The most important movie you see before voting. 

I had been putting off watching this film because my mother said it was depressing and difficult to see and she watches anything with Meryl Streep! I’m so glad I finally took the opportunity to watch this wonderfully told true story of the fight for the right to vote in England. All too often we’re taught about the struggle for equality in America that it’s easy to forget that the rest of the civilized world was rising up as well. 

Mom was right. The story is not easy to watch. Women being beaten by police along with the usual every day sexism that, unless you listen to Donald Trump speeches all day, you don’t have the pleasure of hearing out in the open much anymore. As a 51 year old feminist, even I found myself shocked by some of the horrid abuse that was being hurled about in “polite society ”

You may be thinking, why would I want to subject myself to stuff that happened so long ago? 

Let me answer by putting the time line into context. The year was 1912. Just 104 years ago. Just 7 years before the birth of my grandmother, a woman I knew well and admired greatly. I was always in awe of her strength .It’s one thing to know intellectually the things that our grandmothers and great grandmothers fought to give us, but until you see it in front of your face, really understanding the hurdles and blockades, the sheer impossibility of winning the fight won’t hit home. This film, while light on screen time for Meryl Streep, which disappointed my lovely mother, was able to gift me with understanding of the world my grandmother had to learn to navigate with very few weapons in her arsenal. 

We owe our freedom, such as it is, to these women. If not for the right to vote, we’d never be on the precipice of being able to gift our daughters, and granddaughters with the knowledge that women are welcome in leadership roles. Every female leader around the world from Indira Gandhi to Margaret Thatcher, to Evita Peron, to Hillary Clinton owes a huge debt of gratitude for the ability to stand on the shoulders of these brave women and be the best example they can be for women everywhere. Women want to lead in order to do something in our world, let’s see what we can do, together. 

Still not excited about voting day? On or before November 7th watch this film and let it sink in. Take a good look at your candidate and what they’ve done for the advancement of women in the world, and what they plan to do. Finding the need to fight for equality shouldn’t be too hard. It’s everywhere. It’s in the way men look at us and talk about us. Do we really need another leader who sees women as nothing more than a piece of ass? It’s even in the minds of other women who think that leading a country is a man’s job and are actively teaching their daughters that they are worth less than their sons. 

Suffrage gave us a voice. It’s our duty to use it. I, for one would love to see the day when women world wide can breathe a sigh of relief and proudly proclaim the suffering over 

It’s going to take time, but eventually this will happen

Where are the men?

After the first week of Olympic competition, Canada has won a total of 12 medals, 8 bronze, 2 silver and 2 gold. The odd thing about this is that they were all won by women, with our swimmers shining above the rest. The number of medals won at this point in a summer Olympic games is about right for Canada, a country that traditionally does far better in the winter games, with both men and women dominating their respective sports. While the Canadian men have yet to collect any metal, the feminist in me is over the moon with pride and joy at the performances of these hard working female athletes. 

Bronze medal winners 



Canadian women’s rugby seven team celebrating winning bronze

Canada’s womens cycling track team takes home the bronze

Brianne Theissen -Eaton, bronze medalist in the women’s heptathalon

Silver medal winners 

Rowers Lindsay Jennerich and Patricia Obee show off their silver medals

Gold medal winners 

Rosie Maclennan kisses her gold medal won for trampoline

Medal leader, swimmer Penny Oleksiak won 2 bronze, 1silver and 1 gold for Canada

If we want to beat our total medal count of 18, from the 2012 games we need 6 more medals, so unless our men really step up next week, it looks like, this summer, in Canada, the fairer sex is also the stronger sex .

*** the day after this post was published, Canadian runner, Andre Degrasse won the bronze in the men’s 100 meter sprint. Well done! 

Aging Gracefully?


Cher at age 67

Ah youth. That time of life before gravity makes you it’s bitch and your skin still fits. Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the term ‘aging gracefully’. In the past month I have been happily losing those ‘I quit smoking pounds’ thanks to a full-time job and a lot more walking. The down side of weight loss in your late 40’s, however, is that your chin starts to hang like mud flaps on either side of your jaw and your neck begins to pool just above your collar bones. It’s not a pretty picture. As Bette Davis once said, “old age is no place for sissies”. Middle age is no picnic either.

For the sake of full disclosure, I must admit that I have been getting yearly Botox injections for the past 12 years. It started as a preventative measure, foolishly trying to ward off the ravages of time before they became indelibly engrained in my face. I spent about $800 per year on Botox, which may sound like a lot, but it works out to just under $70 per month and, unlike anti-aging creams, lotions and serums that many women pay as much or more for, it actually works. This past year is the first time I have foregone my Botox injections (mostly due to financial reasons) and I find myself in an odd conundrum of sorts. Part of me is horrified when looking in the mirror and seeing the crows feet, the forehead lines and the sagging skin, while a new part of me is beginning to emerge… a braver part. This new voice is asking if maybe, just maybe its time to let go of some vanity and let nature take it’s course all over my face. I have been asking myself questions like, ‘if you are so strong, then why are you so cowardly when it comes to wrinkles?’. The reality is they’re just wrinkles and everybody gets them if you are lucky enough to live past the age of 40. Just because I feel 16 on the inside, doesn’t mean I should try to look 16 on the outside. I have done a lot of living and should be proud of the lines I have earned. But, then vanity rears its ugly head and I start craving that needle. It’s an odd seesaw to be stuck upon.

