Page 1





WESTERN LIFE 4 FOCO Recap 5 So, Your Roommate is a Trump Supporter 6 Here's Your Reminder to be Kind to Others 7 Do First Year's Even Party? 8 Beware of Dogs...

CREATIVE 9 Zine Canada: Elections Special Edition 10 Why You Should Read These Banned Books 12 Blackout Poetry 13 When a Professor Says the N-Word in Class CULTURE & ENTERTAMENT 14 Why Every Feminist Should be Watching Fleabag 16 6 Movies to Watch Before Awards Season

FASHION & LIFESTYLE 18 Preventing Burnout 19 FIMS Inspired Halloween Costumes 2o Why You Should Try Yoga This Exam Season WORLD 22 Radical Political Memes 24 White Privilege: an Alternative Perspective 26 The Fight For Life

editor's note Hello! I can't wait to share the latest issue of OPENWIDE with you: (un)CENSORED. OPENWIDE is all about revealing the truth, advocating for those who are so often silenced, and challenging the comfort zone of your views and opinions. Some of the articles in this issue deal with sensitive topics, some present opinions that may differ from yours - but that's the work of media studies! As a publication, OPENWIDE is really lucky to have the freedom to write about controversial topics and even print some provocative covers (check out Vol. 14 Is. 2 on Issuu and you'll see what I'm talking about). We wanted to dedicate an entire issue to the rebellious spirit of FIMS and hopefully start some important conversations about the ways we are censored as students, citizens, and consumers - and ways to free it's grip on society. Grab a coffee and your copy of the Communist Manifesto and prepare to get WOKE - happy reading!

Elisabeth Edwards

OPENWIDE Editor-in-Chief

Elisabeth Edwards editor--in-chief

Alysha Bauer managing editor

Elizabeth Lam western life editor

Grace Armstrong creative editor

Megan Bishop

culture & entertainment editor

Marah Minor

fashion & lifestyle editor

Zoë Abernethy world editor

Armin Basharat creative director

Amy Thimpson web editor

Safiya Chagani

digital content editor

Hannah Aviv

lead graphics editor

Sophia Beylk graphics editor

like us // @OPENWIDEzine follow us // @openwidezine contribute //

Emily Anderson

social media curator

Max Shay


Alexia Cain

lead photographer


FOCO: a s u c c e s s s t o ry //GREG BOWMAN

Well, another year of Fake Homecoming (FOCO) has come and gone. Broughdale is still standing. Nobody got seriously injured. Dare I say, people had fun? The months leading up to this year’s annual bash generated all sorts of concerns from the Western University community, the City of London, and even the province. Mayor Ed Holder promised there would be “blood on our hands” if policies weren’t changed. The university modified the Student Code of Conduct and tried to host an alternative event on the same day (remember that time ASAP Rocky ghosted us on the eve of PurpleFest?). With PurpleFest in shambles just hours before students were getting on their purple t-shirts and sweaters, Broughdale Avenue could have erupted into a warzone on Saturday (I genuinely thought there would be a riot). But it wasn’t. There were 5,000 more students in purple-clad attire galavanting through the streets compared to last year’s 20,000. Yet, there were over 50% less provincial tickets issued, with almost a third of the number of people being taken to hospital, according to the London Free Press. And for those who were tasked with the cleanup from the bash - it took all of 30 minutes. Is it possible that Western students actually partied responsibly? Don’t answer that, it’s a loaded question. What is possible though, is that the year-long conversations which included task forces, surveillance efforts and Facebook messages from police officers, all helped to actually make the party safer. It was a matter of all parties (pun intended) involved to be on the same page. In years previous, Western refused to take any responsibility for the party, which left the city and it’s emergency services out on their own to deal with students’ shenanigans. That is obviously not fair for taxpayers of the region, with hundreds of thousands of dollars being funnelled towards first responders and police (not to mention that none of these tax dollars come from Western students renting in London!) This year, everyone thought ahead. $300,000 was spent to police the event, bringing in officers from the York and Hamilton regions. Richmond Street was barricaded off from Huron Street and Epworth Avenue in an effort to contain the festivities, even bus routes along Richmond were cancelled to suppress partiers from overcrowding public transit. Steeper fines were also levied for raucous street parties, of which 12 tickets were issued to residents. The takeaway from all of this is that when we work together, great things can happen. However, we’re not totally out of the woods just yet. The fallout from this year’s parties was focused around addressing several sexist and misogynistic signs hung outside houses along Broughdale. Yes, these reflect poorly on students, and there should be no place for this kind of ignorance on campus or in the community. But the point remains that the signs were the most controversial thing that happened at FOCO - not any injuries, or strained emergency services.

Do not forget why we have to talk about this. Western started it. Homecoming was a tradition for many years before FOCO. When Western tried to end the tradition, students kept it alive. Many of us are still left wondering why Western didn’t bring back the original Homecoming date if they wanted to stop FOCO? At least until next year, Western will continue to be one of the only schools in the province with two homecomings.


So Your Roommate’s a Trump Supporter Whether it’s in your Saugeen shoebox of a room or your five-person house on Richmond Row, the majority of Western students have experienced the benefits and downfalls of communal living. Your roommates become somewhat of a chosen family based on mutual interests and the enjoyment of each other’s company - they’ve seen you at your exam-crushing high’s and your morning-after Flashback Friday lows (and maybe you’ve even connected over coffee on a Sunday Scaries kind of morning) . But just like the tense moments at the Thanksgiving table when your uber-conservative uncle has one-too-many glasses of wine, family does not always see eye-to-eye. With an upcoming Federal election, an impeachment investigation in the States, and the current uprise of political issues such as abortion and climate change, the topic of politics is one challenging to avoid.

