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VOL IV NOVEMBER 2015

CONTENT warning: SEE TABLE OF CONTENTS


Welcome to VOLUME IV of F WORD, a feminist collective based in Montréal, QC. Through our publication, we aim to provide a platform for the feminist and marginalized 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 to be considered a community resource in Montréal. 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. We seek to prompt discussion: What does feminism mean to you? EXPLORE: fwordmtl.com COnnect: facebook.com/fwordmtl FOLLOW: fwordmtl.tumblr.com 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


Table of Contents Cardboard Nude by Frida Clark bodyspeak by Frances Maychak....................................................................... 1 Commitment and Milk by Laurel Foster............................................................ 2 AUTRES(s) by Clara Nizard..............................................................................3 Roses are Red, Violets are Blue, Flowers cause Stains, & so do You by Carolyn Ligeza............................................................................................4 Conflicts by Lily Paulson..................................................................................5 life the biggest troll by Caroline Copeman........................................................6 A Woman’s Body Knows, but Not in the Way You Think by Kylie Newcomer........7 It Was Supposed to Be Love by Julia Cappellacci Mutation of a Quote from Gertrude Stein by Na-il Fayed...................................8 September 27 by Paniz Khosroshahy (Content Warning: sexual assault)...............9-10 Inside, not Out by Dylan Brekka.......................................................................11 A house of rooms by Ilona Martonfi.................................................................12 Of Homecoming by Rahma Wiryomartono....................................................... 13 14 mom.txt by Tynan Dion......................................................................................... tell me what to do by Frida Clark..................................................................... 15 The Moment by Dylan Brekka.......................................................................... 16 Primal Instinct by Chloe Rowan Exactly How Much and How Little My Life Would Be Different without You by Na-il Fayed................................................................................................. 17 How to Have Good Sex by Sarah Kemp (Content Warning: sexual assault).............18 I never thought I wanted to be by Frances Maychak..........................................19 Color Theory by Emma Hignett........................................................................20 Squirting, Crying, and Other Bodily Excrements: A Strongly Worded Open Letter by CJ (Content Warning: sexual assault)............................................................ 21-22 Gladys by Frida Clark 001 by K. Ghotbi.............................................................................................23 Some Selfless Modern Thoughts: Diet coke by Natalie Liconti (Content Warning: eating disorders).....................................................................24 Cygnus olor by Ilona Martonfi (Content Warning: sexual assault)..........................25 Conquistadora by Queenie Wong..................................................................... 26 A/M (Arithemetic of Men) by Ariane Beck........................................................27 Koinophilia by Emma Hignett.......................................................................... 28 無名 (Anonymous) by Anonymous Solidarity (found poem) by Na-il Fayed............................................................ 29 Front and back cover: members of F WORD 2015-2016 Collective


meet the Ariane Beck is a feminist, queer, maker of excellent mug cakes. Dylan Brekka is a third year student of art history at McGill University. She comes from a family of strong women and through her art she only hopes to create art that would make her grandmothers proud. Dylan comes from the state of Rhode Island (which you’ve probably never heard of) and hasn’t eaten meat in six years. She enjoys drinking copious amounts of coffee, practicing yoga, and using oxford commas. She can usually be found annoying her friends with random useless facts about history. Frida Clark is a Mexican-American writer and artist currently living in Boston, MA. Her online portfolio can be found at sinhuevosconhuevas.com. Caroline Copeman is a New Yorker turned Montrealer turned Parisian who feels (arguably way too) many feelings and cries quite often at the sight of babies and or thinking about how much she loves her sister. Full-time feminist philosopher, Caro explores the power of a historically imbued body and the hagocracy while working on being a better ally to those implicated in the kyriarchy. Find her on full moons dancing naked with her coven. Tynan Dion is a man studying Mathematics and European History at McGill. He is an American because he was born there, because he likes rock music and shitty beer, because soccer is boring, because Walt Whitman is great, and so is pop culture trash. He is a feminist because feminism is looking at the world with open eyes and letting things be as they are. Na-il Fayed is very excited to appear in F Word. Done while on a trip to Mahlas in Turkey, Na-il has tried to compose these poems to best illustrate her

feminism, which she hopes they show. A major goal of hers is to submit to every McGill magazine that will take her writing. Not all of her interests are literary, however, and another quest of hers at McGill is to try every different samosa. In her writing (and samosa connoisseur-ing) many of her ideas come from her roommate, Gwenn L. Even though Gwenn doesn’t want her full name mentioned, her contributions deserve recognition here. Lastly, Na-il wants to warn readers not to make the mistake she initially did: FWORD is NOT meant to be pronounced like ‘sword,’ but means the word beginning with F! Laurel Foster is a 20-year-old art student in Toronto who goes to group therapy and art school and writes poems. Other poems & her art at laurelfoster.tumblr.com K. Ghotbi uses poetry as an ordered outlet to give structure to her chaotic internal monologue. Her writing deals with her Iranian-American heritage, attempts to give words to unnamed emotions, and expresses her frustrations with the limitations of being human. She was born and raised in San Francisco, CA, but currently resides in the East Village, NYC, where she enjoys eating take-out, petting stranger’s dogs, and going to bed before midnight. She studies Philosophy and Art History at NYU, but is now realizing she probably should have chosen something a little more practical. Emma Hignett is from Jacksonville, FL and is studying Microbiology and Immunology at McGill University. Interests include: feminism, memes, emojis and seeing dogs on the way to campus. Sarah Kemp is a 4th year English literature student at McGill. She likes dogs, beer, and showing off her boobs.


