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CONTENTS NEWS 6 LOVE & SEX POLL 10 FUCKBOYS 12 MARRIAGE ON CAMPUS 14 MALE RAPE 16 PORN PORN PORN 18 IS AGE JUST A NUMBER? 20 CAPITALIZATION OF LOVE 22 THE LIBERAL GOVERNMENT AND LOVE & SEX LAWS FEATURE MONOGAMY VS POLYAMORY 26 FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF SCIENCE 28 FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF ARTS ARTS & LIFE 30 DICK PIC?: A GUIDE TO DATING APPS 32 BEING IN THE BATHHOUSE 34 SHIPPING: DECONSTRUCTED 36 SEX AND THE INTERNET CITY 38 LOVE YOURSELF: BODY POSITIVITY 40 5 INGREDIENT ROMANCE 42 THE VAGUELY ROMANTIC ERA 44 THE VIRGIN DIARIES 46 FEBRUARY LOVE HOROSCOPES 48 LOVE & SEX CROSSWORD 50 UTSC CONFESSIONS SCIENCE & HEALTH 52 EAT YOUR HEART OUT 54 THE FREUDIAN CONUNDRUM 55 SUSTAINABLE LIVING: GREEN VALENTINE’S DAY 56 PHYSIOLOGY OF SEX 58 SEX TOYS


“Y OU R PU S S Y I S W A Y TO O DR Y T O B E R I D I N G MY D IC K L I K E T H I S ”

CONTACT THE UNDERGROUND 1265 MILITARY TRAIL, ROOM SL-234 SCARBOROUGH, ONTARIO M1C 1A4 (416) 287-7054 EDITOR@THE-UNDERGROUND.CA

ISSUE/ 06 F E B RUARY

In her TEDxUTSC talk on Jan. 30, Dr. Sarah Kleeb, a UTSC professor of the humanities, stressed a need to ‘un-know’. She encouraged destabilizing our vision of concepts we find integral to our beings to better comprehend our minds. In the past few months, I’ve been unpacking what my ‘ideal’ partner looks like to me. The very fact that I still have an ideal suggests that I have a long way to go before I can start replacing these notions. This February marks the fifth edition of our annual Love & Sex Issue. Initiated in 2012, by then-Editor-in-Chief Aly Kassem, the Love & Sex issue is modelled after an issue of the same name at Ryerson University’s The Eyeopener. But The Underground’s Love & Sex has evolved into it’s own beast. Boasted to be The Underground’s most-picked up issue of the year, this year we bring you our biggest Love & Sex issue yet. In its inaugural year and the years following, the issue’s topic was highly contentious. But, what do you write about when gender, sexuality and identity are so fluid and so widely accepted? We may live in a pseudoliberal intellectual bubble as university students, but society at-large isn’t too far behind. Of course, there are problems that we face on the daily, but when the majority is on your side you can’t but feel a sense of pride and unity.


MAS T HE A D EDITOR-IN-CHIEF ROSS VERNON DIAS FINANCE & OPERATIONS OFFICER PAVITURA KANAGASABAI CREATIVE DIRECTOR MASOOMA ALI PRODUCTION EDITOR RACHEL CHIN MANAGING EDITOR REEM AYAD NEWS EDITOR SAJJAD JAFFERY

PU B L ICA T I O N DA T E S SEPT.3 OCT. 1 NOV. 5 DEC. 3 JAN. 7 FEB. 4 MAR. 3 APR. 7

2015 2015 2015 2015 2016 2016 2016 2016

ARTS & LIFE EDITOR SHARINE TAYLOR SCIENCE & HEALTH EDITOR LAABIAH WASIM PHOTO EDITOR NOOR AQIL ADVERTISING MANAGER DAOUD TABIBZADA WEB EDITOR TEJAS PANCHAL ONLINE EDITOR NANA FRIMPONG DISTRIBUTION MANAGER MATTHEW DIAZ

FOLLOW US STAFF WRITERS SAM NATALE

FACEBOOK THE UNDERGROUND AT UTSC TWITTER @UTSCUNDERGROUND INSTAGRAM @UTSCUNDERGROUND SNAPCHAT @UTSCUNDERGROUND LINKEDIN THE UNDERGROUND AT UTSC

CONTRIBUTORS SANA JAFFERY, BUKAMA MUNTY, BRITTANY FERNANDEZ, AGRIN PARTOVYAN,EDEN DEBEBE, AMANDA BOWDEN, MICHAEL CHEN, MONICA CHENG, KRISTINA DUKOSKI, NICOLE CLARK, DEVON STEVENS, MEGHAN BORGES, MALIHA KHAN, ZARIN TASNIM COVER BY: MASOOMA ALI

BACK COVER BY: MASOOMA ALI RACHEL CHIN


%6

66.7%

NE W S

NO

%

Love & Sex Poll

7%

The Underground allowed the student body to show us NO their freaky side and they didn’t hold back. We got an incredibly wide spectrum of answers from our sample poll and was glad to see that no one held back.

NOT SURE 32.1% 33.3%

7.7%

NO

YES

YES Would yo 66.7%

57.1% NO

Do you think you can teach your partner Do you t how to be more sexually satisfying?

92.3%

%

35.9%

7.7%

Would you leave your partner because they were unable to satisfy you sexually?

NOT SURE 32.1%

YES

NO

YES 57.1%

NO

NO If you responded 10.7%

‘No’ to the previous question, would you consider sex toys in the future?

9% NO

7.7%

NO 3

NO

Have you used sex toys before?

If you responde

64.1%

35.9% NO

YES

Honourable mention: “

Do you think foreplay is necessary?

N 10.

YES 94.9%

NO 10.7%

One explanation offered: “There are people of the can be friends

YES 94.9%

NO 5.1%

Which of www. the-underground.ca

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NO

YES

NEWS

7

RACHEL CHIN / THE UNDERGROUND

What’s the most romantic place on campus?

NO 10.7% Are men and women able to be just friends?

58.3%

1st: Valley

35. 8.3%

41%

“SW dungeons. The faint smell of terror makes for the perfect excuse to hold hands.”

33.3% 25.6%

35.9% NO

ER

YES

2nd: Library

Honourable mention:

YES 94.9%

28.2%

33.3%

NO

OTHER

NO 5.1%

23.1%

One explanation offered: Leading

“There are people of 5.1% 5.1% 2.6% opposite sex that the you simply enjoy as a NONE OTHER Are you companion, whether DOMINANT or they are admittedly SUBMISSIVE? attractive or not. So yes, you can be friends with someone of the opposite sex but ONLY if they see you the same way.” OTHER

N

Leading OTHER response: 35.9% Both www. the-underground.ca

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8


58.3%

1%8

YES

8.3%

NE W S

33.3%

41% 2.6%33.3%

25.6%

in a polyamorous relationship?

33.3%

33.3%

25.6%

2.6%

ONE

O Leading OTHER response: 35.9% 3 Both

5.1% 5.1%Have 8.3% you NObeen OTHER

23.1%

OTHER

NO

OTHER

23.1% Leading OTHER response: OTHER

NO

Both

5.1% 5.1%

YE

1

89.7%

OTHER

2.6% NONE

35.9%

5.1% 5.1%

Leading OTHER response Both

NO

OTHER

89.7%

Which of the following platforms have you used/do you use to find a partner?

YES 10.3%

NO 89.7%

Define ‘love’.

“Really? Um, in a relationship context I think it’s being with someone who can be your best friend. Someone who adds to you as a person intellectually and emotionally. Someone who makes everything better than if they were absent.” “Mess.” “Affection for someone that allows the both of you to grow + be yourself. And other corny shit.”

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“When I wake up early to make him a big breakfast and he still washes the dishes before leaving for work without me asking.” “Love is when you find you like everything about an individual, so much so that when you start to doubt you can handle their flaws, you still wouldn’t give them up for anything or anyone else.”

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Y


NEWS

What’s the worst way you have been broken up with/broke up with someone?

Have you thought of any of your professors sexually?

“Saw my girlfriend having sex with a girl.” NO

79.5%

YES

46.3%

Do you believe in soulmates?

9

56.4%

20.5%

YES

NO

Do you believe having a partner on campus is healthy for your relationship?

53.8%

Appearance 5.1% Religion 7.7%

46.2%

YES

NO Personality 87.2%

What is the most important factor when dating?

External Influence (Friends/Family) 7.7%

Appearance 5.1% Astrological/Zodiac Sign 2.6% Education 10.3% Religion 2.6% Education 2.6% External Influence (Friends/Family) 0%

Astrological/Zodiac Sign 66.7%

YES

“Fuckin’ and textin’.”

“Waste of time.”

“Being in a relationship. You “Dating is exactly that - dat- can go on dates but it’s not ing. Whether or not you wish dating. And yes, I think to be dating it has to be clearly to be exclusive or official, defined, not just doing things you are dating anyone you are seeing (same difference).” that people dating do.”

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What is the least important factor when dating?

Would you date someone who does not like Drake?

What is your definition of ‘dating’? “Seeing each other with the intention to marry.”

Personality 2.6%

FEBRUARY 4 - MARCH 2, 2016

76.9%

NO 23.1%

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10 NE W S RACHEL CHIN / THE UNDERGROUND

Ross Vernon Dias, Editor-in-Chief Fuckboys turned out to be quite a contentious topic here at The Underground headquarters. Who knew? So, we got together some of the most passionate contributors, friends and pseudo-linguists to break down the term and its use in society. Masooma Ali (MA): We’re here today to discuss an epidemic of Fuckboys and Fuckboyism. So, let’s begin. Shahroz Randhawa (SR): What is a Fuckboy? MA: I think that’s a good place to start. Sahar, what do you think?

Fuckboys

Sahar Tirmizi (ST): Just a guy that really doesn’t take the feelings of girls into account and just focuses on hooking up with them, moving on hooking up with another girl, moving on, and doesn’t really make that intention clear once he starts seeing a girl. It’s mostly about sex. MA: That’s a pretty heteronormative definition. I would say it’s about a guy in general who doesn’t care about partners. I assume it’s just men who are just shady when it comes to romance or sexual relationships, not just towards girls necessarily or a hetrosexual relationship. Brandon Bernard (BB): I’d like to just butt in. I don’t think what you guys are talking about makes any sense. So what I’m hearing so far is a Fuckboy is basically a male who is just emotionless when coming to females. He likes to dog around, I guess you could say. MA: It’s more than just about sexual relationships. I think it’s the definition of a male’s negative character, but continue. BB: [The term] Fuckboy probably shouldn’t even exist. Maybe it should just be a jerk. But, if it does exist, which it does, Fuckgirl should exist as well. Women do exactly the same things. Women play men, they play games all the time. Do you know how many women I know that play games? [Affects the voice] ‘Oh, yo Brandon, I want to talk to this guy but I’m with this [other] guy right now.’ I’m like ‘What the hell?’ There’s a lot of women that play games just as much as men. So, if Fuckboy is justified, then there should be a Fuckgirl. MA: However, would you say that there is no other term to define women other than

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N E W S 11 ‘Fuckgirl’ in those situations? SR: There’s a lot. There’s hoe, bitch, slut. MA: Thot. There’s a new one every year. Whereas the term ‘Fuckboy’ is one of the first terms that has come about that calls out men for this behaviour instead of dismissing it as ‘boys being boys’. BB: There’s player or manwhore. MA: But that’s the thing. Those terms can be of endearment, but you can never use the term Fuckboy as a term of endearment. It will always be negative. That’s the first time there’s been a word like that for men. SR: Society’s catching up in terms of words they use. You can judge where [society is] at in terms of how we feel about an issue and connotations of words that are popular. So, Fuckboys are the first ones with the negative connotation and society is taking it a little seriously. The other words like player and pimp have almost been idolized in the lyrics of rap music that celebrate [their behaviour]. No one is going to be calling themselves a Fuckboy in a rap song. ST: Back in the day if you were known for being with many women, ‘Oh yeah! Yes!’ But for girls it’s ‘She’s such a slut. She’s such a whore.’ And now, using Fuckboy, you see it more negatively - ‘Man, you’re being a Fuckboy, you can’t do that.’ MA: What makes the term so rare is that guys will call other guys Fuckboys in a negative context. DJ Khaled, for example, who seems to be such a hot topic, talks about taking hinges off of doors and putting them in the Fuckboy’s hands. Clearly, he’s talking about Fuckboys in the negative context. I’m sure he doesn’t mean it in a sexual way like we are talking about here but it’s definitely universally regarded as a negative thing. SR: So it transcends from not just relationships, but to other things as well. There can be Fuckboy problems too, if you think about it. There’s always things that get lost in translation. Masooma earlier defined a Fuckboy in terms of partnership is where the issue comes from. MA: Not necessarily, I don’t think it sticks to that. When Sahar was defining it as a guy in relation to a girl, I just wanted to clarify that it can go into any sort of relationship. It doesn’t have to be a guy treating a girl like shit. I think it transcends sexual relationships and relationships to a larger spectrum. www. the-underground.ca