Stick to facts

//Shelby Rubin

Addressing unbiased, research-based arguments makes it more challenging for personal vendettas to surface. Think of these conversations as somewhat of an essay - you would never make a huge claim such as “Trump is dumber than Hillary” without listing evidence to back it up.

Stay calm and collected

This one is probably a given but it’s still important enough to write down. Not only will flying-offthe-handle lead to an unavoidable uncomfortable encounter in the hallway, but it will dismiss any strong points you may have made. Acting irrationally puts your roommates’ guards up, making it extremely unlikely for them to ever want to talk to you about controversial topics (or anything) for a while.

Find a middle ground

Student houses are made up of people with different lived experiences, inevitably leading to a difference of opinion on something or other. When disagreement strikes, instead of exhausting yourself with listing all the reasons they’re wrong or passive-aggressively ignoring each other until things settle down, take these helpful tips into consideration:

This does not mean you should prolong the conversation until you arrive at a mutual agreement. After clearly expressing where both sides are coming from, set boundaries as to how you’d like to proceed in the future. While this may sound like a formal business meeting, the concrete idea is to avoid problems later on. You could be comfortable with agreeing to disagree about certain topics, whereas other ones are just off-the-table.

Know your roommate


Obviously you know your roommate, but I’m saying to know your roommate. Have a strong understanding of their personality and what makes them tick to decide whether or not to jump in on a controversial topic. If you find your roommate to be extremely stubborn and opinionated, certain conversations may just be a waste of time.

Be willing to listen

Like my first point, but flipped. If you yourself are incredibly stubborn or closedoff, your roommates will be hesitant (and maybe a little scared) to voice their perspective.

Kidding! (Kind of). The truth of the matter is that if an issue is extremely important to you, it may be uncomfortable to surround yourself with others who are polar-opposites. I am not advising you to run away from those who do not think the same way you do. On the contrary, I believe that we learn best from those who think differently than we do. That being said, I would never choose to live with a right-wing extremist. Your roommates are your selected family, and while it may be challenging to excuse yourself from that Thanksgiving table, sometimes it’s better that you did.


Here’s Your Reminder to Be Kind to Others //Elizabeth Lam TRIGGER WARNING: The following article includes content of rape culture, sexual harassment, and sexual assault. It may be emotionally and intellectually challenging to engage with. OPENWIDE encourages a space where we can bravely, empathetically, and thoughtfully discuss sensitive topics. Please read at your own discretion. It’s been a mix of emotions for many of us since being back at Western. Throughout the first week of the school year, you could feel the student-body spirits as high as ever. From the sight of friends jumping into each other’s arms after a long four months apart, to hearing the ‘I missed you’s’ all across campus. Good vibes and energy constantly buzzed. That was until news of two women reported to be sexually assaulted outside the fenced area on UC Hill during an OWeek sanctioned concert spread like wildfire. It didn’t take long after move-in days to sense people retrieving back into their shells–a little more cautious, a little more timid. The shock of an incident of this nature happening so quickly after arriving in London for the new school year blindsided many of us. What was supposed to be a week of celebrating the start of another year to make friends and memories, and have some fun before we hit the books, turned into the Western community feeling fragile and conflicted. After a month rolled by, the excitement of FOCO began to stir every household. With the majority of our student-body determined to stand by our tradition of marching through Broughdale Ave., it was a reassuring sense of community and Purple Pride. Until student-made signage outside of Broughdale houses were seen by officials and stated to be pertaining to rape culture. One read, “Queen Girls Spit, Western Girls Swallow,” which made headlines in London papers just days after the event. Instances surrounding rape culture at our university happen too often to ignore any longer. The fact is, there are more of us than we think that have our own story too similar to the incident that occurred during OWeek. Acts regarding distasteful sexual innuendos, like the signage on Broughdale, have an expectation to be taken lightly and jokingly. But the reality is that it can be truly triggering and harmful to some. You never know what someone is going through or healing from. If we all opened our minds and hearts a little more, if we all show empathy for others, we’ll already be one step closer to protecting each other from experiencing anything like what happened that night on UC Hill.

6 6

Do First Years Even Party

//Melody Lau

Greasy, sweaty, and grimy. To your surprise, I’m not talking about an 8 hour work shift at Mcdonalds. Those three unholy attributes were some of the characteristics associated with London’s former infamous club, Prohibition. However, “Pro” used to be packed to the max, most students wouldn’t dare to be seen there if you were already legal. Some of you in first-year may now know the club as Lost Love Social House, where one of Toronto’s popular social clubs, Love Child Social House, purchased and remodeled the area as their ‘sister club’. Believe me, a lot has changed. Prohibition resembled a speakeasy in the 1920s since the consumption of alcohol was also illegal with most of the clubgoers being underage first-year students or even as young as high school students. It was a weird, alternate universe for upper-years if they somehow stumbled into Prohibition. There is no wonder that the club was eventually rebranded to “Fifth Avenue” last year for a short period, but they still couldn’t escape their notorious reputation. Finally, they successfully revamped the Lost Love Social House this year. Unfortunately, with the new club actually following regulations, under-aged students can no longer slip a $20 for a mediocre night of regrets or tell everyone and their mom on Snapchat that they snuck into a club. But as a PSA to first-year students: you’re not missing out at all, you can put your money towards a nice meal off-campus and away from residence food. On a side note, I did have a positive experience in the line for Prohibition once when I was trying to go with my underage friend. She slipped a $10 and we didn’t realize that there was an actual event that night where you had to pay an extra $30 for admission. There was no way we, or anyone really, would pay that much to go to Prohibition or any club in London. I shamelessly told her to get her money back from the bouncer and he ended up giving her $20 back, so she made money by the end of the night! This was definitely a one-time thing. I personally never felt the need to sneak into any clubs during my first-year, since I found that there was so much to do in residence, on campus, and around London that doesn’t just involve partying. I recommend having a picnic at Victoria Park during this wholesome sweater weather and grabbing your skates for when the ice rink opens in December (all great opportunities to explore this new city you’re in and get some cute Instagram content!) Likewise, Louise Wong, a first-year student in Health Sciences, shares a similar mentality of just going with the flow and that the partying scene is losing its appeal to her. “I don’t really try to find things because I think it wastes time, so I just wait to see what pops up,” said Wong. “I used to drink a lot and now I get bored of it.” For activities outside of drinking in a room the size of a shoebox, just look at the Western event page or search, “Tourism London” on Google. You would be amazed at the free concerts at Talbot College, hiking trails or beaches nearby, and the markets or cafes that you can explore with friends. You have the ability to make any day or night fun, even if you’re just at Club Weldon.


