build yourself up to sell records isn’t. And we need to stop hanging on every tidbit of gossip and shade like the world is a human soap opera. Those are real humans with real feelings. We need to stop listening and tell people who participate in this kind of pettiness that if their work was good, they wouldn’t need to use other successful women to give it a platform. It would sell on its own…

…swish swish. 

That’s My Girl

Let me tell you about my best friend Melissa. 

Total hottie

She’s a mom, manager, wife, fitness guru, and blogger (read her stuff. It’s rad. Also, follow her on Twitter). She’s the most patient, understanding, and all around coolest person that I know. For 15 years she’s been my other half & we’ve been through everything together. Even though I’m like, a bazillion time zones away, she’s still got my back and we talk all day every day about fitness, parenting, family, and really deep things. 


But the big thing we talk about is career. We both work in similar fields and want to move up the corporate ladder. It’s important to us to be successful working moms. We need to be good role models for our kids. We have bills to pay. We’re boss bitches. Yesterday, we both messaged our respective DM’s with ideas we had to grow our businesses. I always get super nervous when I do that. I’m always afraid I’m going to overstep my boundaries, or my idea is bad, or I’m undermining someone. I was walking through WEM (on the never ending search for a Finn Balor Pop Vinyl), and I kept wishing I was like Melissa. I wanted to be logical and articulate and super smart. I wanted to feel confident when I spoke to my boss, not like an awkward weirdo. I admired her for being so brave and bold and cool when she hits me with a truth bomb;


Wait. What?!

Here I was admiring Melissa for being the most bad ass person that I know and she thinks everyone loves me?! What?! I was so confused; how does this confident, cool, level headed, goddess look to weird, scatterbrained, delightfully dim ME as someone people love and admire?! It floored me. But then I realized how women look at each other and then ourselves. 


I looked at my best friend as the coolest person on Earth. She saw me as someone people admire. I saw myself as a big fucking weirdo. She saw herself as Michael Scott from the Office. We saw each other as amazing, and looked down on ourselves. It’s so amazing that so many women are rejecting the idea that all women secretly hate and compete with each other, but why are we selling ourselves short? Why aren’t we building ourselves up while also celebrating how great our girlfriends are. We always joke that there would be world peace is everyone treated each other like drunk girls in a bathroom, but maybe we also need to add that we need to look at ourselves with the same lens we look at our best friend. Maybe then we wouldn’t feel so awkward. We’d be confident. We wouldn’t be competing by way of admiration; we’d embrace self love and build up others. 


I’m not sure if everyone loves me. But I do know that someone I admire thinks I’m confident and strong, so maybe I should respect their opinion and own it. I hope she totally owns being awesome too. We respect our friends; let’s respect their opinions and stop selling ourselves short. Ditch that critical internal lens. Let’s start building up all women; including ourselves. 

Fake Happy 

There’s been an article circulating online that a few of my friends have tagged me in, mostly because it’s something I’d relate to. 

Feminista Jones, an authour and social worker, encouraged women to agree with a man when they complimented her. The results weren’t terribly surprising. Anyone who is familiar with my online dating trolling on my personal Facebook page knows all about what happens when you say “no thank you” or agree with a compliment. I thought maybe I was just a bitch, but no, apparently this is a thing. 



I’ve seen this in my previous long term relationships, and even the workforce. Weak men do not like it when women are confident. My ex husband once made his own Facebook fan page with photo albums of “his” cover stories. They were all written by me. His answer was that he was the reason I was a good writer, so they were kind of his. Before I started at my new job, a male colleague at my old job told me not to get a big head when my performance was commended, it was a team effort and don’t think you’re so perfect. Agreeing with a compliment makes you a vain bitch. We’re taught that a woman only has worth if a man sees it, and that is bullshit. 


I read a lot of comments from men about why women should just say thank you, be humble, stop being full of themselves. But why is it that when a woman thinks she is smart and pretty and worthy of love an attention, she’s suddenly unworthy of attention. This trope is common in pop culture. Look at One Direction. The girl is only beautiful BECAUSE SHE HAS NO IDEA THAT SHE IS BEAUTIFUL. Had she known, then Zayn wouldn’t have found her so attractive (sorry Gigi). Every teen movie is the same; the pretty, popular girl is a bitch and the nerd is only pretty when a guy tells her that she is. What a great lesson girls! You’re only amazing when a boy tells you that you’re amazing!