SR: To me, Fuckboy comes back to the commitment issue. Is that really something you can hold someone accountable for? If it takes it to the point where you got to lead a girl on just to realize that it’s not for you, that’s something personal that they have to go through. ST: But then the girl’s emotions are at stake. MA: But I also think the ‘fool me once’ policy comes into place. Those signs are there. But a lot of the times, girls and guys want to overlook them because they want that end goal so bad. Are we talking about how the term Fuckboy can be used in the wrong sense? SR: Someone [may deserve] to be labelled a Fuckboy but the problem itself is something you can’t really hold to that person. If you continuously do that, I guess you become a Fuckboy. But in the beginning there are real commitment issues that are just overlooked. BB: After hearing everything you guys have said, I just don’t believe that Fuckboys exist. If you want to believe that there are Fuckboys, there has to be a Fuckgirl. MA: What’s the boy-version of a bitch, a slut or a whore? Why is there a parallel for everything? Yeah, those concepts still exist for women but it’s not the same word because it doesn’t hold the same loaded context. I’m not saying that guys are evil and girls are innocent and [all women] are getting played. BB: If that’s what you are saying, then yes, it does make sense. The whole notion of a Fuckboy being someone who just constantly is fucking over someone, or is doing the wrong thing when he has the chance [to do the right thing] then that makes sense. ST: The term Fuckgirl still does exist. Of course, I agree, there’s been all these terms and it sucks for girls. I still think if there’s a Fuckboy, there’s a Fuckgirl. It’s a word right? It’s a word. Girls are like that too. SR: But honestly, do guys really care about being called a Fuckboy? When someone says it you don’t really take it in. If someone says I’m a Fuckboy, ‘Okay, does that mean I fuck?’ BB: If someone called me a Fuckboy, I’m like ‘You know, what the fuck, watch your mouth’. That’s disrespectful. If I come into office one day and Ross is like ‘What’s good, Fuckboy?’ What did I do wrong? I’m starting to FEBRUARY 4 - MARCH 2, 2016

think that I’m in the negative right now. I’d have to snake someone. Maybe snitch [to be a Fuckboy]. SR: So for guys it means something different than what it means for girls. BB: When you call a girl a bitch, they love that. [Everyone laughs] ST: Okay, very subjective. MA: The Women’s Centre is already knocking on our door. BB: That’s not what I meant. In society today, you can say ‘Yo, that’s my bitch’ [in a positive sense]. SR: At least we’ve acknowledged that it’s a real thing. Before we went from saying it wasn’t a thing to now, a non-believer converted to ST: - believing. What do you guys think about the #WasteHisTime2016? MA: I think it was funny to read. If you shared a relationship with someone and it doesn’t work out, move on with life. There’s how many billion people in the world now? Nobody owes you anything. You’re just continuing this cycle of negativity. If someone annoys me or pisses me off, they are immediately irrelevant in my life. I don’t want to give them attention. I don’t want to give them any thought. Reading that was funny because it was literally the stuff I hear guys do to my friends. ST: If you see a lot of guys commenting towards the hashtag and saying ‘Oh, you’re not going to do that to me’. A lot of guys didn’t see the fact that it’s been done to girls. It was funny reading that. MA: It passed over a lot of guys heads, but this is behaviour mimicking a lot of male behaviour towards women. ST: They do see that it’s wrong. It’s a double standard, you don’t see that it’s wrong when you do it to a girl. MA: Maybe they just don’t care what they’re doing to a girl. Maybe that’s what makes them a Fuckboy. This conversation has been condensed and edited. To listen to this conversation in full, head to the-underground.ca VOLUME 35, ISSUE 06


1 2 NE W S MASOOMA ALI / THE UNDERGROUND

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JANUARY 7 - FEBRUARY 3, 2016

VOLUME 35, ISSUE 05


N E W S 13

MARRIAGE

ON CAMPUS Sana Jaffery, Contributor Love is (always) in the air at UTSC. It’s fairly common to see couples walking across campus hand in hand, whispering cute names and holding each other down during intense study sessions. It’s truly admirable and the exchange of love is undeniable. UTSC has a high level of diversity in terms of religion, culture, age groups, and sexuality. With that in mind, all of these play a huge role in the union of marriage. UTSC is no short of admirable students who have tied the knot or on their way to wedding bells while blessing our school grounds. After interviewing a handful of the couples at school, students decided to share some of the good, the bad and the ugly of these commitments. These couples have taken the time to really paint a picture about what it’s like having a marriage and explicitly reminded us that a relationship with that much commitment is all worth it in the end. But the big question is, how? A third year city studies and human geography student told her story. “We met at school and took a class together. What happened was he came to our first class late and asked me for notes. After that we started talking because of mutual friends and he ended up becoming my best friend and within a year we told our parents and got married.” She continued to explain that the amount of time she spent on campus with her fiancé was actually very beneficial. “We spent basically every day together, studying together in the library and really motivating each other. We would check out campus events together and ended up learning to sync our schedules.” The student continued to explain her husband’s recent graduation and departure from UTSC, and the added responsibilities she’s had to add to school life due to her

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marriage. “There really isn’t any interference with school, we are organized people and are pretty on top of things. I mean, in the beginning it was tough. You get all this school work and housework like cooking but I faced the challenge cause I didn’t want to mess up my GPA.” She further explained her ability to balance social life and meeting school deadlines stating, “It’s frustrating trying to schedule dates with friends because sometimes my life is too structured. My husband plays sports and now I have school, so having that [organization] is actually really important. Believe it or not, I’ve actually downloaded apps on my phone to help us keep organized.” When questioned about the downsides, she simply explained “There’s no downside. Yes it’s hard, but it’s worth it. You’re married to your best friend, you’re sharing experiences and he’s helping me live through life. It’s not about you anymore, it’s about you and them together and moving forward to reach each other’s goals.” Another couple at UTSC plans to be married following the completion of their undergraduate degrees. Raheem Malik, a fourth year human biology and health studies student, and Mariam Hussain, a fourth year human biology and psychology student, sat down to explain their experience. Both laughed as they shared, “We met through a mutual friend. We attend class together, study together - we do everything together.” Hussain explained that attending school with her fiancé is beneficial because it’s another chance to see him. They both added, “Of course there’s the responsibility of balancing school work and the relationship. We have to meet the in-laws and uphold family expectations. But having [him] here helps with our experience.” Hussain adds, “I have a study buddy and someone to help and motivate me.”

FEBRUARY 4 - MARCH 2, 2016

When asked about any advice they would give to their fellow UTSC peers, they explained, “It can get distracting when we find ourselves going out. But you have to keep your priorities straight. You definitely want to spend all your time with them, but you have to focus. Don’t skip class and make sure you find someone who motivates you.” However, another side of marriage was introduced when I sat down with a student in a long distance marriage. A second year student shares her experience saying, “He’s back home in Afghanistan and we definitely don’t spend enough time together.” She added, “I always find myself in this position when I want them to be there for me and he’s not because he’s so far. It’s definitely going to take a long time for him to arrive.” When asked about the potential responsibilities, she explained, “I’m going to have to start cooking and cleaning. By the time he comes back I probably won’t be in school because I will take care of us.” We assumed this would only affect her education in the future but she revealed her current struggle. “It’s affecting my school work even now. His sponsorship is in the works and it’s taking a lot of time. I have decided to take only three courses because preparing all the details within his documents is work itself,” she explains. “As I mentioned, I will be done school when he arrives [but] I want to definitely pursue [post-grad]. I can’t say if I will be able to. If I start a family it will be hard to do everything. I’m having a hard time figuring it out.” She concluded, “If I could give out any advice [it would be] don’t do it until you’re able to really balance your personal life and school - it’s tough. Not everyone can do it. It’s going to be hard. But just remember not to do anything that will take your goals away from you.”

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14 NE W S RACHEL CHIN / THE UNDERGROUND

MALE RAPE

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N E W S 15

Bukama Muntu, Contributor There are many voices that make up our society when it comes to speaking about important issues. Now there is more room to speak about such issues as we are exposed to the opinions of others. By creating such a space, we are able to have truthful dialogue. Despite this there are still topics that descend into hushed tones, whispers and uncomfortable glancing around the room. Rape is one of those topics. You may have read many harrowing accounts of victims violated and then silenced by the shame, the guilt, the shock, but they mostly consist of women. Existing within that silence are men as well, further silenced because of the gender ideals we hold them to. What do you think of when you think of the modern man? Overtime surely our gender ideals have changed for both sexes. For men, we are now more welcoming of sensitive men, men who wear make-up, and men who may have not fit in years ago. We now understand that masculinity exists on a spectrum. But still entrenched in our society and harder to reform in our subconscious is what we think of when we think of ‘true’ masculinity. The ultimate sign is strength in body, in mind, in attitude and anything else that can act as a synonym or extension of strength – power, control and domination to name a few. Here lies the heart of the problem: the hypermasculine patriarchal culture we live in and endorse. In some areas it is blunt, with the biological facts that are spewed our way. In other areas, it is more subliminal - any advertisement since the dawn of time and even within literature the depiction between the phallus and machismo. It not only has an effect on men and the way they think but women as well, cue feminism. The troubling but complicated issue is the cycle that it has created and consequently become. From a young age boys are told ‘men don’t cry’ and to ‘man up’ when they encounter a problem. How does one ‘man up’ when they have been put in the submissive position they are not used to occupying? Sexual assault is deplorable. It simply is maddening as to how one human being can do that to another. The irony is that the gender at the forefront of sexism can be victims of it as well. Because sexual assault often is about power and control, when a man is forced into a position where there is a lack of said power, it crosses over into everything stereotypically as-

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sociated with femininity – weakness, vulnerability, emotionality. The long term effects are damaging to both body and mind for both genders, but for men it’s disillusioning. At this time when there is so much disbelief and shock and horror, though women are put through the ringer with asinine questions, once a woman has worked up the courage to report her assault, and if justice is fortunately served, it is ultimately more believable. Male sexual assault is alarmingly underreported. “An estimated 81 per cent of male MST (male sexual trauma) victims never report being attacked.” Even more troubling is the smaller percentage that makes it to trial: seven! These statistics come from an area where male sexual assault happens most: in the military. It is why so many men wait years to come forward and live in fear often with PTSD. Will their attackers be brought to justice? How could a place that is about camaraderie be a catalyst for this level of betrayal? For the men that do come forward, there is still no reliability in reporting it and how it will be dealt with. It creates a situation where you are damned if you do because of the reactions you may receive from friends and family which include a slew of insensitive remarks such as ‘Are you sure you didn’t want it?’ or ‘men don’t get raped’. But you are also damned if you don’t. One is forced to live with the trauma and isolation that comes with the silence. As a result, the effects men endure on top of the trauma often revolve around questioning their sexuality: feeling like less of a man, depression, anxiety, withdrawal from friends and family and living in a constant state of fear. Understandably, this is where ideologies like meninism (not the twitter account) come in. Although flawed in some areas, as is with many ideologies, it creates a safe space where men can air their frustrations about some of the injustices that are done to them, and which society expects them to endure because hey, you’re a guy, you don’t have feelings, you don’t cry, you can’t express your emotions. Right? Wrong. There are so many movements working to make people aware of everything going on around them like racism, sexism and the effects they have on us all, as well as striving to change them. The first step is creating an area where, in this instance, men can feel comfortable in the first place to come forward and leave behind the construction of gender and the idea that men are supposed to ‘leave things at the door’.

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16 NE W S NOOR AQIL / THE UNDERGROUND

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PORN PORN PORN Jamie Smith*, Contributor Whether you have opened an incognito tab to watch your favourite solo girl or are completely disgusted by partial nudes, you cannot deny that porn sites are opened on a lot of computers, phones and other screens where the Internet can be accessed. Obviously, there are the conventional perspectives on the industry and its audience: immoral girls engaging in erotic and extremely stimulating sexual acts that are watched by ‘gross’ men. Nobody really wants to be caught watching porn and nobody really wants to talk about it either. In university, most students are aged 18 to 22 years of age. This is the time in most people’s lives where they believe sexual stimulation is not only amazing but also a norm. Watching porn undeniably starts earlier than arriving here. Although the topic is taboo, it is still important to uncover the cultural and social facets of the porn videos and watchers. “I started watching porn when I was like 14. I think most guys start around then,” says second-year student, Dwayne Ting. “I really don’t mind admitting to watching porn, but I definitely watch a lot less then before,” he added. A lot of time it’s not very easy to admit to watching porn due to the many social consequences experienced from peers. “I think when people know you watch porn you kind of seem like a low life. They may think you have no sex, and feeling that way in university makes your self-esteem lower,” explains fourth year student, Hector Yu. Since students have developed along with the sexy digital platforms, some students withdraw themselves. “I honestly don’t really like to watch porn anymore because it seems really fake. I think my imagination may have been expanded by porn as well as other sexual experiences. So if I really need to get stimulated before I masturbate I can just use my head,” says Alix Stewart. “I feel like a lot of guys who are in sexual relationships also don’t really watch porn, but I still feel some of my friends in relationships probably still watch porn,” added Stewart when asked if regular sex can stop porn watching. There is also the question about addiction and porn. Many also question the effects of regular or excessive porn-related sexual stimulation on healthy sexual relationship

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and health. “I feel like those who watch a lot of porn are ruining their sex lives,” says Yu. GQ Magazine recently reported that 60 per cent of men who stopped masturbating for 30 days experienced increased sexual function, mood and productivity. Yu is probably right when he talks about the abuse of porn. Cultures have also curated to audiences with porn catered to their taste in sex. “Hentai is Japanese, and the characters usually have very prominent breasts and bottoms, there are so many forms of this everywhere,” Yu further added. However, it is unfair to mention the male paradigm and discount the voice of females on campus. “I actually don’t even want to talk about it. It’s so gross. I feel like a lot of desperate lonely guys probably watch porn,” says third-year student, Mary Brown. “I can’t say I have ever watched porn intentionally,” she added. Luckily, we were able to speak with Amanda Bowden who spoke about her take on porn. “I started watching porn in grade eight or nine,” she explained. “I know a few people who watch porn but they are mostly guys,” she added when asked if any of her friends watch porn. When asked about how she feels about the negative bias associated with females watching porn she answered, “I have one friend who is entirely against porn. She’s quite the feminist. But she isn’t against me watching it. And when I’m with my guys friends, if the topic is brought up, none of them give me dirty looks. We’re all pretty accepting.” Bowden ended by saying, “I think that everybody should know that porn isn’t just for guys. Girls like to pleasure themselves too! I don’t think it should be so forbidden. I mean, I understand that in general, it seems like porn is made for guys (which is still fine, guys shouldn’t feel any stigma for watching porn either) but women still watch it (or read it) and get off to it. I mean, it’s pretty sweet.” Porn exists and there is probably someone jacking off right now to it. There is a plethora of sexy media and public judgments associated with the behaviour. If you haven’t watched it, it’s really not that bad, and if you watch it a lot then that may not the best for your genitals. *Some names have been changed to protect the contributor’s identity.