artists She dislikes changing room lighting, weak coffee, and people trying to quiet her. The lack of legal protection for Canadian sex workers makes her angry, so she wants to go to law school. If you enjoyed her poem, she urges you to learn and discuss more about relationship abuse amongst teens, because these things too often get ignored. Paniz Khosroshahy is a third year women’s studies and computer science major. Natalie Liconti is currently studying English Drama & Political Science at McGill University. After the disappointing discovery that there isn’t an enormous market for Drew Barrymore impersonators, she now switched concentrations to work mainly as a writer, performer and photographer out of both Montréal and her hometown, Toronto. Carolyn Ligeza is in her final year in one of Concordia’s BFA programs. Her work incorporates fibres and painting in order to touch on feminism as well as other topics relating to women. She has a really cute cat. Ilona Martonfi is an editor, poet, and Creative Writing teacher. Author of three poetry books, Blue Poppy (Coracle, 2009), Black Grass (Broken Rules, 2012) and The Snow Kimono (Inanna Publications, 2015). Writes in chapbooks, anthologies and magazines. Producer of The Yellow Door and Visual Arts Centre Readings. QWF 2010 Community Award. Frances Maychak currently lives in Toronto. Her most recent zine, ‘what language do you read my body in,’ examines femininity, subjectivity, sex and identity through confessional poetry. She can be reached at francesmaychak@gmail.com.

Clara Nizard is in her fourth and final year at McGill studying performance with a specific focus on intersections between dance and queerness. AUTRE(s) came through as a shock to thought at the time of writing, a moment in which intimacy met with fear atop the meaning-making surface of skin. Since then, Clara has continued to research how performance-makers and thinkers have choreographed or curated bodies so that radical, messy, beautiful intimacies may emerge, privileging the work of queer artists. This is the first time she shares personal writing, and she is thrilled to be a part of F WORD’s IVth Volume, fearfully and intimately. Chloe Rowan is a third year student in Art History that spends the same amount of time drawing as she does on her readings. She likes to experiment with imagery, ideas and mediums to convey her many obscure thoughts in visual terms. In addition, she identifies strongly with her female subjects, as if they were extensions of herself. Rahma Wiryomartono is a philosophy student at McGill University. Her artwork mainly centers around philosophical inquiry and personal experience. To view more work, visit www.rmartono.com. Queenie Wong is a self-taught artist currently based in Montréal, where she is also completing her graduate studies. She draws upon her studies in Neuroscience and Psychology as a foundation to explore the complexities and experience of human emotions seen in her artwork. Painting is a medium in which she to connect the fragments of her story to the stories common to humanity, yet often unspoken. Instagram/Tumblr/Facebook: Cocobeeart.


Cardboard Nude Medium: cardboard, ink, and interior wall paint

bodyspeak what language

do you read my body in?

and how do you know what it is telling you

a language I do not speak or speak poorly a newcomer

to my bodyspeak

— Frances Maychak


Commitment and Milk it’s pretty interesting what makes a person attractive if you think about it at all you’re pretty much done if you want a million casual things look for something serious if you want commitment try having some fun It’s not really appealing to be desperately holding on because then you don’t have the Zooey Deschanel crazy vibe, but the Glenn Close one, and you are done for that Zooey Deschanel technique, try meditating so you can get more in tune with your abstract thoughts and subconscious then make sure you have really good outfits, and try opening your eyes wider all the time, but gradually as not to look insane make sure you have maybe even 4 hobbies, and flirt with guys but don’t like sleep with them too much because it’s like you’re just having fun not filling the void when on a date, try doing something abstract like turning into a napkin and flying out the window the guy won’t know what hit him, whose this woman with the wisdom of a thousand white men yet the childlike essence of a 14 year old bride from the 1700s? the woman he’s been waiting for, the one who doesn’t need him but who brightens everyone’s adult world with a twist and turn of the plot I heard Glenn Close apologized for how she portrayed BPD in fatal attraction and that actually she would more realistically kill herself then try to kill Michael Douglas’s family I lie somewhere between glen and zooe hobbies, yet can get scary af for sure you didn’t come to this butterfly conservatory that all men get to enjoy for a slumpy grey moth to sit on your head but for the most beautiful, charismatic, intelligent butterfly with beautiful white girl tits and a good family and little face to eventually choose you to land on after years of your pining and not feeling good enough until you hit the gym and finally your shoulders are broad enough for this very special down to earth classic beauty to land on your shoulders


AUTRE(S) l’être désiré

saisi,

seizure she isn’t there she’ll be back you can leave the room

if you need to i didn’t tell you elle ne s’en souvient pas moi j’ai peur du corps

qui m’a donné

une jouissance

qui meurt

ou « hyper-vit »

tellement qu’il en fait une crise.