beware of dogs A.K.A The London Street Preachers //elizabeth lam Misogynistic. Entitled. Sexist. Humiliating. If you haven’t heard of the London Street Preachers, that’s pretty much who they are in a nutshell. Two men infamous for parading around the London core and Western Campus with their sexist and degrading signs, hollering at women to publicly humiliating them for not being ‘ladylike’ enough. They often target females who: · Wear pants · Tie their hair up in a ponytail · Wear skirts at lengths above the knee · Use coarse language · Wear form-fitting clothing · Wear a noticeable amount of makeup How is it that in the 21st century, women are still fighting for the right to peace and equality? While our greater society tries to take one step ahead, people like the London Street Preachers pull us back two. Numerous females within the Western community have been victimized by the horrid London Street Preachers and here’s what they have to say: “I was called a whore while crossing Western and Sarnia because I was wearing jeans.” - Katie Bennett, 3rd Year MIT “As a local, I’ve grown up with the Street Preachers yelling obscenities to me. Whether it’s for wearing a tank top in the summer that is “too revealing,” to a pantsuit to work making me a “whore because women belong in the kitchen and not in the workforce,” they always have something to say. One thing that sticks out to me was when I was waiting for a bus at Richmond and King this past summer. They were posted in their usual get-up when an anonymous group distracted them. One person dumped black paint on their signs, while another painted “love and respect for all” on the sidewalk. It was refreshing and entertaining to witness such a gesture.” - Denice Pepe, 3rd Year MIT “My girlfriend and I were sitting in Starbucks and she said, “Holy fuck,” and they told her the ‘F’ word sounded dirty coming out of her mouth and that she needed to think about a woman’s place in society.” - Katie Bennett, 3rd Year MIT



SILENTLY WONDERING, “WHY BOTHER?” SINCE 1906 SOMETHING TRUMP SAID ON TWITTER SPARKS CONTROVERSY Tried finding the exact tweet but we weren’t sure which one it was

SCIENTISTS REVEAL PLANT EXTINCTION IS HAPPENING 500 TIMES FASTER THAN IT SHOULD BE Millennials speculate this may be the reason OCS is always sold out of weed


ASTRONOMERS ANNOUNCED THAT THEY MAY HAVE POTENTIALLY FOUND TWO NEW PLANETS THAT CAN SUSTAIN LIFE. “We can’t wait to destroy those ones too,” says a representative from the oil industry


Starbucks employee shocked that the switch away from plastic straws has done nothing to help this


FROSH ARE SHOCKED TO FIND OUT THE UCC HAS 3 TIM HORTONS LOCATIONS Just wait until they see how long the lines still are



FIMS GRADUATES WONDER IF THEY CAN DELAY PAYING STUDENT DEBT UNTIL AFTER 2045 “If the singularity happens they’ll forget all about the money we owe, right?”


FIMS SOPH OR REALLY GOOD ROGER KLOTZ FROM DOUG COSPLAY??? With the nature of FIMS, we will truly never know


My Favourite Banned Books and Why You Should Read Them //GRACE ARMSTRONG Censorship is not just an issue that plagues the online world or the news. It is a long-standing phenomenon that has been occurring since the dawn of time and is something still very present in the literary world. Books may no longer be openly burned in public, but the frequency of which they are being banned and pulled from schools and libraries hasn’t stopped completely. But why are books still being banned and what can we learn from reading them? I’m here to break down 5 of my favourite banned books and tell you why they’ve been banned and how that’s exactly why you should read them.

Catcher in the Rye Probably the most pretentious one off my list, but a worthy read nonetheless. I’m sure some of you have not-so-fond memories of having to read and analyze this book back in high school and may be scarred trying to figure it out exactly where the ducks go during the winter time. BUT! It warrants a reread as an “adult” for the themes of phoniness in the adult world and fear of growing up that are interwoven throughout the novel. It was mainly banned for its profane language and sexual references. Holden is clearly an immoral and unreliable narrator, but what teenager isn’t? He’s lost, trying to figure out what he should be doing with his life, and frequently indulges in drinking and smoking to cope with this. Sounds like Foco to me!

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley “Frankenstein is the name of the Doctor, not the monster!!!” Yes, we know, thank you to all the twitter film boys who are hung up on this. This book has continually been banned in the South because of how it depicts a man obsessed with creating life without any sort of divine intervention, directly going against the beliefs of many religions. The reason you should read this book, not just because of the beautiful writing and detailing of Dr. Frankenstein then being horrified and haunted by his creation, but because of the author! Yes, Mary Shelley, married to Percy Shelley and known to have an interesting relationship with the literary world’s greatest man-whore, Lord Byron, is the reason you should pick up this book. This novel helped prove that women were capable of making great literary masterpieces (obviously) and is credited as being one of the first-ever pieces of science fiction.