It makes me wonder why the world continuously forces the idea that women who are assertive and aware of their value are somehow bad. Why should we only feel pretty because a man tells us we’re pretty? Why should we only giggle and say thank you? Why can’t we know our own value? We wonder why girls have low self esteem, but then they’re inundated with the idea that confidence = lack of humility and women are only desirable when they’re innocent and unaware of who they really are until their prince comes to sweep them off of their feet. Why do we need that? To me, that feels like we’re encouraging low self esteem and breeding controlling and abusive relationships. That’s how we end up being told “without me, you’re nothing,” and we believe it. Why? Because we’re taught that feeling good about who you are makes you vain and conceited and no one wants that. Be the quiet, meek, girl who doesn’t know she’s gorgeous. That’s how you end up with Freddie Prinze Jr. instead of all alone. 

We need to start telling ourselves that we’re beautiful and stop waiting for Freddie Prinze jr. or an online creeper to tell us that we’re pretty. Like Ms. Jones said, agree with compliments. It’s a good way to weed out the men from the weak minded jerks. The one who respects your confidence is the one who will elevate you to be the best version of you, by supporting you, not trying to reshape you into some stepford simpleton who giggles and falls at their feet because they said you’re pretty. 

I know I’m pretty. I’m really smart too. I’m good at my job. I’m pretty okay at crossfit and my running times improve. I can carry a tune pretty well and my hair is super cute. I don’t need anyone to tell me these things and you don’t need anyone to tell you either, because despite what Harry Styles says, you DO know you’re beautiful & that’s what makes you beautiful. 

Turn it Up

Today, I’m gonna write a piece I call “the Ballad of Bayley.”

Last year, I told you about my teenage daughter’s love for Sasha Banks, today, it’s my younger two daughters and WWE Women’s Champion Bayley. 

The character of Bayley is arguably the most relatable character on TV. She’s a fan that got to live her dream. My 10 and 7 year old adore Bayley and everything she stands for. They once waited in the snow for six hours, in their hugger shirts and Bayley tassels just to catch a glimpse of their TV best friend (and hugs. Their goal in life is to get a hug from Bayley). My Twitter feed is dominated by photos of them in full Bayley cosplay. Bayley’s character was dismissed as being “Just Bayley.” She wasn’t special; just ordinary. But this mantra of “Just Bayley” was so important to her fan base of little girls. My own daughter is painfully shy. She struggles to make friends and when picked on for her small size and quiet demeanour (she’d rather read and do math than play sports), she decided she was “just her,” and that was enough. After all, Bayley was just Bayley and she became a champion. Being yourself is cool! While adults complained about Bayley’s character and direction, kids got the message; Bayley is herself and that’s enough, and if you just be yourself, you are enough. 


When Bayley made her way out at Wrestlemania 33, my two small girls squealed with joy, as their hero was finally living her dream. They sat in their Bayley gear and side ponytails, imitating her entrance. They cheered her on loudly from home, and big sister even joined in (after her beloved Sasha Banks got eliminated) & all three jumped up and down and cheered when Bayley retained her championship. They cried with her, their best friend won. My oldest, who wants to be a wrestler herself, said that she couldn’t wait for her moment like that, while the little two were so happy that their best friend Bayley won and when they got to school, they could talk about it with their girlfriends. 


Which brings me to why I adore this character so much. It isn’t just because she’s a good role model for my girls, or she’s relatable. It’s because I feel like she’s an overlooked but key reason why so many female fans are watching WWE. Yes, you have the Bella Twins, who introduced wrestling to the mainstream, and Sasha Banks and Charlotte, who made history, but Bayley is just as important, because she’s just Bayley. 