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18 NE W S RACHEL CHIN / THE UNDERGROUND

IS AGE JUST A NUMBER?

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Brittany Fernandez, Contributor “An older woman who dates a younger man is a Cougar… An older man who dates a younger woman is a Tyga,” reads a meme that has gained popularity on Instagram. The jokes around Kylie and Tyga’s relationship are endless on social media. However, it seems she just wasn’t young enough for him because the rapper has recently been caught sliding into the direct messages of a 14 year old. The fascination with these relationships has become a hot topic in Hollywood gossip with other celebrities like The Weeknd and Jayden Smith dating people that have an age difference apparently worth discussing. It’s pretty obvious that celebrities live very different lives from the majority of UTSC students, so it’s understandable that, while the media feeds off these headlines, significant age gaps in relationships have a different dynamic in real life. So the real question is: is age really just a number? With only two years between them, even the idea of a second year student dating a twelfth grade high school student seems like a leap, when, realistically, two years isn’t even close to a significant age gap. Perhaps what makes those two years seem worse than they actually are is that those two students are in very different stages of their lives. From our teens to our mid-twenties, we go through major shifts in our personalities and thus in our lifestyles. From the rebellious high school phase when skipping class made you a badass, to finally being able to legally drink and learning your limit after a particularly wild night that ended with you being blackout drunk. Through all of this, you are constantly learning from all of the new experiences and environments that you are exposed to. As U of T students, we know all about the move from the sheltered life of high school to the shocking reality of how difficult university is. In this way, as we mature and change, the differences between senior students and the young doe-eyed first years continues to grow. However, to write off all younger people as immature, or to give particularly childish adults more credit than they deserve, would be an unjust conclusion. In reality, one should not assume that the older you are the more mature you are. Everyone matures at a difference pace,

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and it takes some people longer than others to be emotionally mature enough to be in a stable relationship. In the generation of potential partners who are later deemed as ‘fuckboys’ and ‘thots’, finding a stable partner often requires widening your horizons and searching beyond your age group. You may find someone that has the right level of emotional maturity for you, or, alternatively, you may find someone younger than you are but whom you still click better with. “Considering the 11 year age gap between my boyfriend and I, it is hard to undo the preconceived notions people have when they first find out, but we have been going strong for two years now,” says third year biology student, Laura Mendoza, who is currently in a relationship with a man in his early 30s. When Kylie and Tyga started dating, there was a slew of memes that showed a young Tyga in middle school juxtaposed with an ultrasound image of the youngest Jenner, in order to visually represent the significant age gap between the two. When Tyga, a 25 year old, was dating a then 17 year old Kylie Jenner, it was easy to criticize the relationship because it seemed far from the norm. However, it is clear that there is more to a relationship than just your age. As they say, love is blind, and sometimes when cupid hits you, it does not always matter that you two were born in two different decades. Like most couples, Tyga and Jenner credit their success to the usual factors: great communication, honesty and trust. However, maturity is also a huge part of the equation. “I’ve met 40 year olds, scratch that, 60 year olds that are about as mature as a teenager,” says fourth year city studies student, Zack Baker. He added that he would be open to dating someone significantly younger than him. “Unfortunately, some people take a lot longer to mature than others and that’s where I learned not to discriminate people based on their age, [but] focus more on their personality. I mean, I’m not saying a 12 year old should be able to date a 20 year old, but once you’re old enough to make your own decisions, who you’re interested in is up to you.” This perhaps illustrates how you cannot choose who you love, and it’s possible to make these relationships work in the real world if it’s your cup of tea. Maybe 2016 will bring on more Internet memes that don’t revolve around the relationships of the rich and famous… time will tell. In the meantime, it seems like between the Steve Harvey and Meek Mill memes, we’re off to a good start.

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2 0 NE W S

CAPITALIZATION OF LOVE Agrin Partovyan, Contributor Love is an important aspect in our lives. However, through the generations, individuals started, albeit unknowingly, mistaking consumerism with love. Increasingly, people are showing love for one another through the process of gift giving and the extravagance of wealth. While there is nothing wrong with surprising someone with a gift, today’s consumerists are raising the limits of what is considered enough materialistically. As Thomas á Kempis quotes, “A wise lover values not so much the gift of the lover as the love of the giver.” Unfortunately, not everyone agrees with this concept. We have started associating the spending of money with a representation of love. Generally, in Global North societies the notion is that the more money one spends on another, the more love is expressed and held by that person. Special celebrations such as Valentine’s Day is overpowered by this heartbreaking practice. A student from UTSC commented, “I think the problem with love in western societies is that it’s too closely intertwined to materials. A person is supposedly more or less ‘in love’ when they can and do gift grandeur things to their partners. I think this feeds into capitalism because it supports the idea that frenetic consumption is at the core of a relationship, and that people must constantly buy and give [otherwise they risk invalidating their feelings and emotions. What is marriage if you don’t have a rock on your finger? That’s an unfair and faulty conception of love.” The idea of showing love through wealth has been taught and reiterated to us since we were children. In elementary school, Valentine’s Day was celebrated by giving cards and candy to all of our fellow peers and teachers. In addition, as kids, we were taught to feed into the idea of consumerism where industries would benefit from our representation of love. As Valentine’s Day approaches, lovers become frantic in their search for the perfect gift to symbolize a token of their love.

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Sadly, it is becoming more of an obligation and less about love, making individuals resentful of the day and of each other. Men admitted that they spend more money in today’s society unwillingly because they are expected to do so. According to a study completed by MasterCard Canada, the number of men who feel obligated to buy their significant other materialistic products in comparison to women has tripled. Priyanka Sharma, a UTSC student in her fourth year of studies in the health and mental health studies program, believes that consumerism does play a role in Valentine’s Day, yet it is still an important day to be celebrated with a significant person. She also commented on how the ‘male figure’ in the relationship is expected to ‘wine and dine’ the female, which leads to gender inequality. “When I asked my friends what I should buy my boyfriend for Valentines day, they either commented something small or that I don’t need to buy him anything as long as he gets you something special. I find it unfair how the responsibility of showing love for that particular day is reinforced on the male figure in the relationship,” she says. According to the National Retail Federation’s Valentine’s Day Consumer Spending Survey conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics, the average individual spends $142.31 for Valentine’s Day. In America, on average, 53.2 per cent buy candy (spending a total of $1.7 billion), 21 per cent buy jewelry (spending a total of $4.8 billion), 37.8 per cent buy flowers (spending a total of $2.1 billion), and 35.1 per cent plans a special night out with restaurants and movies (totaling $3.6 billion). Some believe it’s good to celebrate such days and to surprise their partner in order to keep the romance alive, as well as to remind their partners that their devotion continues and make their significant other feel special. On the other hand, it can become overwhelming if the expectations continue to rise. “I do expect my boyfriend to buy me something but I will also buy him something.

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Even though both my boyfriend and I don’t agree with the idea of treating each other with love just for a specific day, because you should be doing so everyday, I do enjoy celebrating this day,” says Sharma. ‘The bigger the better’ has become society’s new motto that individuals apply to most things in life. When one announces their engagement, the first thing people inquire about is the ring and how much was spent on it. When a friend says her anniversary just passed, we immediately ask about the presents exchanged. People spend large sums of money on weddings to illustrate their love to guests and family members. The more money you spend, the happier you will be and the more in love you appear. People lust after the most expensive dress, the shiniest diamonds, the biggest centerpieces - the list goes on. It makes people wonder if we are falling in love for the right reasons, or are we just looking for things to fill a void of consumption? In reality, we can celebrate our love for our significant other through beautiful simplistic surprises or small daily gestures such as cooking dinner or cuddling on the couch. Such small gestures divert from the capitalistic frame that surrounds western ideals of love. This isn’t to say that spending money on one another is bad. However, we should not base an entire relationship on this concept. We need to start re-evaluating things like self-care, communication and support in relationships because these are the cornerstones that will ensure the bond is healthy. Spending time with one another is the most essential part of a relationship, and it nurtures a stronger and healthier relationship than the shallow mounds of gifts exchanged. As Rick Warren quotes, “Time is your most precious gift because you only have a set amount of it. You can make more money, but you can’t make more time. When you give someone your time, you are giving them a portion of your life that you’ll never get back. Your time is your life. That is why the greatest gift you can give someone is your time.”

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N E W S 21 NOOR AQIL / THE UNDERGROUND

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22 NE W S RACHEL CHIN / THE UNDERGROUND

The Liberal government and Love & SEX LAWS:

Past, Present and Future

“Will you be my valentine? why? because it’s 2015” to: from:

“Canada may be cold for most of the year, but my love for you is red hot all year long” to: from:

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Eden Debebe, Contributor February hits and, like clockwork, love begins to fill the air (even in the most unlikely of places). Politics, often unfairly dubbed as the least sexy of career paths, continues to contribute to how love functions. Amidst our newest Prime Minister making Vogue’s list of sexiest men alive, and 6Dad Norm Kelly getting all the love, it’s clear that Canadian politics are steamier than ever! With Justin Trudeau bringing in a majority government, something that hasn’t happened since 2000, the Liberal’s past and future love-centric policies are being closely watched. The Liberal party has always been a forerunner when it comes to making progressive decisions in the areas related to love. Pierre Elliott Trudeau set in motion the pro-choice movement at the federal level, finally succeeding (with the help of Dr. Henry Morgentaler) in deeming abortion legal in 1988. Irwin Cotler, Minister of Justice in 2005, helped make Canada the fourth country in the world to legalize gay marriage. Fast forward a decade, and Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne’s puts in place #WhoWillYouHelp: an action plan to put a stop to sexual harassment. After it went viral and garnered international attention and over seven million views online, Wynne continued to amaze by implementing a reformed sexual education curriculum into elementary schools province-wide. In an interview with the Toronto Star, Wynne justified the shift by saying, “We have a curriculum that was last reviewed in 1998. Times have changed.” She’s not wrong. With the introduction of mobile phones, webcams, and the Internet, updates like ‘sexting’ and ‘masturbation’ are welcome additions to the outdated curriculum. David Rayside, LGBTQ+ activist and former professor of political science at the University of Toronto, looks at the new program as a way to remove the social taboos surrounding kids and sex. “It’s important to talk about [sex and sexuality]. The concept of gender [and] access to gender reassignment…kids will inevitably learn about this stuff,” states Rayside. “They need sensitive and accurate information to demystify it. Gender still is, and always was, a very powerful divide in schools and in life. I think recognizing trans issues is a good way to confront the underlying taboo.” As we move into the new year, many eagerly anticipate Trudeau’s first big move while in power. One of the first, he promises, is to rework the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act (Bill C-36). Passed last August, the bill aims to protect the rights and safety of sex workers in Canada. Unfortunately, many don’t feel that it actually helps. Critics of the bill worry that the direct criminalization of sexual services, though meant

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to protect those in the industry, will only isolate workers, pushing them to move into more dangerous environments. Rayside spoke both on his support for the idea of the Bill, and his hesitation about its contents stating, “I’m more interested in the specific wording than the passing of the bill itself. Risking the loss of the bigger picture, though dire to the cause, may be necessary to protect the rights of those involved.” Trudeau seems to agree, having already announced plans to rework the Bill with a more evidence-based approach in mind. “The Supreme Court has said the framework that existed was not protecting vulnerable people and women from violence,” explains Trudeau in an interview with CTV News, “And I think that’s the lens we need to look at as we move forward on that difficult issue.” In tandem with Bill C-36, Trudeau is looking towards Bill C-279, an amendment to the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code that would improve the stature of trans individuals in the eyes of the law. The Liberal party website describes that the main goals of the Bill as “[A way] to add gender identity as a prohibited ground of discrimination under the Canadian Human Rights Act, and to the list of distinguishing characteristics of ‘identifiable groups’ protected by hate speech provisions in the Criminal Code.” Though originally pitched by Randall Garrison, an MP from Sooke, B.C., the Bill has been picked up and revamped by the Liberal party. “I’m committed to making sure that we’re defending trans* rights fully and completely,” writes Trudeau. “It won’t have to be a private member’s bill. It would be part of a government bill.” With over 1 500 signatures on the virtual petition posted to the Liberal party’s website, it’s clear that many see this as an issue that needs to be solved. Rayside, though excited about these progressions, remains stout in his understanding and appreciation of process. “It is as important as it ever has been to recognize how we’ve got to this point,” he says. “Obviously, there has been some legal progress in protecting the gay and lesbian community. [Trans] rights, by default, are the most obvious next move. Through the leaps and bounds made by and for [the gay and lesbian] community, the more obvious lack of rights for trans individuals is highlighted.” With the exciting advances we can expect to see from the Liberal government over the next few years, it’s clear that the distasteful nature of openly discussing love and sex has come and gone. It’s 2016, and everything from sex-ed to prostitution is finally being openly debated in parliament. If that doesn’t warm your heart this February, then we don’t know what will.

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24 FE AT U R E MASOOMA ALI / THE UNDERGROUND


F E AT U R E 25

MONOGAMY VS

POLYAMORY Some of us have been the victim, or the perpetrator, of what labels and titles mean in and to an intimate relationship. At its core, it all boils down to exploring concepts of monogamy and polyamory. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, polyamory is defined as “The state or practice of having more than one open romantic relationship at a time” while monogamy is defined as “The condition or practice of having a single mate during a period of time.” While some think that we are meant to have little restrictions in the realm of our affections, others may think that a little structure and clarity can’t be wrong. Perhaps it wouldn’t do us any harm to think about what we know about the two ideas and explore whether there is a social or biological basis for monogamy and polyamory.


