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VOL VII MARCH 2017 CONTENT WARNING: SEE TABLE OF CONTENTS


WELCOME TO Welcome to VOLUME VII of F WORD, a feminist collective based in Montréal, QC. Through our publication, we aim to provide a platform for the marginalized feminist voices that are underrepresented in our community. Our notion of feminism is not limited to gender politics, but rather extends to all anti-oppressive perspectives. With this intersectional framework in mind, we aim to separate ourselves from feminisms that refute such values. We want our content to reflect these goals and to be a space where people feel safe sharing their experiences. As well as being a platform for our contributors, we hope F WORD will evolve as a community resource in Montréal and stand as a meeting place of feminists. We are currently working to partner with other groups and organizations that share our anti-oppressive values and interests. If you or a group you are involved in would like to collaborate with F WORD, please e-mail us. As always, we have the greatest appreciation for all of the support that we receive from our contributors, allies, and readers. Lots of love from the collective!

F WORD seeks to explore feminism in its present-day cultural context as a unifying, anti-oppressive, intersectional force. We seek to provide an accessible community resource through inclusive, constructive multi-media content. Through our collective’s non-hierarchical structure, we aim to challenge and move away from existing systems of oppression. EXPLORE: fwordmtl.com COnnect: facebook.com/fwordmtl FOLLOW: fwordmtl.tumblr.com tweet: twitter.com/fwordmtl INSTA: instagram.com/fwordmtl CONTACT: fwordpublication@gmail.com SUBMIT: fwordmtl.com/submit

Content warning: As a feminist publication, some of the content in this zine discusses traumatic experiences. Please read the table of contents and the accompanying content warnings carefully.

F WORD acknowledges that Montreal/ McGill is on traditional Haudenosaunne or Kanien’kehá:ka land


BIENVENUE à Nous avons le plaisir de vous présenter le septième publication de F WORD, un collectif fondé à Montréal. À travers nos publications, nous nous sommes donné pour mandat de fournir une plateforme aux féministes marginalisé(e) s qui sont sous-représenté(e)s dans notre communauté. Notre vision du féminisme ne se limite pas à l’aspect politique, mais s’étend plutôt à toutes les perspectives anti-oppressives. Dans ce cadre multidimensionnel, nous visons à nous dissocier des féminismes qui rejettent de telles valeurs. Nous voulons que le contenu de nos publications reflète ces objectifs et assure un espace accueillant où toute personne puisse se sentir à l’aise de partager ses expériences. En plus d’être une plateforme pour nos contributeurs et contributrices, nous espérons que F WORD évoluera en tant que communauté ressource à Montréal et pourra servir de lieu de rencontre pour les féministes. Nous tentons présentement de nous associer avec d’autres groupes ou organisations qui partagent nos valeurs et intérêts anti-oppressifs. Si vous ou un groupe dont vous faite partie souhaite collaborer avec F WORD, n’hésitez pas a nous contacter par e-mail. Comme toujours, nous apprécions énormément tout le soutien que nous recevons de nos contributeurs et contributrices, allié(e)s et lecteurs et lectrices. Nous vous envoyons plein d’amour de la part du collectif!

F WORD cherche à explorer le Féminisme dans son contexte culturel actuel, en tant que force intersectionnelle, anti-oppressive, et unifiante. Nous voulons créer une ressource communautaire accessible grâce à un contenu multimédia inclusif et constructif. Grâce à une structure non hiérarchisée au sein de notre collectif, nous désirons nous distancer des systèmes d’oppression existants. EXPLOREr: fwordmtl.com COnnecter: facebook.com/fwordmtl nous suivre: fwordmtl.tumblr.com tweet: twitter.com/fwordmtl INSTA: instagram.com/fwordmtl nous joindre: fwordpublication@gmail.com Soumettre: fwordmtl.com/submit

Avertissement sur le contenu: En tant que publication féministe, certains éléments dans le contenu de ce magazine font référence à des évènements traumatisants. Veuillez lire la table des matières et les avertissements attentivement.

F WORD reconnaît que Montreal/McGill fait partie du territoire traditionel Haudenosaunne ou Kanien'kehá:ka.


