I Am This: Geek

I spent some time debating with myself on whether or not I was going to talk about this particular identity. Not that I am ashamed of it, but because I think that I might get some of the most vitriol about it. Strange, when I think about it that I was more nervous about being challenged or abused for daring to call myself a geek than pansexual, or discussing my journey to cisgender identification.

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Birthday Reflections

Yesterday was my birthday. I turned 28 years old. Since at one point in my life I was on a pretty fast track to dying young, I think keeping myself alive for another 366 days (leap year) in a row is an accomplishment. This post is more or less a lengthy reflection of nothing about politics, philosophy or anything except personal reflections of the past year in my life.


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I Am This: Religious (a guest post)

xavea’s note: This is a guest post written by my friend Erin. Since I do not claim all identities worth exploring, I have invited a number of people to write guest posts about aspects that make up their identity which I do not share. Please note that while some minor editing has been done by me (to fix typos, formatting), any other edits to content have been done by the guest author, but pictures and captions were done by me. The opinions expressed are strictly those of the guest author. I may or may not agree with the opinions expressed, but it is not my right to police how someone else crafts their identity.

Erin can be found on Twitter @e103084

Hey there, my name is Erin, and I have been kindly asked to contribute to this blog on the theme of religion as identity, as part of the larger theme of identity politics in general.

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Guest Post for Katie Burnett Photography

My friend Katie Burnett is an amazing boudoir photographer. She has a great blog about body positivity where she posts some of the photos she takes.  I wrote a guest post for her that came out last week. The original post on her site can be found here. Obviously all photo credits in this post are to Katie Burnett Photography.

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Time Tracking

A few weeks ago, I began an experiment where I tracked my time to see if I was acting in line with my priorities.

I used a great free app called Now Then (for iPhone). I could customize all the categories and assign subcategories wherever I chose. It gave me enough line items to be able to break some tasks into sub-tasks, but not enough to get unnecessarily detailed. I recommend this app to anyone wanting to try this experiment in their own lives. In fact, I would recommend that anyone even remotely interested in trying this do so. You might be surprised to learn some things about yourself.

Here’s what I learned:

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Jian Ghomeshi and Institutionalized Rape Culture

Sexual assault is a terrible thing that can tear apart lives, families and even whole communities. I don’t think I know a single person who would disagree with that statement (out loud). However, if you have been following any sort of discourse around the treatment of sexual assault victims, it should be obvious that we as a society don’t always treat them very well. We disbelieve them, ostracize them, ridicule them, shame them and blame them. Growing up as a young girl I was constantly warned about the dangers of men and encouraged not to trust men I didn’t know. As a grown adult woman, I am still advised not to walk home after dark; that I should be careful living in the neighborhood I do and might consider moving; that I should look into self-defence classes; that I need to be careful of what I wear.

A lot has been written about rape culture and how it is continually perpetuated by small acts of microaggression such as catcalling, and larger acts like body/clothing policing and slut shaming. This piece is not about microaggressions. This is about several recent failures of the Canadian judicial systems to protect sexual assault victims and reinforce the status quo of rape culture in Canada.

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Makeup Review: Plumpify BlastPRO Mascara

I am a makeup junkie. I am fairly certain that to explain all the reasons why would take up an entire blog post of its own. The long and the short of it though is that it is another creative outlet to express myself to the world through visual presentation. I am always looking for inexpensive, good quality makeup. I could easily go broke buying all the things I drool over by my favourite brands (One of my best friends who knows nothing about makeup actually braved a Sephora to get me a gift card for the winter holiday, because he knows me well.)

That said, I thought it would be fun to write a review on a new mascara that I tried: Covergirl Plumpify BlastPRO.

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Fulfillment > Happiness

The unalienable rights described in the United States Constitution are famous around the world: “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”. Some scholars believe this phrase to be inspired by the philosophies of John Locke regarding government’s purpose to be to protect property. Variations on this phrase can be found in constitutions and organizations in countries around the world. In a political context, since language and the meaning of words can change over time, what this meant when the US Constitution was written is likely not the way most people understand the phrase today. Conversations about the role of government, property rights, and civil liberties aside (don’t worry, it’s not forever), let’s talk about “the pursuit of Happiness” as most people today understand it.

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I Am This: Woman

This past Tuesday (March 8th) was International Women’s Day, but I know what you are probably thinking when you see that title:

You’re not wrong. Listen to Helen Reddy, she knows what this is about. As a side note for all who care about such things, I do spell woman with an ‘a’ instead of alternative spellings like ‘womyn’, ‘womon’, etc. While I am not against the alternative spellings and their reasons for existing, I choose to continue with the ‘traditional’ spelling as I feel is is more inclusive and makes intersectional feminism less “scary”. A stigma – warranted or not – is that those spellings are used by “feminazis” (I hate that term, which I am sure will appear in my post about being a feminist. Those hard-line, exclusionary, man-hating, TERF-type “feminists” do exist, but that is not usually who is meant by the people using the term.)

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I Am This: Cisgender 

For those of you who are not familiar with the term, cisgender means that my gender identity (woman) matches the genitals I was born with. Since I haven’t had any genetic testing done, I cannot vouch for the state of my chromosomes and whether that matches too. As I currently am, the gender I was assigned at birth based on the appearance of my sex organs coincides with the gender I perceive myself to be. However, this was not always true for me. I came to the conclusion that I was a cisgender woman after a lot of thought and soul searching.

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