Just two years ago, my girls & I were among just a handful of women who watched WWE. This past October, we were among dozens of little girls with their side ponytails and tassels, screaming the lyrics to Bayley’s entrance song. While yes, there were other women who helped usher in a new era, the character of Bayley opened up a new world to little girls that had been previously excluded from. I remember when little MHC wanted to play wrestlers with her brother and his friends, with a Miss Elizabeth action figure in one hand and an Andre the Giant in the other and the boys laughing, saying girls can’t play. Teen MHC was mocked mercilessly for my HBK posters on my wall, while the boys said I only watched pay per views with them because I wanted them to like me. My own girls were picked on at live events by grown men because they chose Nikki Bella & AJ Lee shirts over male superstars. But the character of Bayley allowed little girls to feel included in a world they were originally banned from. The world of NXT, originally for die hard fans, became the world of Bayley. Each week Bayley brought her brightly coloured world to the ring, another little girl realized they belonged too.  Bayley allowed little girls to feel like they belonged, and she did it by being just Bayley. 


Representation matters. You can preach equality all you want, but unless you can see it, it’s not there. There are a great many women who helped pave the way for female fans to find role models, but for little girls, it took a best friend to give them a hug and tell them that they belonged anywhere they wanted to be and they deserved it by just being themselves. I sometimes think that we as adults get so caught up in our perception of promo quality or what we think that we miss the lesson; that it’s okay to just be you. Because of that, I think we don’t realize just how important or powerful a character like Bayley truly is. No gimmick, no catchphrase. She’s just like us and that’s just enough. 

Helium

You know what I love? Women who build up other women. I am all about that. I effing LOVE seeing women succeed. Love. It. When my girl friends succeed, I am like “THAT IS MY GIRL!” Life is too short to be catty. I can’t be that person. I want my women to run shit. 

Speaking of women empowering women, I missed all kinds of girl power at the Grammys tonight. I usually love them, but I was watching Naomi win herself a Women’s championship at the Elimination Chamber! While I admit, I am late to the Nao Mob, I respect women who hustle & girl certainly did. Congrats Naomi, you deserved this moment. Proud of you. I was even more proud to see all of WWE’s warrior women hitting up Twitter to congratulate her. I love the Smackdown live Women’s locker room. These girls build each other up. Love it so much & more women could follow this example. 


But let me get back on track. 

I love when women build up other women. I’m sick of seeing women torn down for no reason. I’m sick of seeing people tear down Taylor Swift because it’s the in thing to do.


 When people like Frank Ocean claim that she didn’t deserve Album of the Year, it’s a sign of men once again marginalizing the talent of women. When women support this narrative, we are allowing it to continue. We need to stop being catty and build each other up, which is why I freaking love Adele. 

Adele’s brilliant effort 25 won Album of the Year, making her the second female in history to win the award twice (the first being Taylor Swift), beating out Beyoncé. But instead of just thanking her fans and collaborators & walking off, Adele took a moment to lift up Beyoncé & acknowledge her impact on music. Adele took her moment and used it to empower her fellow female artists & she did it well. More women need to build each other up like Adele, she’s a class act all the way. 

Adele showed that women can compete and not be Total bitches. You can respect each other. Adele winning doesn’t make Beyoncé’s album bad. It’s just how the Grammy voters saw it. But these two women showed class and sisterhood, which we need more of, especially in this climate where we see people tearing down successful women! Look at the attacks on Taylor. People calling Beyoncé a racist primadonna. Instead of congratulating Lady Gaga for slaying the Super Bowl, people called her fat! It’s even more important that women build each other up.


Some women, however, need a refresher in how to build up other women, like Katy Perry. 

Before I start, let me say I’m a huge fan of Katy Perry the artist. I think her voice is amazing. I think she has a great message of female empowerment. Her new single Chained to the Rhythm has a great message about stepping outside of your comfort zone and learning about your planet. But you’ve gotta back that shit up, or it’s just hollow words. 


Tonight, on two separate occasions, Katy Perry said she took a hiatus for her mental health and it worked, because she didn’t shave her head yet, which appeared to be some thinly veiled shade at Britney Spears, who’s 2007 nervous breakdown made headlines. Katy Perry made several comments about feeling victimized by the song Bad Blood, and how Taylor Swift was calling her out for this type of catty behaviour unjustly. But it’s hard to call it unjust when you used a serious mental illness for punchlines. 