Table of Contents Amen by Briana Naseer.............................................................................................1 bending by Arno Pedram........................................................................................... 2 Apostasy by Moragh McDougall.................................................................................3 vaporwave for caroline by Hailey Ji.............................................................................4 SOS: My Rage is No Folly by Maya Candler.................................................................5 Whiteness Has Always Been Two-Faced by Briana Naseer (CW: Islamophobia, racism, white violence)...................................................................6 Who I Was, Who I Wasn’t, What I am, What I’m Not by Ella Lackey (CW: eating disorder).................................................................................................. 7 Linger (1) by Caterina DeRousse.................................................................................8 Sacrifice by Erika De Torres Lovers’ Eyes by Niharika Russell................................................................................9 Brown Mother’s Burden by Briana Naseer.................................................................. 10 Have a Sulk by Emily Curling..................................................................................... 11 Model Minority by Xueyang (Grace) Ren.....................................................................12 Empowerless by Emily Unger.................................................................................... 13-14 Tangibles by Briana Naseer A by Laura Brennan...................................................................................................15 Georgia Peaches by Lucie Lastinger Peaches by Kirsten Wesselow.....................................................................................16 RE: Sexy Underwear by Beatrice Helman (CW: abuse).................................................17 Linger (3) by Caterina DeRousse................................................................................18 Women’s March by Hannah Dolin You can tell a lot about a person by their bookshelf by Taryn Fleishmann...................19 lately, i’ve been struggling to find my voice by Trisha Iyar Rally Stills by Hannah Taylor......................................................................................20 An open letter, to the first boy to ever break my heart: poems on surviving emotional abuse, finding strength and healing by Alicia Lapeña-Barry........................................ 21 HER UNIVERSE by Chelsea Sieradzan Nuit by Mara Lane.....................................................................................................22 23 Linger (2) by Caterina DeRousse ................................................................................. He Didn’t Hit Me by Ella Lackey (CW: abuse).............................................................. 24 Untitled by Kirsten Wesselow..................................................................................... 25 First Thought by Kelly Palardy vaporwave for amanda by Hailey Ji............................................................................ 26 My Best Friend is Jewish by Briana Naseer.................................................................27 Front and back cover: Linger (2) and Linger (3) by Caterina DeRousse


Meet the artists Maya Candler is an Edmonton based emerging artist with a research based practice grounded in sculpture and intermedia. She is currently enrolled in the University of Alberta BFA program with a planned completion in 2018. Her work explores variant evolution and performances of identity through personal and conceptual threads. Emily Curling is in her third year of Chemical Engineering at McGill. She is currently an equity commissioner for McGill’s Engineering Undergraduate Society, and she loves living in Montreal. Erika De Torres is a Master's Student in Political Science, currently studying at McGill University. She writes poetry here and there, but currently focuses on writing political science papers. Erika has been involved with numerous activist and feminist organizations in Vancouver and Montreal. She hopes to continue this work further and is inspired by the incredible people she has come to know through her continued involvement. Taryn Fleishmann was born in Toronto but is currently living in Montreal where she studies Cultural Studies at McGill University. Though Taryn has dabbled in many crafts, such as watercolour and drawing, embroidery is currently her favourite! She is currently working on integrating more colour into her wardrobe, and waking up at an appropriate hour every morning. Beatrice Helman is a writer and film photographer living in Brooklyn, NY and working on getting her driver's license. She is currently halfway through an MFA in creative writing and coming up with as many weird stories as possible. She is a grapefruit and can be found on Instagram @beahelman. Trisha Iyar is a second year student at McGill majoring in Political Science with a double minor in Communication Studies and World Cinema. Her writing reflects stances she’s particularly passionate about as she often explores themes of personal growth drawing from her own lived-experiences. Ella Lackey is an art student living in England. While she has been faced with many hard times throughout her life, she uses her experiences to fuel and inspire her. She often uses topics such as body image, her sexuality, and relationship abuse in her work. She hopes to continue to positively contribute to the creative world in the future.

ies and Anthropology, Lucie is conducting research at the Montreal Modern Quilt Guild about affect, materialism, and community as represented through quilts. Briana Naseer is a Pakistani-American poet living in Chicago, Illinois. She is originally from Lakeland, Florida, and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of South Florida. She is currently pursuing a graduate degree in school psychology. She has a cat named Boo. Kelly Palardy is a Sociology and Women’s Studies student at Concordia University. She is currently based in Montreal. Arno Pedram is a Franco-Iranian creature drifting between urban-social structures, taking attendance of what I see, searching for life, and love. I’m interested in questions of home, uprootedness, identity and power. Things I love to powder with gay sparkles: masculinity, the nuclear family and the love/friendship boundaries. Xueyang (Grace) Ren is a U3 student at McGill studying International Development and Cellular Biology. When she's not learning about global commodity chains and C. elegans vulval development, she's thinking about how she was encouraged in kindergarten by an American to adopt an English name because her Chinese name would be "too hard for her teachers to pronounce.” Niharika Russell is an illustrator and painter, who is also branching out into more process-heavy media like ceramics and printmaking. Incorporating her cultural heritage and identity into her work is very important to her practice. Her art deals with themes of memory, dream, and personal, family, and cultural history. Chelsea Sieradzan is a 19 year old university student in the United States. She uses music and her personal life as influences on her work. She is looking forward to writing more poetry and sharing it with others. Hannah Taylor is a Winnipegger currently living in Montreal. She loves dogsledding and her little sister the very most. Talking about gender politics gets her really jazzed. Hannah's work is inspired by the guts she sees in the vibrant people she has the chance to meet.