Signature:


Roses are Red, Violets are Blue, Flowers Cause Stains, & So Do You Carolyn Ligeza

These are handmade sheets of paper, made from the sheets of my bed. They are stained with dried roses, collected by my mom. This project represents the functions of the female body and mother, daughter connections.


Conflicts


life the biggest troll I think about driving that black, 1998 sedan with the sunroof and the torn leather seats. I think about the way the new(er) stereo that sat on the platform extending from the headrest of the backseats to the fogging window, shook the fragile frame of my death trap on wheels. I think about the way “the air conditioner doesn’t work” became an excuse to have the windows down at all times. And it was especially the excuse going 90 in a 55 so my hair would float in front of my vision and obscure my sight. I also think about the way that song seemed to fill the air around me and suffocate me. It would ooze past my orifical boundaries and choke my vitals because every single word spoke to every single piece of me. And as it pressed against my chest and pushed the air out of my lungs I felt like I finally sucked the emotion and beauty out of those nights, as much as my stomach would let me. Please, help me. He was tall, misogynistic and handsome. Perfect combination for the modern man with no real interests and no real dreams. “You look ready to stop traffic tonight.” “You like it rough don’t you?” Not really. Remember that man? The florescent light shining from the floor lights as he walked on them and the thin line between masculinity and violence. His black combat boots not heavy enough to keep the light from hitting the top of his eyelids, as he made sure he was still on course. Each step so aggressive. Limbs, swinging as though he were giving himself the momentum to continue because he was actually miserable. Suffering under the weight of his own ideas of what it means to be a man. “How does it feel to be with a real man?” Fine.

I constantly struggle with the ideology that I’ve adapted and my appreciation and desire for stereotypical/problematic masculine agression. Sometimes in my search for release I find myself even more suffocated and I can’t tell if it’s because of the source of my release or my feminism taking away my pleasure. The title is the name of the song referenced in the piece by Childish Gambino - listen to it while lying in the dark or riding your bike at night as fast as you can.


A Wo m a n ’ s B o d y Knows, but Not in the Way You Think Kylie Newcomer Medium: India ink, gesso, charcoal, colored pencil. This is a visual response to Republican politician Todd Atkin’s statement, “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down,” on the topic of abortion in the case of rape.


Mutation of a Quote from Gertrude Stein

A rose is a rose is a rose.

A ruse is ruse is a ruse.

Aroused is aroused is aroused.

A rose is a rose is a roze.

A pose is a pose is a pose.

A doze is a doze is a doze.

A rose is a ruse to arouse.

A word is a word is a word.

A rose is a rose is a rose.

A no is a no is a no.

It Was Supposed to be Love It is a sculpture; a traditionally shaped heart, but it has veins, arteries, an aorta. It is broken, cracked. All the arrows are left in it. It is regarding consent.


September 27: An Anniversary Paniz Khosroshahy On September 27, my therapist tells me that I won’t heal if I avoid talking about you. On September 27, I look outside the window of her office and shake my head because it never gets easier to utter that word, not even on its anniversary. And I know she wouldn’t call it rape. To her it’s probably just a bad night, grey area, because on September 27 I didn’t say no. After September 27, newspapers have titles of the “Sexual assault hysteria on college campuses”-variety. Post freud, the apologists have found another way to pathologize us as hysterics. I want to make it my Facebook status, “Thanks to September 27, I’m one of the hysteric one in five.” I am one of those hysteric women raised in a rape culture that taught us blow jobs are unnegotiable and going to his room is consent and bad boys are glamorous and abusive behaviours are romantic and letting him down is more important than our sanity and integrity and we’re either prudes, or sluts, damned if we do, damned if we don’t. But on September 27 I didn’t say no, so maybe I’m not even a one-infive and I don’t even count? On September 27, You could have said no, said my “feminist” friend, recalling Rez Project. “Because yes means yes, no means no.” On September 27, I agreed to hook up and went over, but really, what was I thinking and expecting, putting myself in the same situations and not learning from my mistakes. I was pulling away, but really, probably you didn’t notice my face was face. You did force me, but, really, I should’ve just stopped you. You did hurt me, but, really, I shouldn’t have let you do that to me. Or, more like, letting you have sex with me while I zoned out. More like giving up because I’m too tired to negotiate condoms but alert enough to hold my breath staring at the negative sign on the pregnancy test and so doctor tell me I’m clean. More like trying to not let you down because as shitty a person as you are I still liked you. More like trying not become a tale of “the prudish Persian girl I banged the other night that didn’t know what she was doing” and that somehow becoming another “shame” for my ethnicity. “Because yes means yes, no means no.” Except that not always, not on September 27. Except that yes and no are just words not bodies.