Lord of the Rings A fantasy classic and a shock to many that it has been banned so many times, this novel is considered to be “anti-religious” and “anti-Christian”, even though Tolkien himself was a devout Christian. Like Harry Potter and other classics that depict magic of any kind, it is considered to be promoting witchcraft and satanism. There is also considerable outcry at the inclusion of smoking in the novel and how this would be harmful to young children who read it. This is where many take issue with the banning of books. The main point of censorship in this context is for “protection” of the reader/children. This just fosters mass-amounts of ignorance. What should really be done is to let the children read the books with smoking and use it as a learning opportunity to teach them of the dangers of doing so themselves. It’s clear that the reasons this book was banned have no bearings on the beauty of it. Even if you’re not a fan of fantasy literature, Lord of the Rings is full of bountiful imagery and tales of the type of strong friendships one can only dream of ever having.

The Scarlet Letter One of my all-time favourite novels, if you’ve ever seen the movie Easy A, I URGE you to read this. Hawthorne himself has a very interesting history, descending from a judge of the Salem Witch Trials of 1692, John Hawthorne. Because of this history and living in Salem, Hawthorne takes America’s Puritan past and puts it at the forefront of the novel. He holds nothing back in describing what the public would have done to a woman accused of adultery at this time. What many take issue with, is that we are made to feel sympathy for Hester Prynne, the protagonist, even though she has committed a greatly immoral act that makes some believe the book as being antireligious. When really, you see a heroine trying to make the most out of her small life in Salem and is ostracized by others in public, but sought after for help by them in private. It’s really a book about the historical oppression of women, scapegoating, and acceptance.

Perks of Being a Wallflower The movie that helped introduce white girls everywhere to the beauty that is The Smiths and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, two of this basic white girls favourite things! As much as I love the movie (one of the rare adaptations that I believe does the book justice) the book is just so beautifully written and heart-wrenching to not include on this list. This book was banned in the USA for addressing homosexuality, being sexually explicit, anti-family, using offensive language, having a religious viewpoint, and depicting drugs and suicide. Incidentally, these are the reasons why I think this book is incredibly important to readers. It’s an amazing look into the mind of a complex teenager and a remainder that you can’t always change what happens to you, but you can change what you do about it.



When a Professor Says the N-Word in a Classroom //Maya Simon & Alysha Bauer On the evening of October 23rd in an English lecture, a professor stated the most horrendous derogatory term in the English language, the N-Word, in order to “illicit a response” from the class. This situation buzzed across social media, garnering attention from other students and professors, community members, and student unions across campus such as the Black Student Association. Below is a response from third year student, Maya Simon, (who was in fact present in the lecture) that she sent to the professor, elucidating her feelings on his utterance of such a word. This is the second time during her time at Western that one of her professors have lectured this term. Enough is enough.

Hi Professor, After today’s class I was left with a lot of reflecting to do. I was excited to continue discussing the tropes within the Fresh Prince Episode in relation to race and class topics. In your attempt to explain a historical fact regarding the Butler Jeffery and the comment that Will made to address him as “home-butler”, you proceeded to explain a historical meaning behind the term. I was completely taken aback when the lecture proceeded and you chose to say the “N” in your explanation. As a back female student at Western University, I have my own personal experience with prejudice and microaggressions that I face on a daily basis. Though I could not find the words to express my feelings in class I felt it was necessary to voice my concerns to you if not through at least an email. It was troubling that such an offensive word was used, I did not think that it was necessary to get the point across. You could have said “home slave” (as it fit the context you you comparing an house slave to an outside slave) or even expressed that the “N” word was normally replaced into that term without actually saying it.

“When called out by one of my peers you stated that it was said in order to solicit a reaction from the class .” I know that a few of my black peers expressed that they were disconcerted by the results of todays lecture, I could not hold my silence either. When called out by one of my peers you stated that it was said in order to solicit a reaction from the class . I have to state that in no setting is it okay to use racial charged language just to see how people will react, it was merely hurtful to me and my peers. Being one of the only 3 black people in the class it was interesting to see how my peers reacted, with silence and sparse giggles. This subsequently brought up feelings of exclusion, difference and complete isolation, nobody immediately called out the wrong-doing and for some people to laugh was highly concerning. This history is not to be used as a spectacle to garner a response, this represents centuries of racism that has only ever manifested into a multiplicity of institutionalized boundaries that racialized— specifically Black people— face on a daily basis. It is not just a word, it a symbol, a reminder of all that Black people have and will continue to go through. I do not want this e-mail to come off in any way as an attack towards you, or speak to a judgement of your character. This is simply an expression of the wounds that have unfortunately been opened for me in this lecture, and I feel that it is imperative that you as a faculty member of an educational institution understand the power, and history behind that word. Regards, Maya Simon

13 13

Dirty, Pervy, Beautifully Authentic. why every feminist should be watching fleabag