Alicia Lapeña-Barry is a 20 year old McGill student studying Cultural Studies and Communications. She has been writing poetry since the age of 13, and has since then come to use it as a form of self growth, love and therapy, chronicling the various stages of her life and relationships through the power of words.

Emily Unger is an Environmental Studies Student at the University of Manitoba. She has a passion for taking photos, especially those that provoke thought by others. Some of her favourite moments in life include the beauty of being outdoors and eating ice cream. More of her work can be found at emilyhopephoto. com

Lucie Lastinger is a long-time crafter who started their endeavors in the world of embroidery only two years ago. Since then, they've delved deeper and deeper into the world of hand crafts, taking on larger and more complicated projects. They hope to continue learning and expanding their skills by making connections with other crafters through a shared passion for the delicate, time consuming work that is embroidery. As a fourth year student in Gender Stud-

Kirsten Wesselow is an escapee of the Southern hellscape otherwise known as Cary, North Carolina. She is currently located in Montreal as an Art History and Linguistics student at McGill. She draws inspiration from various sources, the most prominent in her featured pieces being feminist art historical discourse as well as her own personal growth in discovering her sense of self. One of the things she has discovered is that she prefers her hair blue.


Amen There are a hundred-something bodies gathered close in this tiny room with its fold-up chairs and old brick walls. We congregate around the invisible edge of the stage; the obvious leaders offering more seats as people spill in, too big for its small square feet. The first poet reads and I first feel tears when he says that white violence is like elementary school, like Pokémon, and I think that I’ll never write anything half as good, I’ll never have the music, the rhythm that I hear deep in his voice in my heart, in my own work and I cry. The second poet reads about the space between boy and girl, the hose water on the tarp of gender, the cuts and the bruises made by parents’ side comments and cavernous sighs; they say queer a million times, and a million times I forgive them because I know they own this word more than I ever will and I cry.

The third poet reads his own poem forward and then backward even faster. He writes a seven-page sonnet about what’s in your wrist when you cut it, and I hold my arm and squirm my right wrist and angle my elbow because I hate blood and bones and soft breaking skin, but those are the only words coming out of his mouth and I have no way out and I cry. Around me, the room is alive with murmurs and rocking, snaps and laughs, sounds of assent and palpable support. Is this what I’ve been missing in every God-lecture my father tried to force down my child throat? Because I know in some small secret soul space that what we are doing is holy, that there is divinity in the air, that we are more spiritual now than we have ever been or ever will be. I know there is no equivalent to the way their voices have shaken and soothed me; I know this is a benediction.

Briana Naseer


Bending


Apostasy if he should come to you heart trembling his hymns his velveteen lips laid at your feet be wary dear God his veneration will shatter that light you saw was all-consuming fire no life no heat all ash springs from his apostate heart do not buckle your knees supplicate there is nothing like the rage at an imperfect god Moragh McDougall


vaporwave for caroline


Whiteness Has Always Been Two-Faced by Briana Naseer Whiteness first snarled at me in second grade, when my teacher turned to me and said, “I hope you don’t grow up to do something like that,” as the twin towers burned on our classroom TV. Nevermind that I was her best student, always kind, jumped ahead to next year’s reading I was so advanced. All of that was erased. I was just a terrorist in the making. Fast forward to high school, where white boys claim to be my friends, but also tell me not to blow them up, run away from me with their imitation “Allahu Akbar” echoing behind them; the same white boys who wore crosses around their necks and claimed to love everyone equally–

In the next breath, told me I’m the darkest girl they’d ever date, and not to call myself a woman of color because it makes me sound black. Now I am a citizen of a country who chose a neo-nazi as their leader,

He cuts me off, says, “Come on, it’s me.”

and I remember when a white man sat across from me,

As if he is somehow above, as if he is somehow all-knowing, as if he is somehow safe.

yelled over my voice that he would vote for a white supremacist before he voted for a woman.

And I swear I feel hackles raise on my back

Later on, he asks me, “Why is Islam such a violent religion?” I start to ask him, why is white violence never called violence?

because I know he is waiting to stab it.