Except that society fucks you up before you even know what fucking is, except that on September 27 there was no room for terminology on your dark blue bedsheets but only room for September 27. God bless Foucault because your side of the scale of power was packed by your white skin and your male privilege and your sexual experience. I will never forget your smile on September 27 as you shoved me around because I was dangling in the air on the upper scale because September 27 wasn’t about sex but power and weight of your privilege upon the scale and the power you stole from me. September 27 comes back to me feeling out of place in women’s studies because I feel complicit in the preservation of the patriarchy, it comes to me when I watch the rape scene in Orange is the New Black over and over just to torture myself, when I see your sister everywhere I go and avoid her even though I’m sure she’s a good person, it comes back to me when I read another article about “too much political correctness”, it comes back when newspapers print rape culture in quotation marks as if it’s fiction, it comes back to me when I can’t block you on Facebook because I need to check the RSVP list to every event to make sure you won’t be there. September 27 comes back to me when I give consent workshops, it comes back to me when I reread our texts crying cringing shivering but won’t delete them because maybe one day I’d report you and they’d come in handy. Because, you see, on September 27 I wasn’t that slutty drunk girl in a short skirt in a back alley, a knife on my throat shrieking reluctance. So, “feminist” friends, stop guilt tripping me for not having reported because on September 27 I wasn’t the perfect victim, because while my skirt was short, on September 27 I didn’t say no. And because even Emma Sulkowicz said no then maybe that’s why I carried the weight of your mattress alone for months after September 27 until my knees started creaking because on September 27 I didn’t say no. On September 27, you are out with your next “ethnic” chick having drinks. On September 27, I hold a vigil for my stolen body. On September 27, I send you a text that says, “Happy anniversary” and you ask me if I’m horny because since September 27, until September 27 you never realized what September 27 really was. On September 27, I text you back, “Not really” and block your number because September 27 never passed. On September 27, I didn’t say no and I never crossed off September 27 on my calendar because life after September 27 is a repetition of post-September 27 habits because September 27 never left, I am September 27.


Inside, not Out

2014, acrylic on canvas


A house of rooms This villa is a house of rooms. A family house. Drawing room frescoed ceiling. Decorated with blue silk brocade, silver threads, chandelier of Murano glass. A house for art. Under the sounds windows looked to the sky. Stained glass lamps. Ecru lace curtains. Il pianoforte —the piano. Pendulum clock knocking weights against oak case. Ceramic floor tiles, the fireplace, white marble. The room contained a wood armoire, rustic blue-painted jute cord chairs. Pottery jugs. Rotary phone. Mirrors. With the proviso that the family protect the house from theft: wrought iron grilles. Alarm system. Fire insurance. Grouped around the orangerie, sauna. Pool. Upstairs four children’s rooms. These furnished with brass beds and dressers. Pine rolltop desk. Quilts I crocheted. Everyday, I reconstructed myself. Put on a red dress. Pieces flying everywhere. Arms on the ceiling. Head on the wall. Excerpt from memoir: 23rd Winter of a Battered Wife — Ilona Martonfi


Of Homecoming

Oil on Canvas, 60cm x 91cm This painting is an exploration of my response to homecoming and the complex nature of female autonomy. Being sequestered to home offers women the familiarity and safety of an embrace, yet it also evokes the constricting aspects of a chokehold. The way that the composition could be read both ways represents the layered response to being designated to the private realm -- the traditional female situation.


mom.txt My mother is Catholic Like not many still are I learned to mumble Hail Marys To genuflect, to make the sign of the cross. To count rosary beads, to count the minutes, all 55, til mass was over. And we’d all, my sisters and brothers and me grab coffee, donuts, and rush back home to refind sleep.

My mother would throw things, on occasion Break down in tears; more than occasionally, in fact, monthly, perhaps. My mother has a Master’s degree In engineering, and seven children, and she loves them. But that’s not what she was cut out for. There was resentment on both sides, I’m sure. And when I’d look at her, and think “I don’t want to live that life,” I wonder, did she?

I wonder where my mother got her brains. Because it was not her own mother, certainly not; she is the dullest woman I’ve known. Grammy will spend hours in the dollar store and not buy a thing. And that’s how she spends her time. She eats mayonaise on tissue-paper white bread and watches daytime TV. My mother dissapointed my childhood with grainy whole wheat bread, What made her lose her mind and a resolute, even counter cultural at my listlessness, laziness, refusal of television. indifference to success, was not bad temper, But it must be hard, born 1934, or middle class vanity, it was fear. Catholic school, raps on the hand She paid for her own root canal for talking out of turn, when she was 17, working summers, married at 18, first child soon after, three jobs, and the same through school. Urban working class “deserving” poor, And now I’m 20, and still living to not be unread, conventional, on my parents generosity. vaguely resentful, uninteresting. There are, despite what some My father’s father spent college students may think five years over Europe, worse crimes than being uninteresting, death behind every cloud, every burst of sun, callousness among them. dead sure he would not survive. So if I’m harsh on my grandmother He died of alcoholism I hope I keep this in mind. 15 years after V-Day. My mother felt poverty in the drip of the leaking roof in her own father’s sad drunken fits in ten thousand coat racks filled, bags filled with groceries, shifts punched in and out to claw her way into some kind of security. And I have done none of these things, I am freer, safer than either of them ever were, but this does not satisfy. And that’s the power of lack of perspective.