//megan bishop Fleabag is one of a kind yet one of us. The titular character of the show Fleabag (yes, her name is Fleabag) is an ordinary woman dealing with ordinary problems whilst breaking the fourth wall, talking to her audience. Fleabag can be unlikable through her self-obsessed and cynical attitudes but her uncensored dialogue is honest and raw. While Amazon’s Fleabag is a comedic show, delivering some of the best comedic lines, performances and scenes on television, the show is also a tragedy, following the life of a woman who is failing at every aspect in her life. Season One chronicles Fleabag coming to terms with a life without her best friend and business partner Boo, while also examining her self-destructive tendencies and her obsession with sex. Season Two is quite different as Fleabag experiences romance and love with a man who she can never be with: a priest. With the endless amount of depictions of women being sex symbols and dependent on male characters, Fleabag is a perfect show in a feminist world. One thing that instantly sets Fleabag apart from other characters in female centric shows is her honesty and unfiltered dialogue. With the ability to break the fourth wall, Fleabag can comment on everything happening in her life at real time to the audience. Although I cannot break the fourth wall and say things out loud with only a select few to hear, I easily relate to Fleabag as I am always responding in my head about events and

occurrences happening in real time. While comedic, the fourth wall break lets the audience hear Fleabag’s inner thinking, the things we aren’t supposed to hear and the thoughts women are encouraged not to disclose. While the fourth wall break brings the audience into the mind of Fleabag, she does not hide her true self from the rest of the ensemble and is constantly unfiltered. She is an unapologetic and selfish character. While she cares about how she is perceived by others, it does not change her attitude or personality, many of these traits cover up her guilt and act like a shield. While Fleabag is by far the most honest character with the most resistance to personal growth, every character in the show is flawed and struggling with personal demons. For example, Fleabag’s sister Claire is uptight and rigid, the exact opposite to her sister. She tries to hold a perfect image while she is dealing with her terrible marriage to alcoholic Martin. While the two are completely different, they have commonalities, like how they both would rather give up five years of their life for “the perfect body” (which they both publicly reveal during a feminist lecture). Fleabag demonstrates that everyone has problems that they need to deal with and that everyone has to own up and work through the issues they ignore and cast aside. Finally, Fleabag flawlessly subverts sexual objectification that women have faced on screen since the beginning of cinema. Since women have been forced to be objects of desire and sexual gratification in film and television for countless years, it is extremely important to have female characters on screen who have agency and are defined outside of their relationship to men. The show flips Laura Mulvey’s male gaze through Fleabag’s “obsession” with sex, in the character’s words “I’m not obsessed with sex, I just can’t stop thinking about it. The performance of it. The awkwardness of it. The drama of it. The moment you realise someone wants your body. Not so much the feeling of it.” Many of the problems Fleabag faces stem from this obsession, which ultimately ruins her relationships. Fleabag is never once objectified in her sexual encounters which are depicted as mundane in meaningless. Objectification and desire aren’t at play until Season Two, when the male character, affectionately known to some as “Hot Priest”, becomes an object of desire for Fleabag. Religion becomes a major player in Fleabag’s romantic and sex life, and is a force that challenges Fleabag to re-examine her ideas of love and intimacy. By bringing in the concept of religion and turning a priest into a sex symbol, Fleabag goes against normative representations of love and female desire. Fleabag has clearly struck a chord with audiences becoming a massive hit, critically and commercially, for BBC and Amazon Studios. The show took home four awards at the 2019 Emmy’s ceremony for best direction in a comedy, best writing in a comedy, best comedic actress and the coveted best TV comedy. The show’s critical acclaim and fan following demonstrates the importance and value of stories about unfiltered and honest women that do not shy away from subject matter that was once considered taboo. As said by the creator, writer and star of Fleabag during her Emmy’s acceptance speech “It’s really wonderful to know a dirty, pervy, angry, messed-up woman can make it to the Emmys”. Fleabag flips expectations and demonstrates that women are allowed to be greedy, selfish, apathetic, cynical, and depraved and that’s perfectly normal. 15

6 Movies to Watch before

With film festival season ending, Awards season is fast approaching. Films are becoming front runners, a site for controversy, and hailed masterpieces. With the mass amount of contenders, these are the 6 you should watch before awards season to be an Awards expert.


Dir. Bong Joon-ho Likely Nominations: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Foreign Film The newest film from Bong Joon-ho has becoming a critical and cultural phenom. Parasite is a thriller which follows a lower-class family who become obsessed with wealthy family and chaos ensues. The film premiered at the 2019 Cannes FIlm Festival and won the coveted Palme d’Or. The film also played at the Toronto International Film Festival and was the second runner up for the People’s Choice Award. With early praise from Cannes, the film continues to build momentum. The film seems to be following in the steps of Roma, being an early front runner for best director and foreign film.

Marriage Story

Dir. Noah Baumbach Likely Nominations: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Original Screenplay, Best Original Score Hailed as Noah Baumbach’s masterpiece, Marriage Story is sure to be a major player come awards season. The film is an honest, hilarious and devastating look at divorce. The film is grounded in career best performances from Adam Driver and Scarlett Johanssen, expertly delivering Baumbach’s fast and dense dialogue. Marriage Story is dominating the film festival circuit premiering at the Venice Film Festival, being awarded the first runner-up to the People’s Choice Prize at the Toronto International FIlm Festival, and screening at the New York Film Festival and the BFI London FIlm Festival. While a Netflix film, Marriage Story will receive a limited theatre release. After the critical acclaim and the massive film festival tour, Marriage Story is sure to secure multiple nominations come awards season.

Jojo Rabbit

Dir. Taika Waititi Likely Nominations: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Adapted Screenplay Self-proclaimed as an anti-hate satire, Jojo Rabbit follows a 10-year-old living in Nazi Germany who learns that his mother is hiding a young Jewish girl in their attic. After its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, Jojo Rabbit has become the front runner for a Best Picture nomination and potential win as it won the People’s Choice Award, which last year’s best picture winner Green Book also received. The film has received mixed reviews since the film deals with Nazi’s in a comedic way. This will likely not be a huge issue come nominations as director Taika Waititi is known for his irreverent and quirky humor. While nominations will fluctuate depending on the award show, Jojo Rabbit will likely receive big nominations at the Academy Awards as the voters are people working in the industry.