Who I Was, Who I Wasn’t, What I am, What I’m Not I was a springtime baby With cheeks as round as red delicious apples And the cartoon tummy of the pillsbury dough boy But even as a child An adolescent I begged to be transformed To be a winter snowflake Small, and delicate, and floating All of the girls in my class And all of the girls on channel six Looked like icicles Tall and slender Dripping with elegance I looked more like mud Clumped mud on the ground after a May rainstorm I am not a snowflake I prayed to what I did not believe in To be the prettiest girl In the smallest dress At the eighth grade formal To become a page 63 Or a page 24 To become a Calvin Klein But I am not a centerfold I believed it I really believed it I believed that if I became a single blade of grass A slender daisy stem A dainty rose petal That the sun would finally shine on me But I am not a flower I believed that if I were to become the smallest branch On the smallest oak I would be happy Perhaps if I were to be lucky enough To become as tiny as a four leaf clover I would finally be seen as uniquely beautiful As special But I did not become A helium balloon on the horizon I did not become a fairy sprite I did not become a shooting star A droplet of rain I became Sleeping under three blankets in the middle of August I became Stumbling over my own feet

I became the recluse The not leaving my room for days I became The cold tile floors The cheap air freshners The scars on my knuckles I became sore throats and stomach cramps I became the lies I told others The lies I told myself I became The shaky hands The shaky voice The shaky mentality I was an empty diet pepsi bottle A fiery hot cup of bitter green tea I was a small stream of smoke And I was a thirty minute jog gone horribly wrong I was guilt. I was a slug crawling up flights of stairs I became constructed of My best friend's tears and pleas Of innocent comments Of black-outs And fade-outs And fade-ins I was not beautiful Beauty is not pain Pretty shouldn’t hurt I am not my jean size I am not a statistic I have discovered that I am the thick stump of a magnolia tree I am the deep roots of a garden weed I am a round grecian column I am the clumps of mud from the beautiful rainstorm of May I am the grandest kettle in the parlor I am my laugh I am my three meals a day I am my after school snack I am the happy curve of my hips I am the spot where my thighs touch I am the cellulite I show at sandy beaches I am a springtime baby With cheeks as round as Georgia peaches And the cartoon smile of the pillsbury dough boy


Linger


Lover’s Eyes

Sacrifice

You didn’t have to, But you did. Twelve hour days, Seven days a week. Working for another family. Working hard, hard at work, Sending money, sending treats, Sending clothes, sending toys, Sending love from afar. To a family in the Philippines. Two years later, (before Canada increased wait times to years, and years, and years) Your family came to greet you. Your children hardly recognized you. You didn’t have to, But you did. Work hours and hours, Days upon days, To provide for your children. You were hard on your children. But you knew it was about

Sacrifice. Work hard, work harder. There are so many more opportunities. They fought with you. They didn’t understand The sacrifice. Your sacrifice. Until now. You didn’t have to, But you did. And you continue to work. You continue to inspire. You continue to love.


Brown Mother’s Burden Brown mother cries at her brown daughter’s hands, the blooms of fresh henna weighed down by a ring.

But maybe this mother is thinking of the day she stopped being enough for the bride’s father;

This is her moment, the crown jewel in her life, more important than a job, any play or painting,

the cold that started in her fingertips, shivered itself over her aging body,

the day whispered about as she walked across the stage at her college graduation.

the way it reminded her she was the weaker party in a binding contract

This ceremony, of course, outranks any degree by far.

and there are no protections when the man you married demotes you

The man is a good man, by every Desi standard. He is tall, handsome, makes more figures than he has siblings, respects all of his elders when they are in earshot. She sees him as every piece of space, from Sun to planets to streaking comets. So everyone will think these are tears welled out of happiness.

from lover and partner to caretaker and cook; just a gritting of the teeth, a sallow acceptance of the many years still left to serve. Brown mother cries, wonders how she could send her baby down the same path.

Briana Naseer


HAVE A SULK


MODEL MINORITY MODEL MINORITY MODEL MINORITY MODEL MINORITY You told me what to wear how to act who to talk like, walk like I thought that if I gave into your insistence wrapped myself in a mourning shroud and renounced my blood You would let me reach out a pale hand and find a place for me in your palpitating heart I clawed up the ladder of your ribs To try and embed myself in your mind but your throat closed up And choked me with a philosophy that you claimed would make you love me And when I swallowed the words I twisted myself into the shape of your fantasies and danced for you Until I was reduced to black hair and flesh When you finally finished my reshaping you placed me in a glass case on a pedestal looking down at my sisters And when they protested at the injustice of your love, you’d say, “It’s not me, it’s you.” For the longest time I believed you and let you show me off as your trophy wife Let your friends glide their fingers across my consciousness Let the glare of the glass hide my sisters’ suffering But today I realized you’ve only ever grabbed me by the ass, never by the hand You never bothered to learn my real name You have never loved me. Being your creation is no longer a privilege, it’s a prison. And with this knowledge, I brace my hands against the glass and push.