I find myself wishing for a happy medium between this,


Joan Rivers at age 79

and this,


Bette Davis as Baby Jane Hudson at the age of 54 (just 6 years older than I am now… eek!)

Perhaps, I am desperately seeking role models in this era of surgical enhancements that look great without all the nips and tucks. Maybe I should summon my inner strength and try to be my own role model. These are obviously quality problems that can only be found in a youth, celebrity and beauty obsessed culture. As I type this, I am realizing that there are women all over the world who are currently struggling with issues like freedom and basic human rights and it makes me feel small and petty to be worried about aging, which for those women is a luxury. I am thinking that I have fallen prey to the North American way of keeping a woman from attaining too much power… keep her insecure about her looks and distract her with the possibility of eternal youth in a jar (or needle).

Maybe the answer is to get more involved with causes that are close to my heart and move away from the mirror. So, from now forward, I will hold my head up high (with pride, and because it stretches the skin on my neck) and say goodbye to Botox and hello to more worthwhile endeavors. Maybe that’s what aging gracefully is really all about.

On the subject of dates.

For the past five years or so this is what I thought of when I heard the word date.

cluster of dates with leaves on a white background

Or, more correctly, this.


But last week something interesting happened. I was asked out on a date… you know, the social interaction kind. I had forgotten they even exist. The even more surprising thing is that I found myself actually considering it. You see, whenever anyone asks me why I’m single, I usually laugh and say, ‘because it’s safer for everyone that way.’ (which is funny because it’s a little bit true).

But here I was, considering making dinner plans with a perfect stranger. As a matter of fact I was seconds away from sending him an email with my available dates (the kind found on the calendar) when I thought, maybe I should Google him first. (I use Google in general terms here, as the search engine I actually used was Yahoo, but I digress.) The second link down the line was very telling. It was a site where people air grievances about dates (or, more correctly the people they had dated). It looked to be run by a small group of young women and it read like a high school slam book written by the mean girls. There he was, with photos and everything, the guy who had asked me out. He was accused of all sorts of unacceptable behavior. Now I usually like to get to know a person before I begin to believe gossip and rumours about them, so I didn’t judge the man on the alleged misdeeds.

I deleted the email I was about to send him because he comes with a lot of young girl drama and I am too old to be dragged into that quagmire, thank you very much. I was likely saved from having to wade through a lot of crap because of these girls, so I suppose I am thankful that they chose to air their personal laundry in public. I also suppose that they are achieving their goal in some small way in that I chose not to pursue even a first date (the social interaction) with this guy because of something they had published.

Some small part of me is relieved that it didn’t go any further, but I have a feeling that I may be ready to unleash the havoc that is me onto the dating world (even those who eat dates while on a date on any date the calendar deems appropriate) sooner than later. I may have to question the sanity of this… just when everything in my life is settling down and going well, I’m ready to muck it up with the whole dating conundrum?! It might not be smart, but like Amy Farrah Fowler before me, I must follow my endocrine system… but this time my brain comes along for the ride.


The age old question

Since the dawn of time there have been good girls and bad girls. Since the dawn of time, men have been asking each other which they prefer, virgins or sluts… or to put in terms of the complex, Madonna or Whore. This question has had many faces over the years. Two of the most famous are Ginger or Mary Ann.


There have been magical choices like Samantha or her cousin Serena.


There has even been a cartoon choice with Betty or Veronica.


The faces may change but the question remains the same, would you rather be with a virgin or a slut? On its face, the question is highly insulting, as it only takes into account a woman’s sexuality (or lack thereof). As a feminist, the question is offensive… but it’s hard t be offended when… women are guilty of the very same behavior.

We choose between the nice guy and the Lothario. We have made this choice since the dawn of time. This question has had many faces over the years. One of the most famous examples is Danny or Tom.

Olivia Newton John and John Travolta in 1978  movie " Grease"


A very young Lorenzo Lamas as Tom in the movie Grease.

Of course Sandy picked the bad boy, Lothario, Danny and she changed for him, even though he was willing to change for her. The better choice would have been Tom because neither of them would have had to change who they were… but it wouldn’t have been as entertaining. There is a correlation between a woman’s age and the choice she will make when faced with these two stereotypes. When a woman is under the age of 35 she will be much more likely to choose the bad boy. Some young women choose the bad boy because he represents danger and adventure, some will choose him because they have this delusion that they can change him or save him from himself. Once a woman is past the age of 35 she is far more likely to choose the nice guy because she has known nothing but heartache at the hands of the Lothario and she now sees what should have been obvious from the start, that a more quiet life with the nice guy who will treat you well is a better long-term bet. Excitement and danger is fun for a while, but you wouldn’t want to live there.