16 16

The 2020 Awards Season //Megan Bishop The Farewell

Dir. Lulu Wang Likely Nominations: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, Best Screenplay Based on a true story (an actual lie as stated in the film), The Farewell follows a young Chinese-American woman who travels to China to spend time with her grandmother who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer but is unaware of her illness. The film is based on director Lulu Wang’s family who chose not to tell her Grandmother that she had cancer. The Farewell won the Audience Award at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and was purchased by A24. While the film was released in the summer, it remains a critical darling. The film was praised for its honest storytelling and the dramatic turn from comedy actress and rapper Awkwafina.


Dir. Todd Phillips Likely Nominations: Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Cinematography, Best Original Score Taking a well-known comic book character and abandoning its comic origins on film was a risky move but paid off immensely at the box office. Black Panther proved that comic book films can be awards fare, and Joker has continued this momentum. Joker is a character study of Arthur Fleck, following his transformation into the iconic Batman villain. The film premiered at the 2019 Venice Film Festival where it won the Golden Lion prize and was later screened at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival. While the critics are divided on the film, most unanimously agree that Joaquin Phoenix’s transformative performance is worthy of praise.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Dir. Quentin Tarantino Likely Nominations: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor, Best Original Screenplay When Tarantino releases a new movie, it gets nominated. His latest is a love letter to Hollywood while also re-writing Sharon Tate’s history regarding the Manson murders. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood premiered at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival and was released during the summer. The film has stumbled a little as it was under fire as Sharon Tate, the female lead, has very little dialogue in the film. Also, Brad Pitt, who was the best supporting actor front runner, has announced that he will not be campaigning for his role in the film. While the film had a good (not great) reception, the power of Tarantino will likely vault nominations in a few major categories come awards season.


Preventing Burnout: Distinguishing Work vs. Leisure //MARAH MINor

The shift from Fordism to Post-Fordism has a vast majority of modern workers, especially in the creative industries, experiencing feelings of burnout from the blurred line between what is work and what is leisure. The romanticized idea of working from home, the constant availability of our electronic devices, and the obsession with working on our personal branding has led individuals to overworking themselves into mental exhaustion. Does this sound familiar? As students, we have the capability to work anywhere during any of our free time. Most of us have a desk in our bedroom to study... But isn’t our bedroom supposed to symbolize rest? The convenience of studying at home is amazing. You can wear your pajamas, eat at all times and take a nap or watch Netflix when you need a break. Especially on a day where the weather is gloomy, the ability to stay at home to get your work done is both inviting and comforting. Although there are positives to having our own work environment, the reason we experience these feelings of burnout is due to the fact that we are constantly working at home, forgetting to set aside time to ourselves. Studying inside your small student-rental bedroom can be very isolating and lonely, even when you have housemates down the hall. So, here are some ideas to prevent burnout and to help you define the line between work time and leisure time: 1. Get Out of the House: Simply said, you need to get yourself moving. Plan when and where you would like to go, bring a friend if you prefer study dates, and get out of the house for a few hours. As hard as it can be sometimes, going to the library, your favourite building on campus (if you haven’t checked out University College yet, you must), or heading to a coffee shop are some perfect ways to create that separation between the home space and the work space. 2. Put Away Distractions: Having our phones constantly buzzing while we’re studying is a preventable distraction. Checking notifications every few minutes leads to an extension of work time, enabling burnout. Make a rule with yourself to check your phone and social media platforms every hour as a small break. You will notice how much more work you get done when you can truly focus on the material. 3. Schedule Study Time: It can often happen that you come home after class to have a meal, and you end up not leaving the house again, making your work time at home. If you want to make sure you are creating the boundaries between home and work, schedule study time on campus or elsewhere so you are prepared. Pack a lunch, bring headphones, buy a coffee, and set out to complete that task. Scheduling study time like you would schedule an appointment is crucial to ensuring that study time is accomplished, and that when you arrive home you can relax. 4. Create a Positive Studying Environment (if you are going to work from home): If studying from home is just what you like to do and preventing burnout is your desire, create the ultimate study space for yourself. Get your desk and supplies organized so the environment is ready for a hardworking study session. Also, get yourself ready if it helps to create the illusion of a home and work boundary. Having a shower, making a nice meal, and jumpstarting yourself like you would to leave the house can trick your mind that the work day has begun. However, keep the sweatpants on as that day’s work attire. Comfort is always key in 18 order to focus on your studies.

FIMS-Inspired Halloween Costumes //Alysha Bauer

mothers in training

Cyborg Moth As we all look back to first year and involuntarily shudder, we can’t help but to recall our poorly written essays from 1020. This Halloween, it’s time to dress as our own freshman nightmare, the Cyborg Moth. Pick up a cyborg bodystocking from (that can double as an Ava from Ex Machina costume), and a pair of moth wings from Amazon Prime.

We’re taking possession of this term the STEM majors have affectionately donned us with. Raid your mom’s closet, and don’t forget your diaper bag!