EMPOWER LESS


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Tangibles Tangibles

by Briana Naseer Every poem I read by a Desi woman, by a Muslim woman, by a brown woman is like plunging your arms into a barrel of just ripe fruit; crimson pomegranates with juices that drip all the way down your forearms, bags of dates that put sugar to shame, nectarines so soft they beg you to bite them, mangos grown golden, the crowning glory of summer; When I read the words woven into the stories of my sisters, my mouth waters at just how much flavor we adorn our lives with, how we took something bitter and turned it sweet.

A

by


Georgia Georgia Peaches Peaches by

Peaches Peaches

by Kirsten Wesselow i am standing in my parents’ bathroom. staring at myself in the mirror. as the harsh white glow penetrates the skylight and permeates my body. and i cannot help but notice the thicket of hair that blooms from the cheeks of my bottom. but as i caress it and feel the downy fuzz that has made a home there. i am not repulsed by the texture at the tips of my fingers. in fact i am baffled anyone could think to reject my love for something as inviting as this. compare my ass to a peach yet back away when it feels like one. as Barbara Kruger birthed into visuals i will not play nature to your nurture - i will define it for myself.


RE: Sexy Underwear I don’t know, you said go put on something sexy, some sexy underwear, and when I said no that’s okay, I don’t have any, you said yes you do, put on something sexy for me. I thought to myself, why, why why why, and then I asked, what would be the point, you’re already here and I’m already down to my underwear? Come on, you said, come on, it’ll be really hot. I was wearing big underwear. The kind that reach up to my belly button and cradle my entire bladder and make me feel like an egg in my finely curved shell. That’s silly, I said. No, I said. I don’t know how to be sexy, I said. Fine, you said. I’m disappointed, you said. Do you have your period? Because there’s blood, you said. I looked down but I didn’t show you my sputtering heart. Oh yeah, I said. I had it last week and I guess I forgot. It’s nothing to be scared of, I said. I slid them down over my ankles and kicked them into the corner, clean side up. No underwear tonight then? Maybe just a bra or something? I know you have one. Come on, come on. Please, and you kissed my cheek. You have really soft skin, you told me, and kissed my cheek again. If you did that, I would take your photograph and it would be really sexy. How about another time, I said. It’s not happening tonight, I said. You can still take a picture, just not like that, am I still pretty enough for you to take my photo? I’m really really sorry. Come on, I promise. Next time, I said. You said okay, fine, another time. I laughed but I don’t think you could tell that I was scared, because I’ve never fit that well into sexy underwear and the closest I ever got was wearing my mom’s old emerald bra when I was a teenager and my breasts were full. And then it would poke me in the back and the lace left its print on my skin. You didn’t know that I threw out all my thongs weeks ago, because they hurt. You didn’t know that nobody ever taught me how to be sexy so I just never learned. And that my mom always wore full style underwear and she was the most beautiful person I knew, so so did I, at the end of the day. You didn’t know that you scared me when you said that, because I didn’t know how to give you what you wanted. I thought you would leave if you knew that it wasn’t that I was too lazy, that I didn’t want to, but that I couldn’t. I knew that even if I had what you wanted, I wouldn’t know what to do, that I would put it on and stand there, against all your expectations and would wilt like a stem under your eyes as my petals fell to the floor. You don’t know that here I am a year later, still thinking about it, seething with anger like a thousand pricking needles. You don’t know that I would have rather told you to get lost, that I was sexy the way I was. That my white underwear was period stained safe and full of my secrets, of the way that my body moves at night and the warmth I sleep in and the flesh I’m proud of. I would have told you that you made me feel bad. I would have said that you made me feel like I had to try, like my skin wasn’t enough. I would have pushed you off and I would have told you afterwards that my heart wasn’t in it. I would have explained to you you couldn’t tell if I was in or out of my body, and that you shouldn’t call me baby, unless I was. I would have said don’t say that to the next girl. I would have rolled my eyes and raised my eyebrows. I would have said you’re pressuring me, you’re making me feel insignificant, you’re making me feel compared. I would have said I don’t care if you go, I don’t care if you’re not turned on. It was never my job to flip the switch.


LINGER


Women’s March

You can tell a lot about a person by their bookshelf


lately i’ve been struggling to find my voice i was born into a seashell my thoughts echoed around me they pounded loud as i tried to share them yet, nobody could hear i got swept away into the ocean the heavy waves tossed me around i found myself sinking hurt, that i would get to the bottom without ever having anyone listen years later, i drifted back to shore to what i had to say someone picked me up they examined my shell the salty water filled my lungs broken and chipped and stung my eyes dull of colour yet, i kept speaking i refused to be silenced i tired to speak i just wanted to be heard but i was exhausted my voice was gone days and nights dragged on i had nothing left to say my voice was raspy my throat felt sharp so they threw me back into the ocean i felt alone wondering who i never spoke up i felt afraid assuming that i had never tried if only they knew all they had to do was hold me up to their ear