tell me what to do listen, my saccharin girl. lately we’ve been sinking out of sheets (with eye crust kisses and drowsy limbs) into something less liminal, into something more cavernous. raw mid morning giggles evolving into moist panties under blue moons, as your poolwater/bathwater laps over edges. has it been years of this post coital daze? when did i become a pomegranate seed bursting between teeth? regardless i am frenzied, neglectful of regular respiration. even with imminent bus terminal extinction we do laundry and play house.


The Moment

2014, acrylic on canvas


Exactly How Much and How Little My Life Would Be Different without You

A F K P V

B G L Q W

C H M R X

D I N S Y

E J O T Z

Primal Instinct  

This drawing was inspired by Freudian theories of the unconscious and the primal desires which we repress in our daily lives. I incorporated as much graphic content as possible in order to stir emotion within the viewer when confronted with the image. Ultimately this image, in all its vulgarity, seeks to mend the relationship between our conscious state and the repressed desires of our unconscious.


How to Have Good Sex Don’t until the last minute. If you do it, boys will ask you for it, then tell their friends about it, then leave you. But if you hold out too long, they will call you a prude bitch and your friends will stop talking to you. Make sure you find the right guy to lose it to. Save it for someone special. No, don’t do that. Then, when you find someone special, and it ends, you won’t be able to give it to whoever the REAL someone special is. Or, if it you lose it to the real someone special, and you end up getting married, and only fucking each other for the rest of your lives, when you are forty and bored and unfulfilled your husband will probably cheat on you with a woman named Susan and you will wind up hysterical, wielding a kitchen knife in your Sears nightgown the night before an important PTA meeting. Don’t tell them when it hurts. You want them to have a good time too. If you tell them, they will lose their boner, and you will feel unsexy. Pretend to know what you’re doing. Pretend you like being known as someone who knows what you’re doing. Make him wear a condom. You don’t want to get pregnant or get chlamydia, even if he is a virgin too, pulling out works most of the time, and it feels better. Don’t answer how you know that it feels better. Let him talk you into it because it makes you feel desirable and skinny. If you suck his dick in the stairwell between third and fourth period, the hall monitor probably won’t catch you. If he asks you to do it again, it’s because he likes you and thinks you’re pretty, and maybe you can tell your friends that you give good blowjobs. Don’t call them blowjobs. Don’t call it fucking. Touch him when he asks you to. He doesn’t care if other people see him groping your ass in the assembly because he’s not embarrassed to be with you. He’s not controlling you because you know you want it because this is how it should feel when someone loves you. He doesn’t want you to talk to other boys because he gets jealous and he doesn’t trust other people, of course he trusts you. He doesn’t want you to talk to your friends because he likes to spend time with you and you don’t really need them when you have him anyway. He doesn’t want you to talk to your family because they have brainwashed you into thinking that he is bad and he isn’t bad, he loves you, you know that. Look into his eyes when he’s fucking you. Don’t move, keep your legs together, he doesn’t think you’re tight enough anymore. When you squirm and try to escape it gets him off, even when it’s real sometimes. When he chokes you, moan, even if it hurts. When he slaps you, you like it, because you’ve seen this in porn. Look up at him when he spits at you in the face. If the woodchips from the playground are cutting into your ass don’t move because you can tell he’s enjoying it and you wouldn’t want to ruin it for him. Not because it would make him angry, just because you want him to enjoy himself. When families walk by, it makes it more dangerous, it doesn’t make you scared because you’re with him. We can’t do it in the house anymore because my parents hate you. I hate you. I hope you can tell when I look you in the face while you choke me and ask me to get away that I hate you, because I do. You fucking idiot. Look at what a slut you are. Why would you stay with him when he treated you like that? Why didn’t you use a condom? Why didn’t you know how to say no? Why didn’t you fucking kick him in the balls and run away after the first time he called you a fat bitch and told you he fantasized about your best friend? Because that’s how it’s supposed to be. I know that’s how it’s supposed to be because he loves me and you’re supposed to be loved. Everybody wants to be loved. This is how it’s supposed to be and now you’ll be his forever. Sarah is a 4th year English literature student at McGill. She likes dogs, beer, and showing off her boobs. She dislikes changing room lighting, weak coffee, and people trying to quiet her. The lack of legal protection for Canadian sex workers makes her angry, so she wants to go to law school. If you enjoyed her poem, she urges you to learn and discuss more about relationship abuse amongst teens, because these things too often get ignored.