Ashley O

warren steele Have you grown out of your Hannah Montana costume? We live and breathe Black Mirror here in the FIMS building so why not try out this look from one of our favorite characters from Season 5 of the show, Ashley O. Create this look with a silver two-piece set (this one is from a pink bob wig (Amazon), silver boots (FashionNova), and to top it all off, carry around a Google Home (or give Siri some love) to stand in as Ashley Too. Do you live within the sway of Gestell? Boy, do I have a Nihilistic costume for you. This 2500 prof has tons of cute and quirky iconic quotes so try carrying around a sign that says “death is inevitable” or “see you next week” to really add to your look!


why you should try yoga this exam season

namast'ay stress free: // ELISABETH EDWARDS

That dreaded time is drawing near… when exams, holidays, and the bleakness of winter happen all at once. As students, it’s essential that we take care of ourselves and find healthy ways to manage stress during these high-pressure moments (and every other day of the year). One way to tackle your mental and physical wellbeing is through yoga! I’m not talking about the one-dimensional kind of yoga where Lululemon-clad lemmings try to show off their flexibility and arguing over which Bali yoga retreat to book next - there are lots of ways to practice!

PRANAYAMA Let’s start with the basics. Pranayama, the practice of controlling the breath or Prana (literally translates to life force) is proven to relieve stress, increase energy, and even improve digestion! The best part about this practice is that you can do it anywhere, anytime. You don’t need a mat or blocks or even a fancy meditation pillow, you can practice deep breathing whenever you feel stress. This works really well for those moments before an exam, when you’re struggling to fall asleep, or even as a study break in the library! Try out alternate nostril breathing, it's super quick and effective for relieving stress (even Hillary Clinton does it!)

alternate nostril breathing or nadi shodana 1. Begin with making a “hang 10” sign with your right hand (make a fist but leave your thumb and pinky extended) 2. Use your thumb to cover your right nostril while you inhale through the left nostril. 3. Inhale for a count of 5, then cover both nostrils using your thumb and pinky. Hold this for another count of 5. 4. Release your thumb to exhale through the right nostril. Continue alternating nostrils a few times!


ASANA The yoga practice we are most familiar with in Western culture is Asana or body posture, where you move through sequences of poses combined with conscious breathing. There are several paths you can choose to customize your practice like Vinyasa (flow-style movement coordinated with breath), Yin (meditative and slow paced practice where participants spend more time in one posture, very relaxing!), and Bikram (hot yoga, or yoga in a heated room that follows the same 26 yoga poses). If you don’t feel like leaving your room to go to a class, there are tons of videos on YouTube by amazing teachers - check out Yoga With Adrienne for limitless classes on everything from “yoga for students” to “bedtime yoga”.

where to find yoga in London Modo Yoga London: the studio offers hot yoga classes, drop-in classes are $17 for students! WSRC: The Western Student Recreation Centre offers yoga classes on campus! Yoga Shack: Yoga Shack offers $5 affordable classes and teaches yin, flow, and hot yoga! London Zen Centre: If you’re looking to get into meditation instead of yoga, the London Zen Centre offers an amazing chance at connecting to a community of people looking to build their meditation practice through Zen Buddhism. They offer weekly “member nights” with mediation lessons and talks with the teacher or Roshi, as well as retreats for those looking to try it out for a weekend (and eat some amazing homemade vegan food!) OR try yoga at home for free with thousands of videos on YouTube! Probably the best teacher with the most diverse range of yoga videos is Yoga With Adrienne - she has everything from "yoga for sleep" to "yoga for students" and more! 21



While great strides have been made towards reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, we must never forget Canada’s racist history of genocide, let alone deny it.


"It’s safe to say that no party that wants to build an energy corridor has any sense of urgency toward our looming demise at the hand of climate change." 21


Because the Liberals and Conservatives are the only parties to have ever won at the federal level, issues tend to be framed in regard to who is “less bad� for Canada.


"what about someone who actually wants to do good?"

Too often, free market values are equated with personal freedom in our current economic system. Regardless of how you feel about what the government’s role should be in our lives, think twice before you believe that this role should be filled by private, profit-hungry corporations.


"this one is pretty self explanatory"

x 23

White Privilege AN Alternate Perspective

// Zoë Abernethy The 20th century brought about the civil rights movement, three waves of feminism, and many other important social justice initiatives; in the 21st century, the effects of these initiatives are evident in changing policies and attitudes towards groups that have been historically oppressed and/or persecuted in Western society. A concept that has become quite widely accepted in this time is the notion of white privilege. The term white privilege is used to describe the fact that white people enjoy a certain degree of respect, comfortability and trust in day-to-day life that is taken for granted as normal; however, this ‘normal’ is not allotted to visibly racialized individuals. The way I was taught about white privilege (and the way many others are) is through Peggy McIntosh’s “Invisible Knapsack” metaphor. McIntosh’s work on white privilege has enabled the concept to make its way into mainstream culture. McIntosh describes white privilege as “an invisible weightless knapsack of special provisions, maps, passports, codebooks, visas, clothes, tools, and blank checks.” While she does stress that this privilege is unearned, and that it’s important not just to acknowledge it, but to work to lessen or end it, we seem to be stuck on the acknowledging part and have not moved forward to the ‘ending it’ phase. Before we continue, I want to clarify the aim of this article. While I am somewhat dismissing the language of white privilege, I am doing this not because I think that