Rally Stills


An open letter, To the first boy to ever break my heart, (Personal notes on healing and surviving emotional abuse)

HEALING

Although you have made me feel otherwise It is okay to be angry It is okay to care It is okay to carry the weight I have carried on my heart for months I can be angry I can care But I will not look down on you as you look down on me I will look ahead I will no longer be vengeful You may carry on living, you may carry on happy Unconscious of the ways you treat women and the people who care for you the most In turn I will set an example I will protectI will protect my future self from men like you I will protect other women from men like you The next hands that touch my body will feel my soul & feed my spirit Not taint the skin I inhabit and breathe The love will be reciprocated The love will be healthy I will not have to search for it in muzzled words and confused expressions I will not have to find it at the back of his eyes or the tip of his tongue The love will come from me And he will feed me back my love In his own language It will no longer be violent, it will no longer be abusive It will be beautiful Because I’ve protected myself

GROWTH

The image you have of me is of a girl who no longer exists She sleeps at night dreaming of herself, and no longer you and her I am no longer a girl, I am a woman I am no longer weak without you, I am complete I am no longer sad, I am full

I AM WHOLE AND COMPLETE

Self-fulfillment is a process, As I have come to learn Accepting your sadness and your pain; Building on it and growing stronger and happier from it is essential Some days I am sad Some days I am lonely Sometimes I am the happiest girl in the world And the most empowered These are my foundations This is what makes me me And I, am beautiful I am strong I am intelligent I am loved By others And by myself.


HER UNIVERSE

The oceans between her legs beg me to drown spend every last breath exploring the deep sea. Her delicate thighs remind me of the Milky Way freckled with constellations stars etched into perfection. Her hips hold the globe imprinted with rivers and streams that cut through the earth marking her evolution. Her body is the universe

Nuit by Mara Lane


LINGER


He didn't hit me There was the occasional playful nudge Casual and nonchalant Bumping shoulders after a joke Bouncing off each other in humourous glee He didn’t hit me I never felt the burn of his hand But the fires that his words lit within me were enough to blister my soul He didn’t hit me The punch came when I cancelled long planned outings with friends once dear Trying desperately to muster up another excuse He won’t let me, therefore I won’t let myself He didn’t hit me But I felt the strain of his strong hand grasped firmly around my neck Being the girl who’s always on her phone, tearfully begging him to believe me To believe that I wouldn’t be out long That I would check up every ten minutes That I wouldn’t talk too much or wear too little He didn’t hit me Yet I still felt his weight crushing me I still felt myself letting go of each and every dream Snipping away at the intertwined threads of my life Slowly severing ties He didn’t hit me Calling me sexy and beautiful Buttering me up as if I was some part of a meal He reminds me of how sweet he’s been lately Who am I to say no? He didnt hit me So I didn’t cry Holding back tears out of fear for what he may say or think or one day do Nobody likes a softy, hold it together Hold it together He didn’t hit me His bright eyes blanketed me in serenity Instances of tranquility glued themselves to my mind Unfortunate remembrances of sharper moments hid in dark corners He didn’t hit me The internal bruises never rose to the surface I saw what everyone else was seeing I saw the kind gestures The open doors The candlelight meals The single roses and the collection of kisses He didn’t hit me How bad could it be if my eyes never blackened If he still said he loved me How could I complain when my skin remains unbroken When he still holds my hand After all He didn’t hit me.


I could compare myself

Untitled

toAMOUntain because I cannot be moved iron woman - soul like stone but Mountains hardly ever grow ‘So you are a flower’ ‘I am in some ways, like how I require attention, wilt oh so easily, bend all too quickly’ I do not exist for others’ viewing pleasure, however, ‘And women as flowers is such a cliché, you know?’ - I could be a hummingbird Smart and self-sufficient Wings like my heartbeat but hummingbirds Never fly Very h i g h A mouse

Perhaps a panther

quickquickquick

too mean

too meek

An ocean ‘Blue, like you’ ‘But I do not want to be defined by my blue’

I am the sun, the moon, the earth, the air, the tigress and the snail, the lobster, the whale

I am everything and nothing The only entity I can wholly be is me

Past, present, future ‘Is there a metaphor for that?’

-Kirsten Wesselow


vaporwave for amanda

First Thought The fight to take back the possession of our reality is now as we pull at our strings neatly sewing together a cloth that is ours ours in different forms different times different realities but always true no longer stripped of our intellectual footprint no longer replaced by the single needle of a stiletto our space whether it be emotional personal or virtual is political chipping away at a world that was denied to us pixel by pixel a shade of ochre darker than what could ever possibly shine amongst cosmos can unite a people under a tapestry that is as fabricated as the society we live in but maybe a little bit closer to what things should be for the rest of us


My Best Friend is Jewish My best friend and I meet at freshman band camp where we are both wholly unaware

We both lament at playing Sleigh Bells for four years in a row at the Christmas concert,

that one of us is Muslim and one of us is Jewish.

heaven forbid we say “holiday” or “winter.”