I never thought I wanted to be I never thought I wanted to be the embodiment of anyone’s fantasies, especially not the clichÊs mindless girlchildren lolitas in college student clothing a set of desirable gatherings to enter yourself into I never thought I wanted to be a moment of clarity in the cloudy night of aging an unbearable perfume in your mind an image burnt onto the film two-dimensional a ghost of porno past an idea a dream but here we are

I urge you further into me it seems the only way to absolve everything to make a grown man afraid of a young woman with one hard look what is that — Frances Maychak


Color Theory

So when I was little my favorite color was pink, I went to Home Depot with my dad and made him paint my bedroom walls this bright bubblegum pink. But as I got slightly older I don’t know what happened I was so ashamed for liking pink so much. I would tell people my favorite color was blue or purple which are also cool colors but why did I hate pink so much?


Squirting, Crying, and Other Bodily Excrements: A Strongly Worded Open Letter B, You are the man who raped me four years ago. Last night, after being invited to like a page featuring pictures of you and Southeast Asian children playing sports — typical white-saviour, revolving door Voluntourism — I deleted you on Facebook. Why the fuck did I even have you on Facebook? I had purged you from consciousness. At least, I had done my best; I didn’t remember that I had you as a “friend.” It was only three months ago, in a group therapy session that I was prompted to revisit what had happened. When the words “he raped me” escaped for the first time, they registered as a foreign emission, seeking contact with alien “feelings” and betraying the gravity of their deferral. I was eighteen years old and blackout drunk, and you were my thirty-five-year-old man-child co-worker. The last thing I remember about that night is flirting with you at a bar. So, “I blamed myself and thought this was consent. I was too drunk. Yada. Yada.” I wished that you had just put me to bed and I thought you were a creep. But I still felt that it was my fault. I should have known better. You were thinking with your dick, etc. Beyond my sexist denigration of your intellect, I didn’t process any of it. I told myself I was a “chill” girl. We could still hang out. We could be Facebook friends. Cue the violins and rehashing of my horribly elitist all-girls high school. Reinforce a cycle of privileged self- loathing paired with gendered self- blame. Take another swig and repeat “reckless” behaviour. I slept with countless men in an attempt to reclaim power. I felt nothing and convinced myself this was control. I remained detached from my body — estranged from its sensations. Meanwhile, I continued to put myself in danger. One of the men I slept with was violent and pinned me down to film me, even after I begged him to stop. Another one, gentle by comparison, whipped out his iPhone camera, but put it away after I asked him three times. Not unlike what happened with you, I woke up next to another one completely naked and vagina-swollen, in a puddle of my own urine, with no recollection. He was my friend. And I felt ashamed. I had internalized misogyny that I wouldn’t dream of discharging upon anyone else. Of course, after four years of liberal arts, group and individual therapy, and recovering from mental illness, my feminist hindsight is 20/20. The morning after, B, it was hard to focus on anything except the nausea of a hangover, the discomfort of a throbbing vagina, and the dead weight of your naked body pressed against mine, your arm draped in front of my face. I saw your t-shirt on the floor, which read “Big Night Out,” the Pub Crawl that employed me and had hired you for the weekend to train the staff. At that time, I was seeing my co-worker Adam, and when I realized that the shirt on the ground was larger than his, the body behind me heavier, and the arm in front of my face hairier, it dawned on me that I was no longer the chill girl. I was the “slut.” Tears welled in my eyes and gastric acid churned a rising pit, familiar to shunned scarlet letters and “trashy” biddies alike. Your belly traced a round contour against my back and your arm kept me locked in place with nowhere to run. So I waited as my stomach taunted me. In the following weeks the pit grew into a fucking apple tree of repentance, when Adam called me a whore and told patrons of the Pub Crawl to approach me for a good time. Adam and Eve, the sinner: the ultimate cliché.