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From the Perspective of

SCIENCE


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A

Laabiah Wasim, Science & Health Editor

re humans monogamous or polygamous? Although the answer can seem obvious living in a Western society, once looked at more critically, the lines are blurred. If humans were truly monogamous, would adultery and extramarital relationships be as rampant? The truth is, the answer is complicated. This social issue can be broken down through a scientific lens by looking at the evolutionary history of our species, our anatomy, and our psychological desires. Let’s look at the animal species closest to ourselves. Of the 5000 species of mammals, only three to five per cent are known to form lifelong pairs with one significant other. This small group of mammals includes beavers, wolves, bats, and lemurs. There has to be a reason that monogamy is not the prominent choice of relationships among animals. Evolutionarily speaking, an individual’s fitness is determined by the ability to pass on genes, known as reproductive success. Therefore, an individual, regardless of their physical strength or length of life, is not successful if they are unable to pass on their genes by producing offspring. Monogamy is evolutionarily costly because it requires an individual’s reproductive success to be entirely dependent on their partner. Polygamy makes sense if this view is taken, especially polygyny where one man has multiple wives. Men are able to copulate and produce multiple offspring, while women can only be impregnated by one man at one time. Our ancestors lived in a huntergatherer society, which lacked domestication of animals and land. Humans lived in small groups by moving from place to place, their lives dependent on the migration of herds, water availability, and on each other. In this tight-knit society, long-term committed relationships are thought to be rare. Instead men and women mated promiscuously with each other and children were the responsibility of the entire group. Since a

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distinct idea of paternity was absent, everyone was equally invested in the children for the better of the group. After the domestication of animals and crops, larger societies could be sustained in a stable setting. This change in the life history of humans brought a change to the relationship type ideal in such a context. If polygamy was allowed to continue there would be increased competition between males for female partners. The stronger, wealthier men would exercise their reproductive success but at the cost of socially or physically weaker individuals. This system creates instability in a society. A lot of energy and time would be wasted on defending the right to polygyny, energy that could be spent on advancing their society. Monogamy, therefore, was socially imposed in early Greco-Roman societies, which advantageously resulted in expansion and creation of empires. Historical research shows that monogamous groups can grow larger than polygynous ones and were advantaged militarily over polygynous groups. Does that mean we are only monogamous subjective to our culture? Maybe not; human psychology is such that we demand to know our ‘nature’, the objective truth. Turning to our physiology and anatomy we can make some conclusions of what type of relationship we are ‘made’ for. One clue is sexual dimorphism, the difference in body size, for example, between males and females. Species in which males are significantly larger than females implies that a single alpha male dominates the group. Larger bodies and physical strength is required to defend your right to mate with multiple females and to prevent weaker males to be reproductively successful. Male and female humans are relatively similar in size, compared to single alpha-male groups like gorillas. Humans are similar to chimpanzees in that way, which are promiscuous rather than monogamous. Another anatomical comparison is sperm midpiece and fallopian tube sizes, in male and females respectively. The sperm midpiece contains mitochondria, needed for

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energy production to propel the sperm’s flagella and propagate the sperm through the uterus and fallopian tube. Larger sperm midpieces are characteristic of species in which male need to compete for female ovulation. Similarly larger fallopian tubes increase the competition for prospective sperm cells to reach the egg. Humans have competitively smaller sperm midpieces and fallopian tubes, which are instead similar to gorillas and other single-male or single-mate societies, rather than chimpanzees, which have larger testis, sperm midpieces, and fallopian tubes. An interesting difference between human male anatomy and other male mammals is the shape of their penis. Human males have smooth, spineless ones, while most other mammals have spikes or studs called papillae. The papillae are thought to function by enhancing sensation and shorten the time to a male’s orgasm. The lack of papillae in humans possibly implies that humans are meant to interact in slower, more long-term relationships. There might even be a hormonal basis for monogamy. Oxytocin, otherwise known as the ‘love hormone’ is released by the pituitary gland during sexual reproduction, childbirth, and other intimate moments. Oxytocin increases social bonding between mates and studies have also shown that oxytocin can make mates look increasingly attractive. Even more interestingly, research on monogamous prairie voles has shown males that have a pair bond can actually be hostile to other females, even attack them, due to oxytocin. If anything, the results of our scientific analysis imply that humans are at best monogamous-ish. But maybe there is no biological basis for our relationship choice and the difference between monogamy and polygamy is a socially constructed one. There are societies where polygamy, specifically polygyny, is not only allowed but preferred by women. Ruling them out as socially wrong or ‘unnatural’ through a different cultural lens is just as unacceptable as saying ‘true’ monogamy does not exist. In the end, relationships are a personal choice.

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28 FE AT U R E

From the Perspective of

ARTS


F E AT U R E 29

Sharine Taylor, Arts & Life Editor

I

n the quest for eternal love, it seems as though a large portion of people have their heart’s set out to find ‘the one’. The one who will sweep them off of their feet or the one who will give them a new perspective on life and love and lead them down the path of a utopian future in which their days are spent enjoying life lavishly in suburbia. Think about the things we watch, read, and listen to and you’ll realize the idea of monogamy is practically embedded in virtually everything we consume. From the standard childhood introduction to film via Disney to societal values that encourage hetero-normative marriages that work towards maintaining the structure of the nuclear family, the pursuit of committing the self entirely to one person could be just as learned as mostly everything else. The fact is monogamy reigns supreme in the Western scope of the idealized and aspirational relationships we’re supposed to be collectively hoping to achieve. What kinds of factors contribute to this kind of thinking? This can be analyzed through a few different perspectives. In terms of media, it’s safe to say that though box office rom-coms, critically acclaimed dramas, and exceptionally produced sci-fi’s all range in genres, at times, one of the themes underscoring these flicks are the protagonist’s search for their destined love. Hundreds of thousands of cinema lovers flock to theatres to watch these films with an incessant need to mirror the success of the character’s relationships in their own life. In doing so, they often forget that these storylines are crafted by multiple writers, visually captured by a skilled director and further propelled with a musical score intended to evoke emotion. So many of these films are produced a year that typically follow the same template and are viewed by such large quantities of people. How could we not be prone to making the lives of fictional characters a reality for ourselves? If you are a sociology major or minor, you can co-sign the validity of this argument. In very simple terms, symbolic interaction sociologist Erving Goffman brought to fruition the concept of frames and strips. Goffman suggests in his frame analysis the-

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ory that we understand the world through a set of natural (eg. weather) and social (eg. our interactions) frames. A really condensed reason for why we do this, according to HLWIKI, states that essentially, this process is the cognitive organization of social experience, with each social experience is referred to as a strip. Lost in the jargon? Here’s an example: think Titanic. That Jack and Rose I’ll-do-anything-for-you display of affection (strip) is understood, or framed, as ‘real love’. This frame is reproduced and reinforced so often that when people become shocked at the overwhelming success and usage of platforms like Ashley Madison (strip), it disrupts our original framing of ‘real love’. We try to understand this by categorizing it into one of Goffman’s five strips. The strip that would be applied in this example is the “astounding complex” which is the frame for attempting to understand things that happen that are not supposed to happen (now you can impress all your friends with this new knowledge). Essentially, if we’re looking through the lens of Goffman, monogamy has been socially framed as the right way to love and the right way to have a relationship and of course most people strive to fulfill what is socially required of them and generally prescribe without question. Monogamy is also reinforced through commodity and consumption. For those of you living under a rock, we live in a capitalist society hinged on how much and how often we spend. With that being said, think about the major days of importance embedded in our internationally used Gregorian calendar that encourage spending, with Valentine’s Day being prime time for dropping our hard earned cash. With copy (text) included in advertisements that make consumers feel bad or ashamed if they don’t purchase items for their loved ones, especially ads with copy that play on gender norms (do any girls have diamonds listed as their best friends?), there’s even more of a subtle kick in the rear to show your affection for that special someone and reinforce your monogamy through a purchased gift. It would be strange to not acknowledge the ever-present, socially induced inclination where monogamy lives, breathes and is made official over in the global north: marriage and weddings, which for some is the final stop to their days of polyamory. Suffice it to say, there’s a certain kind of fear that a few

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may experience that comes with the thought of being ‘locked down’ (or ‘up’, for those who use the words interchangeably). In any case, the ones who choose to walk the aisle are showered with compliments filled with virtuous sentiments, further aligning cutting ties with the single life and looking towards a life dedicated to one partner as the right and virtuous thing to do. Some say that the way you feel in terms of who you love is not a feeling that can be changed and this always lingers in the recesses of my mind when I hear of the possibility of a person being capable of having serious, intimate and loving connections with more than one person at a time. The popular television series Scandal depicts the lead character Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington), as being lovingly devoted to two men at once and (spoiler alert) when she finally commits to one, she finds faults in having to experience all of her lover instead of the parts that she had been immediately attracted to. If there was ever a class offered at UTSC called “Intro to Television Series”, the professor would probably ask you to analyze the character’s relations and/or relationships in a given show. My analysis (and hopefully A+ answer) would be that polyamory allows for people to be experienced in different capacities with their partners. So maybe an admirable feature of one of your partners is that they are business-oriented and know how to keep you organized, which is what you love about them, while your other partner is a free-spirit and knows how to keep you laughing and smiling. Our personalities are complex and polyamory seems like a way to cater to the spectrum of who we are. There has been much contestation in regards to monogamy suppressing what is supposedly biologically natural to us and makes the topic a seemingly likely candidate for the ongoing nature versus nurture debate. While I’m a personal believer in monogamy for myself, it is without a doubt interesting to ponder on the idea that something that is considered so socially one-dimensional may actually be more textured and complex than initially imagined. I say there’s no right or wrong answer as ideal relationship structures vary between cultures. What matters though is mutual agreement and as long as that agreement is made clear amongst all involved parties, then keep spreading the love.

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Dick pic?: a guide to dating apps Amanda Bowden, Contributor Tinder exploded the hetrosexual (and other) dating scene with an app unlike anything before it. Whether it be for legitimate dating opportunities, boredom or simply a hookup, such apps are prevalent. But, what most people aren’t aware of, is the variety of unconventional dating apps that are available to set you up the best way.

Tastebuds is an app that connects you with people nearby who share your taste in music (hence the name), instead of your run-of-the-mill photo and swipe. The apps lets you add your favourite music, bands, or you can choose to scan your iPhone library to begin. Score is a dating app that works to pair up users based on matching scores. The app gives you quirky and unconventional questions to start with, and then you build up your profile from there. There’s even a dating app for dog lovers! Tindog is a dating service that lets you discover other canines and their owners in your area! HowAboutWe lets you find and put out date ideas in your area. It also has two other features called Speed Date, which allows you to browse photos or date, to pass or like, and Date Map, which helps you search and find all the date ideas you’ve liked on a local interactive map. With this app, there’s no worrying about what to do on a first date! Happn and Tangle are two similar apps that match you with people you’ve passed on the street, so long as they also have the app. Every time you cross paths with someone in real life, their profile will pop up, at which point you can choose to like them. If you both like each other, you have a Crush, and can begin a conversation.

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Bumble is an app founded by a co-founder of Tinder and it functions in a similar fashion. But here’s the hitch; the female has to message first. So ladies, break out of your bubble, and buzz with your match! If you have ever felt completely overwhelmed by all the matches or messages you get on some dating apps, Once may be the app for you. The app only provides one possible match per day. You have 24 hours to like the person, and you go from there. If zodiac signs are your game, then Align is calling you. The app claims to “Inject soul into mobile dating” by exploring your compatibility and astrology to meet the person of your dreams. I guess it’s true when they say it’s all written in the stars! If you’re a marijuana enthusiast, and you’re searching for a partner to join you, look no further. HighThere is designed for you. You literally say “High there” on your profile to showcase your interests and personality. The app Clover claims to be a mix of Tinder, Match, OKCupid, and plenty of other dating sites and apps. You can set up real-life dates, use a variety of filters, and organize your potential interests. Plus, you can also meet people with similar interests using a topic-based group chat.

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bath houses

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BEING IN THE BATHHOUSE Devon Stevens, Contributor There is an underground sex culture that you should get to know. Bathhouses don’t have to be a secret society and no, they aren’t dirty. You won’t find strange substances on the floor or a creep that won’t leave you alone. You don’t even have to have sex, and if you do, there are plenty of condoms and lube to go around to play safe. Bathhouses have existed since the 15th century. However, in western culture, gay men have been going to bathhouses for sex since the 19th century, as most western countries would prosecute homosexuality. In the late 1960s bathhouses became licensed establishments that weren’t subject to police raids and were a safe place for men to meet. Men and women today still use bathhouses as a place to meet for sex and there are eight just in Toronto’s downtown core alone, though one bathhouse, the Oasis Aqua Lounge, is open to men, women, and transgendered people. Known for its rooftop pool, student discounts, and pole dance classes, Oasis offers a welcoming, relaxing atmosphere that caters to straight, gay, and trans people. The general manager, Dylan Tower, is a U of T alumni and started working at Oasis during 2013 in customer service. With help from U of T’s Sexual Education Centre, Tower organized what was advertised as the biggest student sex orgy ever, also known at the ‘U of T sex orgy’, bringing hundreds of U of T students to Oasis Aqua Lounge. Although there wasn’t much sex going on, the event allowed students to socialize in a sex-positive environment, which brought a significant message to today’s youth: it’s okay to have sex. “I honestly go there for the outdoor pool,” says an anonymous third year women and gender studies student at UTSC. Admission to Oasis for students is discounted and priced as little as $20. She adds, “They also have a really open atmosphere for women, and don’t force any sexual activity unless you want to. It’s very pro-women.” When asked about why establishments like

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Oasis are so taboo to talk about she suggested that “People [may] feel like [Oasis] is a plethora of gross men and dirty sex—when really I’m there for a swim and maybe a pole dancing class. Single men aren’t even allowed in on most days of the week.” Oasis offers many programs and services for women and couples which include professional outreach sessions where couples can enhance their relationship and women can develop and express their sexuality. These can include pole dance classes, board games, and kink tutorials. For the more experienced bathhouse-goer there’s Steamworks, SpaExcess, Urge, and a variety of other locations, which are for gay men and very explicitly sex-only spaces. These establishments have very informative ‘first-timer’ rules such as: “You can have a heart attack fucking in the whirlpool” or “Conversations in the orgy room should be kept to a minimum. Grunts, groans, notices that ‘I’m coming’, and invitations to do it in a room instead are acceptable; discussions of the weather, ex-lovers, favourite lubricants, the quality of the darkness, and the pros and cons of cockrings are not.” These bathhouses tend to be on the cheap side. You can rent out a locker for as little as eight dollars for eight hours, or a room for as little as $30. There is also special student pricing for all bathhouses which can be discounted to up to 50 per cent off. A former employee of Steamworks commented on bathhouse culture saying, “When I worked at [Steamworks] I saw a lot of people from all walks of life. A few early twenty-somethings come in just to be in a safe sex-positive environment [and] a lot of them were couples.” Steamworks and other menonly bathhouses also promote safe-sex and have links to anonymous testing services to promote sexual health. SpaExcess (a gay men-only bathhouse) and Oasis offer free anonymous HIV & STI testing provided by Hassle-Free Clinic every month. For any sexual health questions, Hassle Free Clinic, located at 66 Gerrard St. E, is a great resource to utilize while exploring your sexuality.