Our history teacher sees us laughing together, boasts that he has solved all of the tensions in the Middle East and I am too young and too naïve to realize what he means. When Rosh Hashanah and Eid Al-Fitr fall on the same day that year, we end up comparing the lunar calendars in our respective religions. We both get teased by white boys who tell us we’re going to hell, in the name of Jesus, of course. We both find each other’s eyes when the coaches pray a Christian prayer at all the football games.

We both bond at Brad Pitt saying he wants a hundred Nazi scalps late at night in her living room, after her family shared a meal with me. Nine years later, I’ve learned more about the divide between our people; but I thank our same God for uniting us, for sharing the struggle of living with a target on our backs.

Briana Naseer


Artist Statements bending by Arno Pedram “bending” is part of my Transitioners project. Transitioners are releasers, modellers, creators. They give birth to possibilities, to themselves and the souls around. That night I witnessed my friends, free, and pregnant with magic. vaporwave for caroline and vaporwave for amanda by Hailey Ji Piece description written by a friend: "The piece speaks to what we have come to find as a virtual space of care. Hailey’s my friend and we are constantly sharing content, pushing each other to be radically soft and learning about each other through fluid and omnipresent conversation. ‘vaporwave for caroline’ and ‘vaporwave for amanda’ is an exploration of internet referential humor and emotional expression. It plays with the idea of an obscure internet community of content creators / curators, organizing around niche images of nostalgia, while speaking to the ways that friends share content with each other based on an intimate knowledge of what pleases and entertains their friend. In these images, Hailey makes both a declaration of her appreciation for mine and her friend’s intellectual objects of fascination, simultaneously showing her own tastes and interests. We are unapologetically tender, even if we express that through the humor of being annoying and fucking around with weird aesthetics.” SOS: My Rage is No Folly by Maya Candler - 21” x 16”, mixed fabric A single piece within the S.O.S series of hanging textiles. The first person statements strengthen the emotional validity of the “speaker" through assertive means, whether that is interpreted to be the artist or the audience themselves. This body of work is a representation of what being a woman has come to mean to me and emphasizes the ongoing conflict between passive normatively and my own sense of being. Who I Was, Who I Wasn’t, What I am, What I’m Not by Ella Lackey A spoken word/confessional poem about my experience with eating disorders. Linger (1-3) by Caterina DeRousse This project was catalyzed by asking myself the following questions: “Why does touch linger after contact? Do certain people’s touches linger longer than others?” After countless hours of exploring my emotions through stream of consciousness type journaling, I discovered that unsolicited touches were the most likely to haunt my body years after actual contact. Thus, for my final product I created a hand-like shawl that wraps my

back and shoulders, both areas notorious for lingering touch. Sacrifice by Erika De Torres The biggest inspiration in my life is my mother. She is the biggest feminist I know. This poem is for her, and all the mothers/ fathers/guardians of first generation immigrants who have worked hard to provide for their families. Lovers’ Eyes by Niharika Russell Lovers' Eyes, or Eye Miniatures, were personal jewelry that became popular in the Georgian era. I recreated the concept with people whose ethnicities lead to them being excluded from mainstream ideas of romance. I am Indian, and this is an important topic for me as a young adult navigating relationships. I chose the medium of the eye miniature because the sentimentality of it appealed to me, as well as for the purpose of gender ambiguity. I wanted to build a very tender narrative of intimacy built around people of colour, while being inclusive of intersections of race, gender, and sexuality, all of which affect navigation of romance. Have a Sulk by Emily Curling Collage of the works: still from Martine Syms's "A Pilot for a Show about Nowhere," Brent Wadden's "TBT," and Sojourner Truth Parsons's "She's Still Crying." Model Minority by Xueyang (Grace) Ren Feeling angsty about this round of elections in the US, I wrote this after being inspired by the Women's Marches and disappointed about the inauguration. I tried to capture my feelings of betrayal in my country. Being a first generation Chinese immigrant from the USA has afforded me a lot of privileges at the expense of other POC, while at the same time silencing me from speaking out against injustices I've faced in an effort to fit the ideal of the model minority. Themes of being fetishized by Western media as an Asian American woman also run through this piece. I tried to capture my original acceptance and eventual disillusionment with the model minority myth, fed to me by a personified America who I only wanted to love, but I recently realized doesn't love me back. Empowerless by Emily Unger The four images depict the perpetuation of women as physical and sexual objects, and how despite our frequent desires as feminists to break free from these socially constructed ideologies, we can often conform to and continue to perpetuate them unknowingly. There is a constant tradeoff between the cycle of empowerment and exhaustion of breaking gender and sexually oriented roles.