Britney Spears is reported to have bipolar disorder, and that’s no joke. This requires medication, counselling, and for some, even watching their diet. This needs to be done every single day. When left untreated, Bipolar disorder can lead to some dangerous and even fatal situations. It’s not funny. It’s scary af. Katy Perry says she’s a feminist. A feminist does not take someone’s darkest hour and use it as a joke. If anything, let’s all give huge props to our girl Britney. She manages to raise a family, co-parent in a healthy way, perform a regular show in Vegas, all while continuing to treat her illness so she can be bad ass. That takes strength, resolve, tenacity, & we should commend Britney. I love Katy Perry’s songs, but for her message to have meaning, she’s gotta walk her talk. 


In a world full of catty Katys, be like Adele. Build up your sisters. Celebrate their talents. Be that woman who builds up other women. When you empower each other, you feel better about yourself and they feel better about themselves. There is no downside. So, before you make that snide comment, think of how much better it would feel to be kind. 

Follow You, Follow Me

Can I just tell y’all how proud I am to be a human today? 

Before I get into that, let me give you some back story. A long time ago, in a small city far away, lived a man named Paul Blundy Sr. Paul Blundy was a pretty rad guy. He even has his own Wikipedia page!  He was a politician. And a funeral director. But he was my uncle and he was a great man. 


His political career had long ended by the time I entered the world, so to me, he was just my uncle who lived on a beach and had big family gatherings (that I once famously ran away from, because even at three years old, MH did her own thing). When I was a young, homeless, pregnant girl with nowhere to turn, my Aunt Barbara took me into her one bedroom apartment and told me stories about her fine husband, a man who wanted to make a difference. I always said I’d meet that kind of man and marry him (oops). He has a park named after him where I wanted my wedding photos taken. Too bad it pissed down rain. Obviously, God also objected to this union. But my family always reminded us that politics wasn’t just uncomfortable dinner talk. It was about us. About people. About change. My beloved foster father, whom I still consider the greatest man I will ever know, always told me that I didn’t need to vote for my late Uncle’s party. It was my job to ask questions, listen and decide who I wanted to represent me. 

So, from the time I was a little tiny MHC, I followed politics. When other little girls wanted to be Barbie, I wanted to interview Mayor Hazel McCallion for my lined paper newspaper. This woman took no shit and even in her eighties, walked parade routes and represented her constituents well. I would stay up late to watch CTV News and ask my mom questions. Even though my family was Liberal to the core, Mila Mulroney’s beauty and class while representing her causes always left me in awe. These women made me want to listen and stand up and use my voice to help others. Now that I’m a mom, I want to teach them to use their voice. I hope they can look up to the Michelle Obamas, the Sophie Gregoire Trudeaus and answer the call to action too. 

Legit boss

Which brings me to today. 

2.5 MILLION people answered the call of a small FB post and marched peacefully. I wanted so desperately to go to my local march, but alas, I had to work. So, I used my social media feeds to spread the word and show support. No one got arrested. Nothing was lit on fire. Just men and women of all races, religions, all sexualities represented. They all peacefully marched to make a statement; that we will hold the Trump Administration accountable to preserve all human rights. And it was arguably the coolest thing ever. 


When we use our voices and band together, we accomplish so much. Today, we accomplished so much. To the brave souls that marched, I am so proud to be alive to see you accomplish what you did. To those who couldn’t, but supported; you are amazing. I hope you inspired many little girls today. To the men who joined, thank you for remembering that men of quality do not fear equality. Whether you are a beautiful celebrity or an introvert who was just brave enough to stand outside your door, I commend you. 


I became a journalist to use my voice. I wanted to give information and inspire others to use their voice. So, I am using mine to commend every woman for standing up for each other today. But I’m also using mine to make a small request to my fellow human beings, as the next four years will be challenging. But I’m asking anyway. I hope we can all choose to stand up for almost all women. If you’re pro-choice, stand up for your pro-life friend and vice versa. Respect that you may not agree, but can have civilized discussion. If you’re a SAHM, stand up for the career mom and vice versa. If you’re straight, stand up for your LGBT humans. Stand up for each other (unless you are some vile hate monger like Tomi Lahren. Then, treat her with respect, because the high road is a place you’ll never run into her). Don’t turn a blind eye; stick up for each other…

…this includes the first family. 