I felt your dick stirring, and you pressed it into my ass and croaked, “Good Morning” into my ear, as you ran your hands along my upper arms. I sat up to get dressed, self-conscious of my nipples, flaccid and putrid purple in the light that strained through industrial blinds. Did you close them? I don’t remember closing them. I knew that my tears would burst at any moment, so I bit my tongue and fumbled my left leg into my jeans. Sprawled on my single bed, you watched me struggle with a lazy smile. Your dick was exposed but I didn’t look. I focused on the right pant leg. The zipper. The buttons. I apologized for being so drunk and told you that I couldn’t remember anything from the night before. You pulled the sheet over your crotch and shot out of bed. Starting with “Big Night Out,” you gathered your clothes and made a beeline for the door. You knew the drill, and felt the need to say, “Don’t worry, love, you had a great time. You squirted, like massively. I’ve never seen anything like it!” You went so far as to look for evidence on my bed sheets, as if you might need it to support your case. Perhaps sensing my nausea, you laughed, “You didn’t know that you do that?” “No, I didn’t know.” “Maybe it was your first time.” THANKS FOR MAKING ME SQUIRT, B. I may have peed the bed because I was blackout drunk, and that’s what happens when you have sex with somebody who is barely conscious, but THANKS. I have never been able to climax. Because incidents like our night “together” have resulted in a lack of trust and dissociation from my body. You so flippantly insinuated that you were the champ who had gotten me there. It’s my fault if I didn’t remember a single second of it. Did you need to say, “squirt”? Believe me, I’d love it if I could squirt. But you tarnished the word, and used it to make a mockery of my sexuality, to justify the absence of my sober consent, and to cover your obvious guilt and discomfort. Sexual trauma is an ugly wound that I’ve been hiding under various defense mechanisms. Rather than addressing the injury and airing it out, for years I neglected its swelling infection. I thought admitting to pain was a sign of weakness; in fact, I was avoiding a treatable lesion and creating more suffering. I’m sick of the self-help metaphors. I’m sick of the guilt and this bullshit in my stomach. I want to take a huge dump all over you, B. I’m ready to cry and scream and squirt. And talk about it outside the walls of clinical therapy — a porous process that is integral to feminist solidarity. For too long I neglected the simple fact that I am hurting. My body was violated and I pretended that it didn’t matter; or I thought that I couldn’t be helped. Thankfully it wasn’t true. My injuries are healing now, and deleting you on Facebook is the least of my concerns. You raped me. I can say that and feel its venom secrete from my gut, where I used to feel shame, to my constricting throat, whenever I am sad, straight through to the words that have found their way on this page. Fuck you. Sincerely pissed off and actually drained of fluids, CJ


001 turn my flesh to alloy, trade my joints for bolts, replace my mind with code. more elegant than any hot blood,

less exhausting than the weight of raw meat. birth me from binary, remake me in the artificial image, of the one perfect god of this new age. and for my last human wish, a thing only air from lungs can conjure please program me, i’m begging you, reset me every morning at dawn.

— K. Ghotbi

Medium: oil pastels and pencil

Gladys


some selfless modern thoughts Diet coke When I was sixteen I wanted to be so fucking skinny. Because that’s beautiful, right? I thought I’d be so fucking happy, skin and bones being as far away as possible from ascloseaspossibletodeath.

life

But still breathing. I wanted to take up as little space as possible. Because that’s what a woman should be, right? nonexistent. Lose your curves, lose your hair, lose your teeth, lose what makes you human, lose what makes you a woman, lose some fucking weight. It’s the only way to gain anything in this world. I wanted bigger tits, maybe men would notice me. I wanted a smaller waist, maybe women would envy me. I wanted legs that were 6 inches longer maybe I’d go further. — Natalie Liconti


Cygnus olor (mute swan) Then we move on looking back, it will be pinioning mutilations how invasive or permanent   clipping off with a sharp pair of shears   the carpus of a bird’s wing unbalances the bird prevents flight.   Every time the teacher fondles her during fourth grade, pigtailed Magyar war refugee.   Brailing is much the same as amputation of the distal phalanx   never clip a wing that is growing blood feathers.   Groomed in the classroom through the school year movie days shades hang closed undirected whirring reels the silences

coloured by “dirty” her nine year old self   twisting and binding of jesses   red polka dot ribbons blue flowered cotton dress.   Her mother’s songbook   the blackboard, chalk, oak desks, oak chairs.

— Ilona Martonfi


Conquistadora

Medium: Ink, Watercolor, Watercolour Pencil


A/M (Arithmetic of Men)

You know that feeling when you’re walking through the streets at night in a short skirt, and your toes hurt Balancing weight on the balls of your feet, between your hips and the pavement So you’re brave if you put your headphones in but it feels like defeat if you leave your music off why should anyone stop you from listening to david bowie at 2.a.m. You know that feeling when the streetlights cast shadows that circle like dogs and your heels bark, the sound is sharp A howl across the street sends you spinning heart like a racehorse and your keys between your knuckles biting bruises into your skin a ward against unwanted eyes As if they speak your language You know that feeling when everyone in the room is making sounds you’ve never heard before some language not yours, but they think you speak it, too. Pidgin language translates to : x inches above the knee x inches below the collarbone (that sharp protrusion under your worrying finger/nails) x drinks x blinks x (se)x