24 white people aren’t treated better because of racism, but be-

cause the language of privilege warps our understanding of the problem and how to solve it. Much of the trouble with the concept of white privilege and the way that it’s discussed is that it places too much emphasis on individual white people and the fact that they are privileged, rather than the fact that others are not. A privilege, by definition, is a special right or advantage that is only granted to a certain group. Hence, this term really just means that white people hold the ‘special right’ of not experiencing racism in their day-to-day lives. Understanding this illuminates some of the limitations of conceptualizing racism within the language of privilege. So when we say that someone has white privilege, we are really just saying that they are free from having to experience racism. How is this a privilege? Not experiencing racism is supposed to be a basic right, but for racialized individuals, this right is too often infringed upon. By framing white privilege as a ‘privilege’ rather than a right, we not only imply that it’s impossible for everyone to not experience racism, but also overemphasize the fact that white people disproportionately enjoy this right, instead of the fact that far too many others do not. This over-emphasis on the privileged individu-

al o ten

ystifies the so rces o the proble

isc ssions

and critiques of white privilege often consist of condemn-

In a sense, this line of thought implies an acceptance of this unequal distribution of power. In some more dramatic cases, this can turn into what

ing white people for being privileged, which can explain the stance taken by some white people on this topic; that they didn’t choose to be white and therefore privileged. This also leads to discussions of what it means to be privileged, how to calculate how privileged you are, and what you’re allowed to talk about and advocate for if you’re privileged. However this discussion of racism manifests within the language of privilege, it continuously revolves more around white people than what’s actually happening to people of colour because of racism. Privileged white people are not the actual problem, even if they effectively embody it. As such, the energy being channeled into condemning white privilege needs to be re-directed towards critiquing the system that

is termed ‘white guilt,’ where white people try to renounce their privilege in the name of ending racism. If this doesn’t exemplify the counterproductivity of over-emphasising the individual in addressing the basic rights we refer to as white privilege, I don’t know what does. Not only is it impossible to renounce white privilege, since no matter how you self-identify, other people will see and treat you as white, but the point of discussing privilege is not to make white people feel guilty for not having to experience racism and try to give up this right. The point is to identify this unjust distribution of power along racial lines and work to end it. I think we can all agree that nobody should have any less rights in society, if anything we should all have more.

has allowed, if not enabled, racism to persist.

As tempting as it may be to focus on the ‘white-

Of course, resentment towards white people is more than understandable, and those who embody this injustice or perpetuate it are easy targets for this resentment. It makes complete sense to want to condemn someone for being unaware or in denial of this systemic inequality that continues to persist in society, because it is undeniably wrong that some people never have to think about racism while others are forced to every day. However, we need to make it clear that when we talk about white privilege, we are talking about systemic racism, not a fault of the white individual. By simply telling someone to “check their/your privilege,” it is effectively implied that acknowledging that you’re privileged is enough in and of itself, which can even

ness o

hite privilege, this practice is p shing the fight

against racism slightly off-course. Not only does this approach encourage some people more hesitant to acknowledge their privilege, it also distracts from the core issue: the persistence of systemic racism in contemporary Western society erhaps instead o directing o r right lly

stified an-

ger towards ignorant individuals, we should direct it towards this system that enables, if not necessitates, the existence of structural inequality. We need to expand our current discussion of white privilege and acknowledge that systemic racism is fundamental to the concept. Only then can we begin to work towards solving it.

allow people to use privilege as an excuse for their ignorance, so long as they acknowledge it and apologize (think about Justin Trudeau’s recent blackface apology). Even if privilege isn’t used as an excuse, checking your own privilege and getting others to do the same is just agreeing to not a nt the n st po er yo c rrently hold,

hich doesn t

accomplish much in the name of ending racial inequality.


TRIGGER WARNING: The following article includes content of abortion, pro-life and pro-choice protesting, sexual harassment, and sexual assault. It may be emotionally and intellectually challenging to engage with. OPENWIDE encourages a space where we can bravely, empathetically, and thoughtfully discuss sensitive topics. Please read at your own discretion.

// ELIZABETH LAM I have one vivid memory of a pro-life protestor in action. She was ambushing students walking to campus at the Western Road and Sarnia Road intersection and held that very classic, and uncomfortably graphic, poster of a sickly-looking unborn fetus. You know the one. Its message connotes that those who would ever support the route of abortion should be condemned for their murderous crimes and mentalities. I could hear her chants and cries from my dorm on the top floor of Essex Hall. From my window, I witnessed her stopping students in their tracks and shoving her poster in their face, screaming her speculations of their pro-choice stance. There was a woman pacing behind the pro-life protestor for quite some time, evidently contemplating whether to confront the chaos. Soon enough, she did. The woman put the protestor in her place for harassing pedestrians and spreading her aggressive and hateful words. The battle was ruthless from both parties and you could tell the two women were taking the matter extremely personally. The interaction escalated to the point where those passing by had to step in to pull the two apart before things got physical.



We’re taught that we all possess the right to exercise our freedom of speech. But am I the only one who sees this right being abused and creeping into the territory of harassment? When did spreading our voice and educating peers about our political stances turn into brawls at the corner of Western and Sarnia? Pro-life protesting has also become a part of Western’s student culture. Over the past year, there has been an increase in social media posts throughout our student-body warning each other of when and where pro-life protestors will be on campus, aiming to protect those who may be triggered by this type of content and the presumable aggression that comes with it.


Although some pro-life advocators are willing to discuss the matter in a mature and calm manner, the majority are not. A great portion of Western students defends that the pro-life believers confront students in such personal and harsh ways that it becomes difficult to accept this act as free speech. Some people are frightened by the protestors. Others are angered. I think the line is clear where free speech turns into harassment: As soon as we stop fighting for the cause and start fighting each other. Literally.

For more information about Western University’s Health and Wellness Services, visit to browse their wide variety of services including physical, emotional, mental, and academic assistance and book your appointment.


26 28

Profile for OPENWIDEzine

OPENWIDE v. 20.2  

OPENWIDE v. 20.2: Uncensored

OPENWIDE v. 20.2  

OPENWIDE v. 20.2: Uncensored