Before you say “No! MHC, they’re horrible,” let me take you to another perspective. Many believe that President Trump is a psychopathic narcissist. If we believe that he is a narcissistic twat waffle, then how do you think he treats his family?! There are plenty of articles about how narcissists raise their families.  How they treat their mates. If Alec Baldwin imitating Trump sends him into a rage, how do you think he treats his family?! They are likely prisoners of his delusions as well. Every time you put a jab normalizing the idea of Trump sexual assaulting Ivanka, you’re giving him ammunition. Every time you poke fun at Melania’s nudes, you are empowering him. Now, he can tell them we, common people, think they are whores. They’d be nothing without him. They can’t leave; he’d ruin them and we’d laugh. If you must throw your barbs, throw them at the man who has earned them (& Mike Pence, the Vice President twatwaffle). But please, leave Barron, Tiffany, Ivanka & Melania out of them. You are only empowering the very awful human we wish to subdue. I don’t know Melania or Ivanka, but they present as kind hearted, lovely people, very submissive to their overbearing father/spouse. We can’t claim to want to build each other up and then take our shots at those Trump can take his rage out on. 

Today was a wonderful day to be a human. We came together as allies. So let’s continue to be allies. Not just for our selected groups, but for all people willing to stand up for each other. Let’s be the example; the ones who treat each other with respect. The more we allow people like Donald Trump to divide and conquer, the more people like Donald Trump acquire the power to divide and conquer. Don’t give him that power anymore. 

I always say that the world would be an infinitely better place if we practiced the lost art of not being an asshole. So, let today be the foundation that we build unity and understanding on, not a footnote in a history book beside a downward spiral. 

Attention 

Looks like we’ve got another edition of “what really grinds my gears.”

Tonight, why the continued use of slut shaming in WWE concerns female fans like me. 

Before I get started, let me explain that this isn’t a shot on male fans who defend the angle. Male fans have a different perspective than female fans about certain things & we are going to identify a different way. I remember laughing when Chris Jericho called Stephanie McMahon THAT name as a kid because I didn’t understand what women go through every day. They don’t either. This is about informing, not attacking. 


My daughters love WWE programming, but most notably the women. They own piles of merchandise, they waited in the snow for five hours hoping to meet Sasha Banks and Bayley. My youngest has a countdown to the next live event where she hopes to meet her idol Nikki Bella. But one of their favourite personalities is Lana. Yes, Lana. Two years ago, they squeaked with delight, pledging allegiance to mother Russia if it meant she would take selfies with them. They cheered for Lana through her husband Rusev’s match. Lana was the best thing ever to them. When I asked why, it was because Lana was strong, unafraid, when she spoke, people listened & she wasn’t just another girl, she was Rusev’s equal & he treated her that way.  Lana was amazing. 


For little girls, Lana represented more than just a Russian woman that was hot. She was an eloquent speaker, Rusev listened to her, respected her, and everyone cared what she had to say. Men had Paul Heyman, women had Lana. Even during that disastrous love triangle storyline, my girls would plead with Lana to get back in her business suits and tear everyone apart.

“Mommy! Take a picture of Lana!”

Recently, WWE started a storyline where resident loudmouth Enzo Amore flashed Lana. Instead of apologizing, he flirted with her. Then, he spent weeks telling her husband Rusev that Lana wants him, fantasizes about him because he’s just soooooo manly. The story played out where Lana decided to show Enzo how it felt to feel ashamed, helpless, victimized. She offered him a chance to come to her hotel room, stripped him down, and Rusev beat him up, which of course in wrestling land meant Big Cass, Enzo’s partner needed to settle things by having a match, not like, calling the cops. 

Last night when I got home from work, the PPV event Roadblock had already started and I asked my girls what I missed. They proceeded to tell me it was awful, the New Day lost! But my nine year old also said “Enzo called Lana a bunch of bad names and I don’t like him anymore.”

When I read an excerpt of what he said, I was floored. 


How is he the good guy? Is it just because the character of Lana is Russian and Rusev is Bulgarian?! How does any man saying that to another human make him the guy to cheer?!