You know the feeling of not knowing what your skirt might be saying behind your back – not knowing that the value of (n)0 will be > none


koi· no· phil· i· a: when sexual creatures seek a mate, they prefer that mate not to have any unusual, peculiar or deviant features. koi· no· phil· i· a: when sexual creatures seek a mate, they prefer that mate not to have any unusual, peculiar or deviant features. koi· no· phil· i· a: when sexual creatures seek a mate, they prefer that mate not to have any unusual, peculiar or deviant features. koi· no· phil· i· a: when sexual creatures seek a mate, they prefer that mate not to have any unusual, peculiar or deviant features. koi· no· phil· i· a: when sexual creatures seek a mate, they prefer that mate not to have any unusual, peculiar or deviant features. koi· no· phil· i· a: when sexual creatures seek a mate, they prefer that mate not to have any unusual, peculiar or deviant features. koi· no· phil· i· a: when sexual creatures seek a mate, they prefer that mate not to have any unusual, peculiar or deviant features. koi· no· phil· i· a: when sexual creatures seek a mate, they prefer that mate not to have any unusual, peculiar or deviant features. koi· no· phil· i· a: when sexual creatures seek a mate, they prefer that mate not to have any unusual, peculiar or deviant features. koi· no· phil· i· a: when sexual creatures seek a mate, they prefer that mate not to have any unusual, peculiar or deviant features. koi· no· phil· i· a: when sexual creatures seek a mate, they prefer that mate not to have any unusual, peculiar or deviant features. koi· no· phil· i· a: when sexual creatures seek a mate, they prefer that mate not to have any unusual, peculiar or deviant features. koi· no· phil· i· a: when sexual creatures seek a mate, they prefer that mate not to have any unusual, peculiar or deviant features. koi· no· phil· i· a: when sexual creatures seek a mate, they prefer that mate not to have any unusual, peculiar or deviant features. koi· no· phil· i· a: when sexual creatures seek a mate, they prefer that mate not to have any unusual, peculiar or deviant features. koi· no· phil· i· a: when sexual creatures seek a mate, they prefer that mate not to have any unusual, peculiar or deviant features. koi· no· phil· i· a: when sexual creatures seek a mate, they prefer that mate not to have any unusual, peculiar or deviant features. koi· no· phil· i· a: when sexual creatures seek a mate, they prefer that mate not to have any unusual, peculiar or deviant features. koi· no· phil· i· a: when sexual creatures seek a mate, they prefer that mate not to have any unusual, peculiar or deviant features. koi· no· phil· i· a: when sexual creatures seek a mate, they prefer that mate not to have any unusual, peculiar or deviant features. koi· no· phil· i· a: when sexual creatures seek a mate, they prefer that mate not to have any unusual, peculiar or deviant features. koi· no· phil· i· a: when sexual creatures seek a mate, they prefer that mate not to have any unusual, peculiar or deviant features. koi· no· phil· i· a: when sexual creatures seek a mate, they prefer that mate not to have any unusual, peculiar or deviant features. koi· no· phil· i· a: when sexual creatures seek a mate, they prefer that mate not to have any unusual, peculiar or deviant features. koi· no· phil· i· a: when sexual creatures seek a mate, they prefer that mate not to have any unusual, peculiar or deviant features. koi· no· phil· i· a: when sexual creatures seek a mate, they prefer that mate not to have any unusual, peculiar or deviant features. koi· no· phil· i· a: when sexual creatures seek a mate, they prefer that mate not to have any unusual, peculiar or deviant features. koi· no· phil· i· a: when sexual creatures seek a mate, they prefer that mate not to have any unusual, peculiar or deviant features. koi· no· phil· i· a: when sexual creatures seek a mate, they prefer that mate not to have any unusual, peculiar or deviant features. koi· no· phil· i· a: when sexual creatures seek a mate, they prefer that mate not to have any unusual, peculiar or deviant features. koi· no· phil· i· a: when sexual creatures seek a mate, they prefer that mate not to have any unusual, peculiar or deviant features. koi· no· phil· i· a: when sexual creatures seek a mate, they prefer that mate not to have any unusual, peculiar or deviant features. koi· no· phil· i· a: when sexual creatures seek a mate, they prefer that mate not to have any unusual, peculiar or deviant features. koi· no· phil· i· a: when sexual creatures seek a mate, they prefer that mate not to have any unusual, peculiar or deviant features. koi· no· phil· i· a: when sexual creatures seek a mate, they prefer that mate not to have any unusual, peculiar or deviant features. koi· no· phil· i· a: when sexual creatures seek a mate, they prefer that mate not to have any unusual, peculiar or deviant features. koi· no· phil· i· a: when sexual creatures seek a mate, they prefer that mate not to have any unusual, peculiar or deviant features.

Koinophilia


Solidarity (found poem)

I, we,

two, and three.

(Source: “Oldest English Words Identified,” BBC News.)

無名 (Anonymous) As a Chinese-Canadian, I am afforded many privileges over other POC. I am seen as the Asian sidekick, the model minority that works hard and complains little under the yoke of a White-centric Western society. As a cis gay man, I am afforded certain privileges over other members of the queer community. I am the gay best friend, the poster child for Legalize Love ad campaigns. Perhaps the intersection of my identities has helped me to discover that oppression extends far beyond me. Thus, as a nameless ally, I seek to remove the veil of privilege from my eyes that I may see oppression for what it is, work from my position of privilege to better those around me, but never to speak over the voices of those who shout ever louder amidst injustice.


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