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SHIPPING: DECONSTRUCTED Zarin Tasnim, Contributor Here are some key terms and their corresponding definitions that are commonly associated with “shipping”: Fandom: The community of fans that surround a particular tv series,movie,books, and or other forms of media. OTP: An abbreviation of “One True Pairing” which describes a fan’s most favourite combination of characters in a relationship. BrOTP: Similar concept to OTP, accept it describes a pairing who are best friends. OT3: The OTP alternative of a menage a trois, threesome. The three characters that a fan would like to be in a relationship together. Slash: Fan fiction in which the main character and their love interest(s) are homosexuals. This particular genre is specific to gay male couples. FemSlash: Fan fiction in which the main character and their love interest(s) are homosexuals. This particular genre is specific to lesbian female couples. Canon: A relationship that has been confirmed with the storyline of the particular work of fiction of interest; a true ship. AU: An abbreviation of “Alternate Universe” which describes a genre of fanfiction in which the characters of a particular fandom are placed in a different setting than that of the original. Fandom Classics: Fan fiction from a certain fandom that are popularly read and considered a classic, like Shakespeare or Jane Austen. It’s a Friday night and you’re sitting down in a dark theatre waiting for the new Star Wars movie to start. Situated beside you are also two moviegoers immersed in a heated debate. “My OTP is obviously Poe-Finn,” one says enthusiastically. “Um, Finn-Rey is basically canon,” the other interjects. Confused yet? Poe-Finn and Finn-Rey are a combination of the characters Finn, Poe Dameron, and

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Rey combined together to form ship names. Shipping, derived from the word ‘relationship’, is a term used to describe the desires of fans from a particular fandom, which can include movies, bands, books, and even people in real life, to root for characters or real life people to be in a fictional relationship together. Although it’s debatable for as to when the concept of ‘shipping’ actually started, the first ‘ship’ that became popular among fans are between the characters of Star Trek, Kirk and Spock. The most common way shipping is expressed is through fan fiction which are stories written about characters from an author’s original work of fiction. Lately the trend seems to be growing in popularity between real people like celebrities. Throughout the years, notable ships have made it’s way to pop culture like JohnLock (which are Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson), Drarry (Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy), and Arthur and Eames (characters from the movie Inception). When attempting to explain the reason behind why fans ‘ship’ certain characters or even real life people together, it boils down to the culture and science behind the concept of attraction and relationships. It all starts with deciding what fans like or dislike about a certain character - this is similar to the process in real life of deciding on whether a person you’ve met is someone you feel a deeper, psychological and/or physiological connection to. Although it’s a strange concept to have feelings for fictional characters or in some cases, people you haven’t properly met, like celebrities, for many fans this line between the imagination and reality is blurred. Interestingly enough the demographic of fans actively participating in the act of shipping like reading fan fiction, creating fan art, and other fandom associated merchandise are 12 to 18 year old females fantasizing about two or more male characters in a romantic relationship. Often, the question of why these fans, who are biologically female, support and seem so involved in a pairing that engages in interactions that isn’t physically possible for them to recreate for their own experience. “I ship people because there’s a certain kind of happiness you feel when a person or character that you feel emotionally attached to, connects with someone on a level that’s different than any other relationship they

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have, whether it be platonic or romantic. And any kind of interaction between the ship will have a parallel effect on yourself, making you feel all the emotions they’re feeling, and making you want to see and feel more of them,” elaborates first year life science student Michelle Dong. Projecting one’s desire onto the couples you ship seems to be the most compelling reason behind it all. For fans who haven’t yet ventured into the world of love and sex, they become able to situate themselves into scenarios that produce the same rush of adrenaline and arousal. “I find there’s a degree of escapism in matchmaking. By making (and depending on the popularity of the ship, possibly even seeing) a relationship between people with such dynamic, compatibility, and love, it is hard not to find yourself indulging in it,” says first year management student Jessica Bannon. This, however, doesn’t explain why ships are mostly male couples. Slash fan fiction dominates any fandom that garners a popular fan base. While many fanfic writers and content creators have been celebrated because of their creativity and talent, there are certain negative aspects of this community that need to be addressed. Although the stories written in fan fiction are fictional, the culture behind fetishizing gay men has escalated.These fans, acting almost like voyeurs, extract sexual pleasure from their interactions, which may seem acceptable within the fandom, but it can get out of hand when these expectations are set in male couples in real life. Often times, fan fiction spans to creating dynamics between real life people like Larry (Louis Tomlinson and Harry Styles) or Ziam (Zayn Malik and Liam Payne) who are the members of the band One Direction. It has gotten to the point where they’ve spoken out on how uncomfortable it makes them feel as the fan fiction can be very explicit. It’s interesting that human emotion and our capacity to love expands to a universe that doesn’t exist in real life. It’s a culture that includes different aspects of sexuality and kinks, and which explores the diversity that exists among relationship dynamics. Shipping challenges the traditional facets about how love and lust are expressed. These relationships introduce how complicated interactions between humans have become.

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sex and the internet City Michael Chen, Contributor “I think they’re called cam models,” says Aradyha Kunwar, a student at UTSC. Talked about in hushed tones and seen as a taboo subject that the ‘normal’ student (as we all obviously are), wouldn’t know anything about, sex work is hardly a conventional topic. There is a sex industry underworld blossoming on the Internet, but few know of it in great detail. Or, perhaps more accurately, few are willing to admit how much they know. Prostitution has sometimes been called the world’s oldest profession, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t evolved over time. A combination of aberrations in human sexuality and the advent of the digital age has skyrocketed the availability and variety of sexual – or at the very least, a bit more intimate than platonic – pleasures that one can discover. What do these communities and desires say about the psyches of the people who are involved in them? What do our reactions and thoughts on these marginalized groups say about society and stigma? What exactly is the appeal of paying someone to rate your penis? On these matters, the Internet, and the student body, have a lot to say. Crammed into the corners of sites like Pornhub and RedTube, between the promises of male virility and “Sexy single women only 10 kilometers away,” there are relatively innocuous looking bedrooms. The requisite makeup coated women adorn these plain backdrops in various states of undress, promising flirty conversation and a good show for those willing to put down the cash.

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Cam shows don’t offer anything that one can’t find for free on the very sites that advertise them, yet people are drawn to them all the same. Perusing posts on the popular cam-girl forum WeCamGirls, there is a plethora of topics ranging from beginner advice to suggestions for improving viewer retention. The underlying understanding, however, is that there is money to be made. Shirly Lara, owner of Chaturbate (a webcam site), describes how “The average cam performer can expect to earn around $1 000 per week with a three-day schedule.” Continuing on in the realm of things that you wouldn’t expect to be able to make a profit with, we come to fantasies that are not as neatly categorized. On Reddit, the Sexsells tag is essentially an open marketplace for sellers to satisfy the kinks of their buyers. One can find anything from used underwear to suggestive Snapchats to penis ratings. Those who are seeking out less overtly sexual delights can find professional cuddlers and cuddling groups through a surprising amount of channels, whether it’s a dedicated website like The Snuggle Buddies or Craigslist postings. This is only scratching the surface of the many ways that the Internet has sprung up to meet the diverse desires of its denizens. But what does the average university student think? Amanda Petcu, a first year math student, thinks that customers find connection in these places. “It’s like the same thing as girls falling in love with Justin Bieber.” Petcu also expresses sympathy for both sides of the equation, saying, “They’re probably lonely… Maybe lonely, [or] maybe they just want to do it for fun.” But are these connections real? Igor Radovanovic, a student interested in

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human psychology, thinks that “[They are] probably shut-ins. [They] could also could be sparked by excessive rejection.” He adds, “They could definitely have some type of connection that you could get attached to but it only happens if you’re really lonely.” When asked what he would say to people involved in Internet sex work, Radovanovic says, “I guess the regular thing to say would be to find something else to do. Maybe they’ll grow out of it.” Rose Xu, a first year computer science student, adds to this debate by saying, “I think some people do this just for a living and it’s reasonable.” She also mentions that, with regards to people who do it for fun or who are paying, “I don’t think it is good they can do other things.” No one interviewed admitted to ever having used any of these services or ever planning on using them. It is almost certain that, of the people interviewed, no one had anything they wanted to hide. However, if they had chosen to withhold something they would hardly be unjustified. Responses to one admitting his or her involvement with these areas ranged from ignorance to judgement and pity. Even in the relatively liberal atmosphere of a university, feelings towards these communities are generally dismissive. The stigma around these sexual practices leaves both the workers and the customers invisible and unrepresented, even though there are enough people partaking to support the industry. These things may be a bit weird, but who says weird has to be bad? And, in a way, the fact that the Internet has allowed strangers to share and be accepted for their deepest darkest desires is kind of beautiful in that quirky, gross, flawed way that people tend to be.

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LOVE YOURSELF: BODY POSITIVITY Sam Natale, Staff Writer “If you want to be positive to your body, work out and eat well.” A seemingly innocuous statement, the idea that this is all it takes to be #bodyposi is a common one. But the body positivity movement is more than just the traditional diet and exercise route to getting the body you love. It’s the idea that instead of working towards an improved body that you can love, you can learn to love the body you already have. The body positivity movement, as described by everydayfeminisim.com, “Is the idea that all bodies are good bodies.” Part of the way this movement works towards its goal of creating better representation of diverse bodies is by critiquing mainstream media for its lack of said representation and by encouraging people to use their own bodies as representation via social media. On Twitter, Instragram, and Tumblr, people have the ability to control their image and how they showcase their own bodies and thus representation is no longer limited to mainstream media. With body positive hashtags, people can find communities of people sharing their journeys to self-love, no matter their body type. This is an important way for people to be able to reclaim their bodies, considering how frequently mainstream media polices appearances, and shames those who do not conform. However, it would be a mistake to assume that social media is free from this surveillance as well. As second year student Nikita Roy says, “Because the Internet is permanent, people can always look back and say, ‘You used to be overweight.’” The so-called immortality of the Internet means that people are not only subject to the policing of their current appearance but also to a critique of the way they looked in the past - and for some just beginning their self-love journey, this can be extremely discouraging. To reconcile these two aspects of social media, second year student Nayab Rahim says, “Social media is what you make of it. If you go on there just to make mean comments, that’s the side of it you are going to see. But if you look at the side dedicated to loving yourself, you are going to see the positive side of it.” Sometimes, however, you don’t have to go looking for mean comments and critiques: posts featuring rude people saying offensive things go viral all the time and are unavoidable. Take the quotation that began this ar-

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ticle. It was taken from “Dear Fat People”, a video made by YouTuber Nicole Arbor, which went viral last year. The video sparked enormous controversy about the comments Arbor made mocking and shaming not only people who are overweight, but also the entire idea of body positivity. Many people took issue with the way that Arbor tried to spread her message, including Rahim, who says that “[Arbor] chose the negative way of getting her message across. The way that she promoted her message could push people to unhealthy ways of losing weight, like eating disorders. Instead of being derogatory, she could have promoted better lifestyles.” In the video, Arbor perversely claims that her facetious comments resulted from her love of people and her desire for them to live long lives. What Arbor does not take into account is the quality of life people lead when they have low self-esteem and are constantly working towards a body that will never be good enough. This is the crux of the body positive movement: you will never reach the body ideal that mainstream media, people in your life (like Arbor), and even a voice inside your head, which is encouraged by all these other voices, tell you that you should have. But this is not something to be sad about. Instead, you can be free from trying to fit inside their narrow ideals by learning to love the body you have. Even mainstream media is coming around to body positivity. This year’s Pirelli calendar, often known for its salacious pictures of models that have bodies that fit the ‘norm’, took a drastic change. Instead of half naked women gracing each month, the calendar, photographed by Annie Leibovitz, features women not known for their adherence to traditional beauty standards and most of them are clothed, showcasing their successes rather than their appearances. The two that were not fully clothed Amy Schumer and Serena Williams - we’re both women with body types outside the ‘norm’ set by the conventional mainstream. Schumer has been outspoken about Hollywood’s tendency to only cast certain body types, as evidenced in her Critic’s Choice Awards acceptance speech, and Williams has spoken out against critique of her own body. This represents a shift in mainstream media that is accepting of a more diverse range of bodies, and it’s all because of online body positivity activism. #bodyposi isn’t just a hashtag anymore - it’s a reality.