Artist Statements A by Laura Brennan I have been drawing portraits since I was little, and the thing I find simultaneously challenging and fun is to try and capture a little part of each person's story within a single image. I love art journaling as a form of expression and catalogue of my personal experiences. Furthermore, I think portraiture can be an incredibly empathetic experience. This particular work was from a 2016 art journal. Georgia Peaches by Lucie Lastinger "Georgia Peaches" is a reflection on the artist's childhood. The medium (cotton embroidery floss on cotton aida cloth) and method are representative of the hours passed in cars traveling from West Virginia to Georgia for family reunions. Peaches, the state fruit of Georgia, have always had a significance to the artist, whose paternal family hails from the state. Images of juicy peaches dripping down their mouth, baked into fruit pies, and cooked into jams for the winter months color their memories of being a young child. Through this piece, they sought to explore the meaning of childhood, fruit, and time. RE: Sexy Underwear by Beatrice Helman This is something that stuck with me for months after it happened; I was furious and didn’t know where to put those feelings, except here. I have always been a fan of high waisted underwear and always will be. The bigger the better. Women’s March by Hannah Dolin I saw F WORD for the first time last semester (I'm a first year student at McGill) and knew right away that I wanted to submit this semester. When I sat down to work on my piece I felt I couldn't talk about feminism without mentioning the tragic recent results of the American election. In light of all the misogyny propagating in U.S politics, lending validity to the opinions of woman-haters worldwide, we need, as much as ever, a strong, unified, intersectional feminist movement. I wanted to highlight and idealize this movement and honour those who attended and organized the Women's March on Washington using playful shapes and bright colours in this multimedia piece (watercolor paints, colored pencil and sharpie) .... (Fuck Donald Trump). You can tell a lot about a person by their bookshelf by Taryn Fleishmann Lately my embroidery has been focused on the issue of “home” and what constitutes “home”. Though I was raised in Toronto, Montreal has become extremely special to me. I’ve created a space with my roommate

that is entirely our own; it provides me with the warmth and comfort I need at the end of each day— and my embroidery reflects this. That being said, the process of embroidering is just as significant to me as the final product. I’m usually with friends while I embroider, which lends a cozy communal feeling to the whole process. I likely shared many laughs and strange conversations while making this bookshelf! lately, i’ve been struggling to find my voice by Trisha Iyar This is a short poem I wrote to convey how I felt growing up in a world in which my voice was not given priority or sometimes not even chance to be heard. I wrote this poem not only for me, but for anyone who has ever had their voice dismissed or taken away. Rally Stills by Hannah Taylor - Pentax SP1000, 35mm film Moments of fierce and adamant resistance coupled with the quiet stoicism of those who bear the weight of what brought millions to the streets on January 21st 2017 An open letter, to the first boy to ever break my heart: poems on surviving emotional abuse, finding strength and healing by Alicia Lapeña-Barry These poems represent the various stages of an incredibly tumultuous and abusive relationship, my first and only. Through the pain, struggle, darkness and light. I have since them come to find love within myself, strength and completeness through the ability to let go and embrace all the good and beautiful that has come out of a very, very bad thing. HER UNIVERSE by Chelsea Sieradzan Poetry has always been a medium to express myself. I focus on queer romantic themes, mainly talking about my experience as a lesbian. He Didn’t Hit Me by Ella Lackey A free verse poem written about the ways in which abuse is not always physical. Untitled by Kirsten Wesselow So often throughout history women have been conflated with nature, which can be problematic because the natural world is full of animals and plants whose entire species can almost always be characterized by a certain set of descriptors. “Untitled” comes not from preferring not to title the poem, but refers to refusing to be put in this box, acknowledging that being a woman carries no rigid set of descriptors at all.


Kara Anderson Sarah Bédard Laura Brennan Corinne Bulger Emma Ciereszyński Caroline Copeman Çağan Diken Delali Egyima Gina Fung McKenna Glorioso Emma Hignett Emily Hoppe Judy Huang Hailey Ji Michaela Jones Megan Koster

Tiffany Le Devona Lean Noa Levin Emily Levine Anna Ma Moragh McDougall Hannah Taylor Francesca Pastore Lily Paulson Christina Rosché Katie Ross Sophie Schaffer-Wood Rachel Siu Carmella Uwineza Kirsten Wesselow Moizza Zia

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F WORD VOL. VII  
F WORD VOL. VII  

Welcome to the seventh edition of F WORD. F WORD seeks to explore feminism in its present-day cultural context as a unifying, anti-oppress...

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