I understand for male fans, it’s hard to understand, but for female fans, we deal with Enzo Amore’s three times a month. I recently just wrote about how a man harassed me for WEEKS because I said no. When I decline a date, I get “well you weren’t that hot anyway,” “you led me on by saying you liked video games and wrestling,” “I bet you’re a cheap hoe.” This is the behaviour that Enzo Amore is exhibiting. He was told no and he proceeded to tell Lana for weeks that she didn’t mean no, she wants him. When she set up what many women have fantasized about, flipping the script on their harasser, she was the villain. Rusev is defending his wife from a creep, how is he the villain? He seems like a great guy, trying to protect his wife. But in WWE land, he’s a jerk and Enzo is just trying to have fun.  Okay.  


This sort of thing needs to stop. I’m all for TV and people getting it’s make believe, but it’s obvious that WWE doesn’t know how to write for women. Women don’t see Enzo as a funny guy. To us, he’s every guy at the bar that stalked us to our car (after calling us fat & a slut to get high fives from his friends) because we said no. Girls are watching and being shown this behaviour is okay. That if a woman says no, she’s the bad guy. Women fans deserve better. 

In WWE land, women are consistently marginalized when they are accomplished. Big Cass’s real life girlfriend (& former manager) Carmella was recently written as a catty girl jealous of Nikki Bella. Carmella was written to say a promo where she credited all of Nikki’s success to her boyfriend John Cena. And male fans nodded in approval. Yes, this is what happened. My seven year old screamed at our TV to stop because Nikki worked so hard to come back and girls shouldn’t say this about other girls. But this is considered status quo. 
Yes, Nikki got her revenge, by beating Carmella and proving that she is the better athlete (to the delight of my seven year old), but the damage is done. Places like Reddit belittle Nikki, talking about how she keeps her job by opening her legs. No mention of how she worked for months to come back to a full time schedule after a debilitating neck injury that could have left her paralyzed. More attention is paid to her two second hip wiggle. Nikki’s marketability as a role model is questioned. My youngest will tell you Nikki is strong and brave and athletic and she & her sister Brie could best everyone because they outsmarted them. No mention of a hip wiggle. But lots of mention of Nikki’s determination, bravery, kindness, athleticism. Maybe we need to listen to kids. 

You can have great storytelling without women bringing each other down. Sasha Banks & Charlotte Flair have done it for months. They just wanted to be the best. Carmella & Nikki could have done the same without the tired mean girl is jealous schtick. Rusev could have been praised by the announce team for being a stand up guy, defending his wife from inappropriate behaviour and condemning the frat boy antics. But alas, WWE went another way. However, I do hope male fans understand that while to them, it’s a funny storyline, for female fans, it’s a daily reality for us, that our success will always be marginalized to build up a man, or that when we say no to creeps, we are somehow in the wrong. Maybe, WWE will listen to the fans (and Lana herself, who has been very vocal on Twitter that she finds this distasteful) and we will see Rusev and Lana be celebrated for standing up to the bullies. But more likely, we’ll see a new shirt emblazoned with one of the catch lines designed to humiliate her. 

False Alarm

Let me tell you a story. 

I have an online dating account. I’ve had it forever. I used to use it to troll creepers. Now I use it to (kind of) try to meet people. I’ve been getting to know the guy we’ll call the stage five clingy soldier for awhile now, but that’s a story for another day, when I feel like talking about my love life. I got kind of burned so I leave my relationships out of my blogging life. 

Anywho, back to the actual story. Most of my adventures in online dating look a lot like this: 


Or this 


Or this

Or this 


My personality is rather snarky on a good day & my guard is up after being led down the yellow brick road and left alone in the woods to find my way home alone, but again, another story for another day. But I can be polite too. However, today’s story involves a man I said no to, & why some women struggle to say no. 

See, I said no to a guy awhile back. Then he mocked my career. So I questioned his being self employed. After some harassment, I blocked him. Tonight, I was met with him (on a new account) seeking me out and sending this gem. 


This is just part of it. There’s a bunch more, including threats to ruin my career, etc. All because I told a guy no. 

Sadly, this is a harsh reality women face when they are dating. No can turn into a dangerous situation (here’s a link to a story about 14 other women who found themselves in far more dangerous situations). People ask why women don’t say no/stay with their abusers/go back to their narcissistic exes, well here’s why.  No can be dangerous. No can lead to violence. Smear campaigns. Verbal abuse. All because we said no. 