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5 Ingredient Romance Monica Cheng, Contributor Less is more. Food is a lot of things. Depending on context, it could have connotations of nourishment, blessing, celebration, cultural holidays and so on. For me, the month of February means slowing down and tasting the romance of food. Here, I have a theme of simplicity. Each recipe offered has very few ingredients, but don’t let that fool you; each work in com-

BAKED CRISPY BASA WITH LEMON, BASIL & CAYENNE Serves 2 Basa is a white fish with a smooth but firm texture. It is cheap, delicious and very versatile. In this recipe, the basa is coated with Panko and baked until crispy on the outside, but with a creamy & flaky interior that melts in your mouth. It can be replaced with cod or tilapia. Ingredients 2 basa fillet ¼ teaspoon basil 1/8 teaspoon (around a pinch) Cayenne Pepper 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil Salt & pepper, to taste (approximately ¼ teaspoon each) Lemon juice & zest, from approximately 1/4 lemon ¼ cup Panko (Japanese-style breadcrumbs) • • • •

Rub basa with flavourings. Rub basa with basil, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Add lemon juice and zest. Zest the lemon before chopping and squeezing out the juice directly on basa. Add Panko. Bake at 475° F (250° C) for 15 minutes, or until edges are browned and entire fillet is opaque.

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plementary ways to excite your taste buds. Slow down, and savour the meal. I can already see you brushing this off with excuses like, ‘I don’t cook’ or ‘I don’t have time.’ But wait! Fret not. These recipes are not difficult! • • •

I’ve provided 3 recipes that are… Tried-and-true (kitchen tested at least three times) Fast (each take about 15 minutes of prep) Straightforward (each have base require-

ments of just 5 ingredients) Cheaper than what you’d normally get for a romantic, three-part course meal at a restaurant!

With the exception of the dessert, which requires following the instructions exactly, feel free to play around with the recipes. If you don’t have time, just make the main course and dessert. If you don’t have basil, just use another herb that you like, such as thyme or rosemary, or omit it entirely. You can reduce the butter by a bit if you’re health conscious.

SPINACH & LEMON SALAD Serves 2

i.e. no Hershey’s. Think Lindt or Ghiradelli. White chocolate is unacceptable.

This is a simple salad with a fresh tang. It mainly serves to compliment the rich basa, but both have common flavours of the sunny lemon.

2 ounces (1/3 cup) finely chopped dark chocolate or dark chocolate chips ¼ cup (1/2 stick) butter ½ cup icing sugar 1 egg + 1 egg yolk 3 tablespoons flour 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules 1 pinch (1/16 teaspoon) cayenne pepper

2 cups spinach, uncooked 1 red bell pepper ¼ cup olive oil Lemon juice & zest from ½ lemon Salt & pepper to taste (approx. ¼ teaspoon each) • •

Dice red bell pepper in small cubes. Toss with the rest of the ingredients (spinach, olive oil, lemon juice & zest, salt & pepper)

EASY SPICED CHOCOLATE LAVA CAKE Serves 2 The iconic mark of a lava cake should be obvious right when you break into the cake. The inside should be very fudge-y, a bit gooey and flow out slowly, resembling thick chocolate lava. Chocolate lava cake is usually served in individual cake-form, served plain or with icing sugar, whipped cream, ice cream or berries. The coffee granules in this recipe work to enhance the chocolate flavour. You probably won’t be able to taste it when they’re out of the oven. You can omit it as well as the cayenne pepper if you prefer. If you have a really sweet tooth, using semisweet or even milk chocolate is alright. Just make sure to use good quality chocolate –

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• •

• •

Prepare your molds, such as 4 or 6-ounce ramekins, or oven-safe bowls. Preheat your oven and measure out your ingredients. Melt the chocolate and butter in a medium-large sized bowl in a microwave on 15 second intervals, whisking between each interval. You do this so the chocolate does not burn. Melt until the mixture is smooth, silky and warm (not hot!) to touch. Whisk in icing sugar, egg and egg yolk until smooth and no lumps of sugar remain. Whisk in flour, instant coffee granules and cayenne pepper until just combined (when you cannot see any flour). Do not overmix, lest you want tough and hard cakes. Pour into prepared molds. Bake at 425° F (250°C) for 12 minutes. It will vary slightly between oven to oven, but the sides of the cakes should slightly pull away from the sides. Remove from oven. Let cool for 1-2 minutes before inverting on a plate. Serve immediately and top as desired.

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Romantic Era Kristina Dukoski, Contributor The word ‘romantic’ has to be one of the most versatile words in the emotional arsenal. You can identify as a romantic, call someone a romantic, see a romantic-comedy, read about the Romantic Era, or lose yourself in a whirlwind romance. Evidently, it is used in several different contexts, but it is not very often given much critical thought. What is romance? Defined by Merriam-Webster, a ‘romance’ is a love-affair. If that is the case, then why not just say that romance—or, a romance—is a brief bout of love? Unfortunately, Merriam-Webster also has a definition of ‘love’ that would halt that identity train: “Love is a feeling of strong or constant affection for a person.” Clearly, textbook definitions of romance do nothing to provide us wandering, love-hungry souls with cohesive ideas. Perhaps a notion of romance can be obtained by looking towards the actions connected to romanticism. Writers at Cosmopolitan Magazine ambitiously provide some key tips for women to follow when trying to be romantic. Some include suggesting a fancy place for dinner and drinks with your significant other, surprising them during the week by showing up at their place with a treat, touching them often, and giving them a foot-rub. Likewise, the dating service Match suggested some tips for men: surprise them often, give them little love tokens, put thought into your dates, and put aside ‘alone time’. While these romantic gestures are certainly sweet, they do not wholly pertain to today’s society. In fact, they miss one huge detail: we are children of the Digital Era. If

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there is to be a complete idea of romance, it must cater to the now. In his article, ‘Everything You Thought You Knew about L-OV-E is Wrong’, Aziz Ansari speaks a familiar language that weaves around the oh-so-common practices of lovers in a modern age. “Today’s generations are looking (exhaustively) for soul mates, whether we decide to hit the altar or not, and we have more opportunities than ever to find them. The biggest changes have been brought by the $2.4 billion online-­dating industry, which has exploded in the past few years with the arrival of dozens of mobile apps,” he mentioned. Often, the several outlets that one can use to find a mate—including, but not limited to, Match and Tinder—can be overwhelming! In addition to those already named, apps that aren’t exclusively made for dating are also contributing to the slow descent of traditional romance. Students at UTSC are quite keen on sharing their ideas of how technology has changed romance. Koda MacLellan, an anthropology student, gives his view of modern romance, saying that “Romance has been changed through the Internet and the cellphone because you can’t really just find someone you like and expect it to just be romantic when you’re with them. Nowadays— and I’m not going to say going to the club and picking up people is romantic—but, the end goal of that, if not to fornicate, is to get a number. “If you’re looking for romance, the ultimate goal for a lot of those people is to get that number or, in some cases, that Facebook friend-request,” he added. Likewise, psychology and English student Johnathan Mavilla expressed his dismay regarding the changes to romanticism.

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“When I was younger, it was more traditional for me. The guy has to ask the girl out and whatnot. Nowadays, specifically in heterosexual relationships, it is more acceptable for the woman to ask the man. The lines are more blurred in that sense. It is also more focused on technology, especially [with regards to] texting and all that.” Sadly, the opinions get more and more cynical as the reality of the situation begins to hit. Anna Boyes, a journalism student, is all-too-familiar with the negative effects of technology on romance. “I honestly think romance is dead. You’ll wait for a text message. It will obviously take hours for that person to respond. Then, you sit there with a friend diagnosing every message they send. Then, you have to collectively come up with a response, wait a few more hours for a ‘hey’; but, what does that ‘hey’ mean? He said [‘hey’], but not ‘hello’. Maybe he isn’t as invested.” Clearly, the modern-day version of romance is not embraced warmly, but is all lost? Is there hope for the future? Surprisingly enough, many students agree that technology seems to be at a plateau and, interestingly enough, the most anticipated subject of change regards acceptance of cross-gender and cross-culture romance. MacLellan beautifully concludes with his view of the future of romance. “In the future, I don’t see technology making vast jumps. I feel like romance won’t change due to technology. I see stronger connectivity between people of different races, different genders [and] I feel like romance will lead to a place where differences are less important.” In the words of the famous band Hedley, “We could use a little more facetime; the face-to-face kind.”

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The Virgin Diaries Sana Jaffery, Contributor We have been accustomed to a culture where everything in society has its part in being sexualized: whether it’s the element of the male gaze and use of women for advertisements or the sensual lyrics and dance moves in our favourite music videos. Does this mean we have forgotten those who still safeguard their sexuality and, specifically, their virginities? Do those devoted to this path often feel their opinions haven’t been valued? In these situations, some individuals often find themselves listing a spectrum of reasons as to why they choose to be a virgin. Whether it be a religious, psychological, social, or simply just looking for their special someone, the possibilities vary. In some cases, the combination of these reasons may allow individuals to find pleasure in participating in alternate sexual endeavours. It seems as though there really isn’t a right or wrong answer regarding this topic, which is why discussions about virginity are heated and often controversial. In this case, we’ll leave it to the students to express their opinions. My Body, My Temple “I just feel like my body, and these hidden parts of my body, are hidden for a reason. I’m protecting them for someone who deserves it. I just feel like everyone is losing their virginity left and right, and sex is something that’s so typical. People don’t understand that it’s something rare and magical that you should share with someone who matters. It sounds so cliche and hippy like of

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me, but my body’s a temple man, I just have to keep this place clean.” It Feels So Fucking Good “First of all, I’m not completely innocent. I do other things, just not sex. And it feels fucking good. Why would you need to go straight to sex when you haven’t explored the other things. Plus, if you’re not ‘bout that Netflix and chill life, these pretty much serve the same purpose. I guess I haven’t lost it because I’m happy with what I’m doing, and I’m kind of scared to lose it, you know?” I Have No Idea What To Do “Honestly, it’s really awkward. I have no idea what to do during a hook-up let alone what to do in bed. One of my classmates was just going on about these positions I didn’t even know existed. Of course I didn’t have much input, but her smirk after she was told I was a virgin was more than enough. It’s actually pretty annoying. I thought being a virgin was a good thing. I mean, it is, but people seem so rude about it, you know? I guess because I’m a guy and it’s even less expected? I honestly don’t know. It’s bullshit to be honest. But I’ve had relationships with people where I’ve been in situations where it felt like we were about to have sex, but something inside of me always stopped me and I’m really happy about [that].” I Don’t Need To Be Throwing My Body Around “No way, I don’t feel bad at all. It’s my choice and it’s a good choice. I don’t need to be throwing my body out to get people to like

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me a little more. I don’t care if no one understands. I’m devoted to my religion. I’m Muslim and it’s just the wrong thing to do. I see guys and girls in my community doing it, and I don’t mind. But when it comes to myself, I’m gonna stay true to what I’ve been taught.” It’s So Cute “I think it’s cute, really. My best friend is saving herself for someone and it’s absolutely admirable. I really wish I could be in her shoes after some of the mistakes I’ve made. I guess there is a reason for going to church and being lectured by our parents, you know? It definitely has its consequences.” I Respect Her “I’ve only ever been in one serious relationship - the one that I’m currently in, and we’re both Muslim. Of course I have my temptations when I’m with her, but she specifically told me that she won’t have sex until marriage. It’s been a few years and we’ve had some arguments, I won’t lie. But I’ll never try forcing her or convincing her because I respect her. I feel as though it balances me and keeps me in check. Yeah, my boys are all sexually active but I have a lowkey sense of pride when I tell them me and my girl are chillin’ in that sense.” Whatever it may be, there’s definitely a circulation of concepts, arguments and thoughts around the topic of virginity. It could vary from the strictness of one’s religious upbringing to the very idea of wanting to stay true to one’s own belief. It’s safe to say the idea behind virginity is still a product of many factors.

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FEBRUARY LOVE HOROSCOPE Pavitura Kanagasabai, Finance & Operations Officer

Aries (March 21-April 19) What a wonderful month it is for you, Aries! After the tumultuous month of January, February will bring about improved outlooks on your romantic life. The full moon at the beginning of the month will deliver adventure to your love life, so be prepared for the upcoming spontaneity! In addition, you’ll experience better activity on the social front. All in all, a five-star month for all of your endeavours.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) This month you will find yourself feeling isolated from society in general. Although you are ruled by Venus, the planet of love and affection, you will find that February is not the best month for you in terms of celebrations. In fact, spending more time with relatives that you are closest to is in order as this will help you rejuvenate your goals for the near future. February may not be the most romantic month for you, but it will be the most constructive for all realms of your life.

Gemini (May 21-June 20) This is a neutral month for you as your fellow fire signs are dominating the astrological transits for this romantic month. Mars in Aries will see you reaching your targets with an ease that you did not feel in January. In other words, make your motivation and intent clear and you will find that your goals will be perfectly aligned to your actions. The placement of Mars and Venus in Aries will bring about increased activity in matters of communication, as well as ignite the romance in your life.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) This is a time for you to focus on your financial situation as you will be prone to mindless spending. The placements of Venus and Mars will not bring about a pleasing Valentine’s Day, or in any other matters of romance this month. However, this is the perfect point in time to reflect back on what you need from a significant other in matters of romance and intimacy. Yes, this month will not align with your expectations, especially being an emotional water sign, but it will cater to the transformation you need in your life.

Leo (July 23-August 22) The beginning of February produces the need to get your opinions out there for everyone to hear, but you must be careful to not place too much significance on the way people receive them. Your romantic prospects are great, but you will encounter the same problems repeatedly in the future if you do not deal with your need to force your assessment onto others. This month, try to focus on enjoying yourself and not looking for this happiness in others.