I wonder if the choice between virgin and slut also has an age correlation? Do younger men prefer the virgin because they too are inexperienced? Do older men prefer the slut because they are looking for someone with a more open mind, sexually? Or do men just like what they like from cradle to grave? I would be very interested to hear thoughts from some of my male readers on this topic. Please feel free to post a comment below.

Word of the day

Women around the globe know that you don’t have to be sad to cry. You don’t have to be angry to lash out. You don’t have to be hungry to eat your weight in sweets. For a few days each month women go through a nonsensical time called Pre Menstrual Syndrome, or PMS. It’s a time when we are not in control of our emotions, but rather, our emotions are triggered by surges in estrogen. Within the course of 24 hours we can go from this,


to this,


to this


This hormonal spike can also occur during menopause. There is a word for this phenomenon… HORMOTIONAL.

Why is Hormotional the word of the day? I just cried during an old episode of Ugly Betty and not even at the sad part.

Bad Penny. The evolution of women in sitcom culture.


Penny and Leonard from the Big Bang Theory

I was raised on sitcom culture. One thing I have noticed in the past decade or so is a shift in how women are portrayed. Unfortunately, it’s not for the better.

Women used to be shown as the subservient wife and mother who surreptitiously leads her husband from behind in order to get her way, like June Cleaver, Donna Stone, Samantha Stevens and Lucy Ricardo. There was always an unspoken (or even sometimes actually spoken “One of these days, right in the kisser.”) threat that she was risking violence if she were caught going behind the back of her husband in order to get what she wanted.


The Ricardos

Then, in the 1970’s women were portrayed as feminists for the first time. Maude, Mary Richards, Margaret Houlihan and Emily Hartley to name but a few. These were women who are unconventional and ground breaking. Maude fought for women’s rights and raised an independent daughter. Mary was the ultimate working woman who, not only didn’t need a man, but refused to settle. Major Houlihan worked alongside her male counterparts in the most dangerous of settings. Emily Hartley was seen as a woman who chose to work and a true partner in her marriage with her husband. These women were much healthier role models then the women who came before and after them. These sitcoms are proof that female characters can be well written, fully actualized, real women who are also funny.


An iconic symbol of feminism.

Now we’re seeing women who are perennially annoyed with their husbands, or single women who continually make bad choices in men. Take, for example the show Everybody Loves Raymond, featuring Debra Barone, a woman who gave up her career in order to raise her children (which is a luxury in today’s world and an admirable choice). She is shown as constantly finding fault with her husband, who is somewhat childish, but all in all, not a bad guy. One of Debra’s most frequent insults is to call him an idiot. Another example of the continually annoyed wife character is on the show Rules of Engagement. The character of Audrey Bingham who is a childless, married, working woman. Audrey is married to Jeff, a former frat boy, jock type who is an excellent provider, a bit childish and a tad oblivious at times, but again, all in all a good guy. Audrey’s default setting is mildly annoyed with her husband and it just gets worse from there. She seems generally disappointed with life for the most part. This type of character reminds me of a great quote from Bill Maher, “Women cannot complain about men anymore, until they start getting better taste in them” These women go around unfairly blaming their husbands for behavior that they were fully aware of when they said I do. I have zero sympathy for this type of woman. They have no one to blame but themselves.


The bickering Binghams from Rules of Engagement.

Then there is the other prevalent female sitcom archetype, the single woman who makes bad choices. One of the most frustrating examples of this is Penny from the Big Bang Theory. Her father gives some examples of her previous boyfriends in the following clip.

She has dated white rappers, cow tippers, a guy who blogged about their sex life and a guy who cheated on her and had violent tendencies (Kurt). When faced with a relationship with Leonard, a genius physicist who is, admittedly, a little clingy, she pulls away thinking that she can do better. I will never understand why young women would rather be abused by the bad boys than have something real with an intelligent guy who will treat her well. Okay, maybe I do understand it… young women are inherently insecure and feel undeserving the majority of the time. What bothers me most about Penny is that she thinks that she is the catch in her relationship, when clearly the real catch is Leonard. Looks fade, but intelligence is forever.


The cast of the HBO series, Girls

My final example of the single girl who makes bad choices is from the HBO hit, Girls. All four of the lead characters in this show are hot messes. Yes, they are young, insecure and still ‘finding their way’ but they all have absolutely no respect for themselves. These young women were raised by mothers who would have come of age during or after the feminist movement and yet every character is clueless and self sabotaging. I would have hoped that their mothers would have instilled in them, some sort of sense of self by the time they were out on their own. For me, the most disappointing thing about this show is the fact that it was created and written by a woman.

It seems that women can’t write good parts for women in Hollywood, so how can we have the audacity to expect men to write them for us?