The end of my story is simple. I told the guy off, blocked him and laughed about  it on Twitter. But for a lot of women, that’s not an option. They’re stalked. They’re harassed. Bullied. And people defend this behaviour. So I decided to share this story as a harsh reminder of the realities that women face when they say no. Not all men do this stuff, but all women have a story like this one. Whether it’s a catcall, a stranger telling her to smile, or the guy who follows her down the street, every woman has a story about a man who didn’t take no for an answer. So, before you say “not all guys are like this” or “why don’t women say something,” take a moment and remember that this is why. 

I hope the take away from this story is that threatening to ruin a woman professionally isn’t the way to her heart. Also, that apparently editors are very wealthy. I didn’t know this. When I was an editor, wealthy was not the word I would have used (unless he has pictures of Spider-Man. Maybe that’s why he’s rich?). Perhaps try tact. Or not being a raging doucher. I know, strange concept, but try it, it might work!

Playing With Power

Last night, much like all of you, I watched in stunned silence as Donald Trump, a man with no political experience, who ran a campaign of hatred, bitterness and racial division, became the 45th President of the United States of America. 

As my 15 year old daughter cried, asking how the smartest woman could lose to an unqualified man & what hope was there for her to succeed, I reminded her that we have to keep trying because we can never succeed if we don’t try. But my seven year old sobbed because what if Mr. Trump builds the wall & her cousin Kristen and Aunt Erica are trapped on the other side? What if her Uncles can’t be married anymore and her Uncle Dan has to go behind the wall? Her older sister said that we needed to ask the rental agency about Aunt Erica’s dogs so they could come to Canada too. 

Even Erica’s Dog is confused.

I was floored. I couldn’t imagine being a woman in America right now. Or a person of colour. Or LGBTQ. How disillusioned you must feel. As a Canadian watching from the outside, I read so many statements from people who said they feel like they don’t matter to their own country. They feel betrayed by their neighbours, friends. Victims of sexual assault feel like they will never be believed, as their president-elect actually said that they weren’t attractive enough to be attacked and THIS WAS A VALID DEFENSE. The girl who was assaulted now is less likely to report. LGBT families sit in fear, wondering if their family is still a family in the eyes of the government. And little girls…they watched a woman who wanted to lead be crushed by a man that is grossly unqualified because she might have done something that isn’t really a crime that no one could prove she actually did and sexual assault only matters if you are conventionally hot. And Gold Star families only matter if they are white. This is the new world and it scares the fuck out of me. 


As someone who gives too many chances and believes everyone is good, this is such a bitter pill to swallow. The majority of citizens voted for an alleged fraudster who doesn’t pay taxes and ran with a partner who supports conversion therapy. This kind of world, where this man leads a world super power is terrifying. But after I cried for my neighbours and friends and their terrifying new normal, I realized that much like America used their voice, I can use mine. 

I’m just one person in 7 billion, but you only need one voice to help another use theirs. And another. I couldn’t use my voice as I’m not American. But I CAN use it to promote goodness, kindness and love for each other. And I will do that. 


I may not respect your decision America, but I respect that it was yours to make. For those who are disillusioned and hurting, know that you are loved. You are loved by your friends, your family and even me, some random Canadian you’ve never met. Know that you have value. Know that you can change the world. All you have to do is use your voice. The thing about standing up for others is that it isn’t easy and people don’t always listen. But don’t sit down. Don’t stop trying. Hate only wins when love stops trying. So keep on loving. Keep being good to each other. Show hatred that while they won the battle last night, they didn’t win the war. 

I know we all woke up to a scarier world, but we can counter it with respect. If someone you know voted for this government, do not attack them. When you stoop to their level, hate wins. Respect that they chose and treat them the way you would want to be treated. Remember that they are also disillusioned and when we lose faith in each other, that is how monsters sway rational thinking human beings into supporting things they would never dream of. Do not validate their bigotry. That’s what they want. I know it’s hard when your entire way of life is being threatened, but try. Love will always win in the end, as long as we practice to love each other, even those who hurt us. 

And finally, I hope that you all choose love. Do something good for someone else today. Be kind to someone. On Facebook, I’ve challenged my friends to compliment the person above them, even if they don’t know them. This is how we drive out hate; with love.