Virgo (August 23-September 22) With January being a breeze, you will need the long period of reflection that will occur in February. The first half of this month will be lonelier than usual - something you need in order to rebuild your plan for the near future. There are a lot of personal issues that you will need to clear off the back burner in order for spiritual growth to occur. However, this emotional course will be counterbalanced with the strong intimate connections that rule the latter half of this month.

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Libra (September 23-October 22) This month is special for you as the Venusian traits that you have been developing throughout your life will serve to get you places in terms of all types of relationships. The Libra charm will come in handy in your romantic relationships, or any intimate relationship for that matter, as your presence draws more luck and more attention. Let yourself loose this month and you will find the month of Valentine’s to be the most enjoyable this year.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) Since you are co-ruled by Mars, there will be plenty of amour this month, a feeling that doubles in the latter half of February. The full moon will bring heavy attention to your career sector, and it is highly likely that your achievements will be put on display. However, it is a period where you should tread carefully as all eyes will be on you and there will not be a lack of criticism from your haters.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) You may need to be more forceful in your delivery as others may not receive you seriously. However, the consequences you experience will serve you as you will observe your social interactions more carefully. Other than the transition to Sun in Pisces bringing occasional bouts of doubt in yourself, intimacy is on a high in the latter half of the month so it is not all bad news for you.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19) Your shine will continue in matters of work. However, it is your intimate life that will take a toll this month. As expected of a Earth sign, you will find the weaknesses in yourself that may have contributed to this confusing period in your personal life. In fact, the full moon brings a great opportunity for metamorphosis in terms of any kind of improvement in your life, ranging from projects at work to clearing up financial issues.

Aquarius (January 20-February 18) Your fascination with the peculiar is off to a rocky start as you direct that energy inwards when you begin evaluating what you mean to others. This thought pattern is brought upon by questions you have about your spending that you may regret in February but you can release this negativity by counselling the ones closest to you, which will also help your emotional outlook on yourself. Your love life is on a roll in the second half of the month all the way to the first half of March.

Pisces (February 19-March 20) You will find that this month sets you up for the reclamation of your inner strengths. Have you and your lover gone through a communication rough patch lately? This month will help you find resolutions. However, this restoration will take place in the latter half of the month. In addition to renewal, you will find that the full moon in your sixth house brings about greater health and increased organizational skills.

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Love & SEX crossword Sharine Taylor, Arts & Life Editor In the great words of badass female hip hop emcees Salt n Pepa, let’s talk about sex. Well, maybe not talk about it, but crossword about it. If you got love and sex on the brain (and you should after reading this issue) then you should have no problems completing this crossword. And yes, we’ve given you some hints in the event you forgot everything you’ve just read so we’re kind of like that really nice prof/TA that gives you an exam review before you’re tested.

Across

Down

4. Trudeau’s new plans are based on _______ (Liberals & Sex)

1. Dating App (The UTSC Love & Sex Poll)

5. Some have titled this the male response to feminism (Male Rape) 8. Name of a popular webcam site (Sex & the Internet City) 11. Hormone that strengthens social bonds (Physiology of Sex) 12. Bathhouse in downtown Toronto (It’s Okay to Orgasm) 13. Popular rechargeable sex toy (Sex Toys) 16. Acronym for Keep It Simple Silly (Sustainable Living) 17. Induce sexual desires (Life is like a Box of Sexy Chocolates) 19. Has been said to replace love (Capitalization of Love) 20. Relationship where partners are far away from each other (2 words; Marriage on Campus) 21. Editorial Calendar (Body Posi Love)

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2. Fan fiction in which the main character and their love interest(s) are homosexuals. This particular genre is specific to lesbian female couples (Shipping: Deconstructed) 3. The era we are a part of (The Vaguely Romantic Era) 6. New term to describe a man (The Fuckboi Debate) 7. Japanese Porn 8. Older woman who dates younger men (Is Age Just a Number?) 9. Common irregularity during menstruation (The New Diva on the Block) 10. ful for long distance relationships (Global Affections) 14. White fish (5 Ingredient Romance) 15. Dating app that connects stoners (Dating Apps) 18. This complex involves rivalry with the father for love of the mother (Freudian Conflict)

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Name:

Love & Sex Crossword 1 3

2 4

5 6

8

7

9 10

11 12 13

14 15 16

17

18

19

20

21

Created on TheTeachersCorner.net Crossword Mak

Cougar Basa Oxytocin

Hentai

Digital

Oedipus Skype

Consumerism LongDistance

Aphrodisiac www. the-underground.ca

Endometriosis

FemSlash

WeVibe

Chaturbate

Evidence

HighThere

Grindr Oasis

Meninism Perellis

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Fuckboi

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UTSC CONFESSIONS Brenda Nutayi, Contributor It happens: you try to be seductive and end up looking silly, or you want to try something new and it ends up going hilariously bad. Sometime it’s best to just explain it away or ignore it but most of the times you can just laugh at it. These are a collection of both funny and freaky sex stories from UTSC Confessions.

“Well, like one time I was going down on my boyfriend and I threw up a little. I didn’t want to, like freak him out so I quickly swallowed it but then he stopped and seemed confused and I realized that he thought he came. Now I wasn’t going to tell him I threw up so I just told him sometimes that happens when someone is really into it. To this day, I really do think that he believes it.” - D

“Me and my boyfriend were doing it doggy style and he accidentally put it in the wrong hole. For a split second, it hurt so bad that I screamed and he thought that I had cum, so he had cum. At that point I was just not in the mood so I threw up, partially from the pain but also cause he was in my butt. It was just a mess. Not only that but I couldn’t keep in my farts for a week.” - L

“One morning me and my girlfriend at the time were on the subway going to her house and it was empty in the train, and I really can’t remember why or who had decided to initiate it but she ends up fingering me. It was fine until the train operator leaves that place where they are hidden on the train and tells us that he needs the seat we’re using. I was so nervous that I jumped up really fast and ended up falling down, skirt flying over my head, bare as the day I was born.” - R

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“Well recently I was at a friends house party. Now keep in mind my friend is such a bro. Like those guys that live at the gym and carry around protein powder. The nicest bro but a bro nonetheless and obviously he has a lot of bro friends, not the type that you would think are the most sexually adventurous. So with this in mind, I’m at the party having a good time and then I start talking to this guy and he’s cute and long story short we went to a room to make out. Now also keep in mind I have a bottle of wine. I think it was Girls Night Out in my hand because I don’t want anyone to drink my wine. Anyway, we are making out and I guess the wine bottle like grazed his butt and he asked me to do it again. During this whole thing I’m thinking, “Well this is interesting” but then he asks me to put it in. I’m thinking, “Put it in where?” I did not sign up for this but I’m also weirdly into it, so I try to lube it up as best as possible and then I proceeded to put it in his butt. Afterwards we kind of laughed about it and shook hands and I left. The only thing I really regret is not finishing the wine before.” - C

“I can think of two really good ones. My ex and I were in the middle of having sex and his tempo starts to slow down which I think is really weird. Not unpleasant, but weird. Until he just stops and then all of a sudden I hear this chime and look down to see that he is actually texting on his phone. Who does that? But that is probably why he is my ex. My new boyfriend and I were also in the middle of sex and he just stops, still hard inside me and starts asking me about our future, the number of kids we are going to have, where he wants to live, whether or not him or I should stay home with the kids, and it’s so sweet but I really just wanted to finish.”- E “My boyfriend Nick had not come out yet so his family just thought I was his best friend. When I would come over, we would have no physical contact at all but one day his parents was going to be away for a while so we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to be intimate. So he is going down on me and I think I hear something, like a car in the driveway, but it is four o’clock in the afternoon and his parents are not suppose to be home until 11 that night. I ignore it but then his dad swings open the door to tell him that they home. I freak out and accidently cum in my boyfriend’s face. He stands up and we’re all silent for what feels like forever, and his dad just closes the door and we hear him laughing and saying, “ Sharon you were right. Nick is the bottom one!” - W

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52 S C I E N C E & H EALT H RACHEL CHIN / THE UNDERGROUND

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Eat your heart out Kristina Dukoski, Contributor Valentine’s Day is upon us: flower shops are a complete mess, card stores are psychotic, and bakeries are hectic. People are buying chocolates left-and-right for their muses; however, we do not tend to think twice about the practice. After all, why not buy chocolate for your partner? It is a sweet gesture and a sweet treat; yet, simultaneously, it is so very sinful. What a curious idea, calling something as innocent as chocolate ‘sinful’ and maybe even ‘sexy’. Science steps in to make the seemingly strange a bit more familiar by introducing the concept of ‘aphrodisiacs’. The FDA describes an aphrodisiac as “any product that bears labeling claims that it will arouse or increase sexual desire, or that it will improve sexual performance.” There are two overarching types of aphrodisiac: natural and man-made. Natural aphrodisiacs are substances that can be found in nature and are available for public use: such items are most-often foods. Manmade aphrodisiacs are typically more difficult to obtain because of obstacles presented by the requirement of a prescription, or being unavailable altogether. UTSC student Devin Moeliasapoetra expands on what such substances can be, “I’ve heard things like MDMA and Adderall increase your sexual libido; I’m not really sure why though. I’ve heard by extension of others.” Some of the most well-known natural aphrodisiacs are chocolate, avocado, oysters, chili-peppers and certain dark alcohols. Quite evidently, these items appear to have nothing in common: why then are they listed

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under the same category? UTSC anthropology specialist Viktorija Dukoski gives her opinion, “They’re decadent foods. Usually, when you’re eating them, you are doing something romantic, or indulgent.” However, the insatiably inquisitive minds out there would not be satisfied with the answer that these foods only affect people situationally: they must intimately affect an individual’s body if they are resulting in an increased desire for sex. One of the first things brought to mind when sex and desire are mentioned— especially amongst discouraging elders—is hormonal activity. It all boils down to hormones; specifically, testosterone. It is very hard to control one’s hormones, as we’ve all heard before, your grandparents may have had a point. Aphrodisiacs are substances that are said to intermingle with the natural functions of your body—specifically those controlling release of hormones and ‘feel good’ chemicals. Signals are sent from the limbic lobe of the brain via the nervous system to the pelvic region. These signals tell the blood vessels to dilate. This dilation is responsible for erections—in both men and women. These vessels then close so that the erectile tissues remain erect. This erection is accompanied by an increased heart rate, and the secretion of norepinephrine and dopamine by the brain: all of this climaxes—no pun intended—to the feeling of desire or love. Despite being a seemingly whole explanation, the concept of foods affecting hormones is not backed up with enough concrete evidence. Healthcare practitioners and scientists alike instead point to the process of eating the foods in general and the context in

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which we are consuming them to be the reason for our sex-drive boosts. Viktorija Dukoski sheds some light on the contextual discoveries, “I think it’s your own meaning that you tie to it; like, that’s why I don’t think any one thing can be labelled as an aphrodisiac. Maybe chocolate is more common because, you know, girls like chocolate—well that’s the stereotype—when they are menstruating because that’s also when they are easily sexually aroused. It is common association. You can make anything an aphrodisiac: say, you know this guy who is superhot and when you guys go out for tacos, you’re like, ‘Oh man, he looks fine eating tacos’.” In an article published by the popular online medical resource ‘WebMD’, author Elaine Magee provides five categories of foods that have the ability to increase sexual desire. The first category is dedicated to temperature: warm or moist foods tend to create an atmosphere of heated passion, while colder foods create an icy allure. The second brings together foods that resemble genitalia; cue the typical ‘eating a banana’ example. The third category introduces foods that hint at reproduction such as eggs and caviar. The fourth is centered on foods that cater to our erotic desires by simply being exotic substances. The fifth, and last, category includes foods that stimulate the senses, which causes an instant libido boost. According to the research, the results truly lie in the context in which the foods are consumed and the preconceived notions one has before consuming them. If one indulges in something with the hope that it will boost their libido, it is quite possible that they will see effects. So, you can say that it is ‘all in your head’; whichever one you choose to use this Valentine’s Day is up to you.

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5 4 S C I E N C E & H EALT H

THE FREUDIAN CONUNDRUM: Do Conflicts in Childhood Development Shape One’s Ability to Sustain Healthy Relationships?

Meghan Borges, Contributor High school is a time of growth, full of experimentation and self-discovery. Most individuals would even venture to scribble into their graduation quotes that high school was the deciding factor that “Made them into the person that they are today.” From the ripe age of fourteen to the flourishing age of senior year, we conclude that we have done just about as much social, emotional and psychological growing as we did when we were two. We have matured into a stable human beings - maybe not perfect, but once we’ve reached university it is safe to say that we know what we want and what we like, what we can offer to a partner and what we expect in return. The basis of a healthy relationship in our late teens or early twenties rests on a foundation of growth and maturity. But is that the case? Are we predestined to become the organized and punctual person that emerged from beneath that graduation gown since before we were even able to tell time? Was our ‘lazy habit’ of leaving our clothes all over the bedroom floor a predetermined part of our personalities since the time we were potty trained? No matter what happens in high school or even elementary school, can a subconscious offset in our development curse us with the psychological inability to create healthy relationships later on in life? Although the name Sigmund Freud has become household, his theory on this phenomenon dating back to 1905 is lesser known. A renowned psychologist of the 20th century, Freud was one of the greatest thinkers of his time. However, seeing as many students opt to take Psych 101, the term “Freud’s five psychosexual stage theory” rings many a bell. A brief Freud-for-Dummies breakdown: in his psychosexual theory of development, Freud proposed that throughout our growth from infancy to adolescence, we satisfy a libido, or “sexual energy”, through whatever need we derive pleasure from in that time frame. He claims that difficulty in resolving a problem at each stage, or a fixation at a stage, would result in adverse effects on the adult personality.

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It is by successfully passing each stage without fixation that one enters adulthood with the stability and maturity to maintain healthy relationships leading to marriage. For example, the first stage is the oral stage, referring to the satisfaction we get from eating, which involves sucking and tasting. The process of weaning the child is the conflict that arises at this stage: should the parent wean the child too late or too soon, the child develops an oral adult personality. This would be someone who enjoys smoking, kissing, gum chewing, and even thumbsucking or talking excessively. Do you consider yourself to be a very uptight, organized, punctual and tidy individual? Rather than attest those skills and traits to the years you spent studying hard in school and making sure you were never late for class, Freud would say that you were potty trained too soon. Yes, your parents might’ve been too forceful and punishing when it came to when and where you chose to exercise your new ability to control your bodily functions (the anal stage of his psychosexual development theory), which was then unconsciously repressed and processed, ultimately manifesting itself into a Type A personality. The opposite experience would produce a more lenient, messy, generous and outgoing adult. “Many of [Freud’s] theories are widely discredited,” third year computer science specialist student Stefan Nedeljkovic recalls his experience taking first year psychology. “He was big in his time, though. He’s more of a cultural...phenomenon than anything else. He’s only taught in first year courses [because] it’s interesting.” His later stages may be where the theory falls flat. Freud deemed stage three as the phallic stage. From the ages of two to five, we apparently discover our junk and simultaneously develop an obsessive desire for our parent of the opposite sex. The unconscious process is different for boys and girls. The male version, or the Oedipus complex, involves a rivalry with the father over the love of the mother. Naturally, the young boy realizes that incest is not socially acceptable and must, therefore, try to take on fatherly traits to compete for the mother’s affection.

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The Electra complex refers to young girls who develop penis envy, knowing that the only way to be with their mother is to have what the father has. Realizing that this is impossible, the girl then projects her obsession onto the father and takes on a desire to identify with more motherly roles. It’s easy to see how people of Freud’s time, and even Freudians of today, sincerely believed in this over-sexualized developmental stage theory. A successful completion of the phallic stage is signified by the child identifying with the parent of the same sex and taking on those gender roles. An unsuccessful fixation at this stage is said to result in issues with promiscuity in adulthood, neurosis, and a desire to be with sexual partners resembling the parent of the opposite sex (AKA ‘daddy issues’). Personality traits such as vanity or self-hatred arise from a fixation at this stage. Freud took complex behaviors exhibited in adulthood and pieced together the apparent traumatic subconscious occurrences from their childhood that might’ve brought about such tendencies. The result was something clearly exhibited as fact, yet the method behind the prognosis was not something so easily seen or tested, as Freud theorized that it all happened in the unconscious mind. When describing how one might specifically remember desiring a penis as a child, Nedeljkovic said, “We can’t test [Freud’s theories] on you. It needs an unbiased subject and is not supposed to be expressed outwardly. You can’t disprove him like that, since you, one, know about his theories, and two, they are supposed to be subconscious.” Take what you will from Freud, but there absolutely lies a psychological back story for some of the adult personalities he explains in his theory. Through other studies, it is certainly shown that a broad spectrum of unhealthy parental relationships sets the child up for a series of unhealthy mature relationships in their adult lives. However, whether that psychological relationship involves toilet training remains to be seen. I still think I would know if I had wanted a penis.

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SCIE NCE & H E A LT H 5 5 MASOOMA ALI // THE THE UNDERGROUND UNDERGROUND RACHEL CHIN

SUSTAINABLE LIVING: Green Valentine’s Day Meghan Borges, Contributor “Happy Valentine’s Day!” Now stop for a minute. Let the message sink in. Imagine what your ‘happy’ Valentine’s Day really looks like. Most probably it involves the usual - chocolates and flowers, beautiful glittery cards, lots of gifts and food, eventually having a romantic candlelit dinner. Well, if you are eco-friendly, you might also want to think of equivalent alternatives to fulfill your perfect Valentine’s Day. It’s a big day to celebrate with your loved ones especially if you don’t get to express your love towards them every day. Most people celebrate it with their significant other, while others celebrate it with their friends and family. Regardless of how you are planning to spend the day, it is always great to be responsible towards the environment by being eco-friendly. Being eco-friendly is actually not hard at all. With the amazing vibes floating around you, remember to K.I.S.S: Keep it Simple Silly! There are very simple ways you can show your love for the environment. For starters, all you need to do this Valentine’s Day to win your “eco-friendly badge” is to recycle responsibly. RECYCLE, RECYCLE AND RECYCLE! Approximately one billion greeting cards and nearly 36 million heart-shaped boxes, along with cellophane, paper wrappers and foil are used on this day which eventually ends up at the landfill. This is a very serious issue since it can be drastically reduced if we all just recycle responsibly. Plastics, aluminum cans, steel cans, newspaper, magazines and slick inserts are typical recycling items you will come across on this day. We want our gifts to be a symbol of our relationship with that person, and one

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of the most important aspects is its continuity and its sustainability. We want our relationship to be sustainable, the same way we need to invest responsibly for a sustainable environment. You can be eco-friendly and romantic at the same time by following a few easy tips: • Buy flowers from the local suppliers. Ask them for pesticide-free flowers. By buying pesticide-free flowers, you are enriching the global agriculture, reducing bee killings and air pollution. • Buy chocolates and candies with the Fair Trade logo. By doing so, you will be helping the cocoa producers to invest 46 per cent of fair-trade premiums in improving productivity and quality. • Be creative and add your own touch by making homemade cards. Keeping it unique by using recycled materials within your own design will make your loved ones really appreciate the extra effort you put in, just to see their smile! You could also knit something for your loved one. Winter here in Canada is freezing and surely your knitted piece will provide them with comfort. Layering up not only provides comfort but also saves up heating costs. UTSC Sustainability Office recently organized “Sustainable Stitch: Knitting and Tacky Sweater Day” where participants learned the basics of knitting from types needles, yarn and wool, to simple knitting techniques. It is definitely a good idea to drop by our office and learn more about our future events and gain knowledge about sustainable lifestyle choices. Valentine’s Day is a very special day and we want our memories to be precious. Being eco-friendly will add great value to your effort to show love towards everyone around you. Remember to K.I.S.S. and have a green Valentine’s Day!

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PHYSIOLOGY OF SEX Laabiah Wasim Science & Health Editor The euphoria of making love is the synergistic effect of the many physiological and psychological reactions your body undergoes. From pleasure to making babies, whatever the reason may be, it can all be broken down to a science. Brain: • Areas of the brain associated with pleasure and reward, the amygdala, nucleus accumbens, ventral tegmental area (VTA), cerebellum, and the pituitary gland are extremely active and communicate using the neurotransmitter dopamine • Oxytocin, or the “love hormone”, is also released during sex, which been proven to strengthen social bonds in other mammals • The lateral orbitofrontal cortex, part of the prefrontal cortex involved in judgment and decision making, shuts down during an orgasm • The periaqueductal gray (PAG) is activated in women during an orgasm which decreases pain sensations and secrets endogenous opioids called enkephalins Body: • Dilation of the pupils • Involuntary body movements and vocal-

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• •

izations Increased heart rate, respiratory rate, and blood pressure Vasocongestion, increased blood flow, to localized areas of the body such as the chest, torso, and face, known as the sex flush Erection of nipples

Genitalia: Have over 8000 nerve endings! • 4 types of nerves responsible for sending info to the brain during an orgasm • Hypogastric nerve transmits info from the cervix (female) and prostate (male) • Pelvic nerve transmits info from vagina (female) and rectum (both sexes) • Pudendal nerve transmits info from the clitoris (female) and penis (male) • Vagus nerve transmits info from the cervix, uterus, and vagina (female) Female genitalia: • Vaginal lubrication and erection of the clitoris • Elevation of the uterus and cervix • Vaginal contractions • Male genitalia: • Penile erection and emission of ejaculatory fluid • Swelling of testes • Penile contractions

FEBRUARY 4 - MARCH 2, 2016

VOLUME 35, ISSUE 06


5 8 S C I E N C E & H EALT H MASOOMA ALI / THE UNDERGROUND

SEX TOYS


SCIE NCE & H E A LT H 5 9

Nicole Clark, Contributor Technology is responsible for so many advances in the products we purchase; from cell phones to household appliances. It should be no surprise that technology has greatly changed and improved the world of sex toys. From rechargeable toys to toys that can be synced to your phone, these advancements have changed how people see sex toys and changes how they purchase them. Some of the more common advancements are rechargeable toys. No longer do you have to worry about disposable batteries because most toys can be charged by being plugged into your wall or computer, just like any smart phone. Although these toys may be more expensive at first they end up saving the consumer money in the end because they are no longer spending money on batteries throughout the lifetime of the toy. Some much more complex advancements can be seen in the We-Vibe 4 Plus, a couple’s vibrator that is worn during sex for extra stimulation. However what makes it so unique is that the makers of WeVibe have now made it so the toy can be operated through bluetooth. An app that can be downloaded straight to your phone so that you can control the toy from anywhere in the world. This is a great feature for long distance relationships as well as for couples in which one partner travels constantly. It is a great way to stay connected with your partner. The We-vibe is also one of the first fully waterproof toys, because it charges through magnets none of its parts are exposed which means it can be completely submerged under water. Even if you see your partner everyday this you can help spice things up. It can be worn as a vibrating undergarment when a partner is out, giving their partner full control over it. It can make for a very interesting dinner. Advancements like this are not just seen in women’s or couples toys, there are men’s toys that have come a long way as well. Fleshlight is a well-known company that makes toys for men. These toys have

www. the-underground.ca

now changed so that they heat up and some even vibrate in order to replicate the feel of a body. There is a type of fleshlight that can be synced with a computer or T.V so that it will act like the person in the porn that is being watched. With the popularity of 50 Shades of Grey, the BDSM world has been brought to the public’s attention, because of this many couples are looking to try BDSM play; and companies such as Sportsheets and Sex and Mischief have started making better products for this demands. Toys like sex swings and hog tie kits have taken a more predominant role, where-as before people only knew about handcuffs and maybe gags if they were feeling adventurous. As long as people feel safe with their partner BDSM is a great way to spice things up in the bedroom. Toys like these are much more expensive due to the fact that they can completely take the place of a partner if sex is all you are looking for. Having a toy like the Wevibe that you can completely control and use in multiple different ways solo means that you don’t necessarily need another person with in order to have a good time. The same things is true for a fleshlight, why go out to a bar to try to hook up if you have something that feels the exact same. Many people feel that spending hundreds of dollars on sex toys is just ridiculous because there is the possibility of them breaking; however many companies now offer warranties on their products, to ensure customer satisfaction. With the advancements in many of the toys the warranties are hardly ever needed, though they give many customers peace of mind when they are spending so much on a toy. Many people are willing to spend the money on these because with proper care and storage they can last many years. When going to buy toys make sure to ask questions about how to properly care and store your toy so that you can get the maximum use out of it, and so that there is no worry about it breaking down or becoming problematic. With all these new advancements to sex toys it will be very interesting to see what they come out with next.

FEBRUARY 4 - MARCH 2, 2016

VOLUME 35, ISSUE 06


GOVERNING COUNCIL ELECTIONS 2016 2015 GOVERNING COUNCIL ELECTIONS Student Candidates Statements Student Candidates’ Statements

Please visit http://www.governingcouncil.utoronto.ca/elections.htm

VotingMonday, Period: Monday, February 9, 2015 at 9:00 a.m. Friday,February February 20, at at 5:00 p.m.p.m. Voting Period: February 8, 2016 at 9:00 a.m. to to Friday, 19,2015 2016 5:00 Online willwill taketake placeplace on ROSI (www.rosi.utoronto.ca), and throughand a secured website for postwebsite graduatefor medical Onlinevoting voting on U-elecT at voting.utoronto.ca through a secured post- trainees. graduate medical trainees. Full-Time Undergraduate Students,

Lawrence Zhang Susan Cui Constituency I (Faculty of Arts and Hello Everyone, I am a third year undergraduate full- HEY EVERYONE. I’m Lawrence Zhang, and I’m Science, University of Toronto Mississauga, going to improve the university for you. My entir timeBeepat student double majoring in International Relations Nick Grant Full-Time Undergraduate Students Kush campus beenand centred around mak University of Toronto at Scarborough) and Economics. Just auphold few months ago, Ivested had the honour If elected, I intend to the duties Hello, my name experience is Nicholashas Grant, I’m in– Constituency I the livesfor of those aroundCouncil me better, partUniversity of the VicofOrientation Committee 2014; ing in of mebeing by the Toronto Act, 1971, terested in running Governing be- and I wan and currently I am the President of UTFOLD as well as to extend my reach just a little bit more. Together (Faculty of Arts and Science; Uni- which Connor Anear obliges members of theAssistant Governing Councause I believe the make next step forward, by buildyou andit’s I can a difference advocating fo the Campus Organizations within Ulife/Ulead I versity am seeking election as a Student Governor because of Toronto Mississauga; and to act with diligence,ishonestly, experience working on student lower international student tuition,issues less grade defla My platform as thus: and with good ing on my I am passionate about governance and believe mycilOffice. greater availability of research in the bestforinterests of theinUniversity. Any feeat UofT.tion, I’mand a three-time elected member of opportuni 1. Advocate the decrease student tuition University of Toronto strong background in studentScarborough) leadership makes mefaith

ties. twice-elected That’s not all Itocare aboutI’m though -- your vision interestto be advanced while in office will be NCSC, and UTSU. proud well suited to the position. Through leadership roles,interests is my so please don’t hesitate to contact m 2. Continue the constituents fight for International status including my current that of my and none ofStudent my of fighting forvision, students’ representation and inMohammad Amin role as Male Head of Collegesolely at any time about absolutely anything. within Governing Council atTrust, Trinity College, leadership, I have hadresults. myriadMOHAMopportunitiesown. creased transparency. I intend to keep fighting dedication, to work with students, faculty, alumni, campus ad- 3. Advocate for additional resource support for campus www.votelawrence.com for these and can promise that I will be fully MAD AMINand forGoverning GoverningCouncil Council.toImake am here ministrators, policy groups to this role, if elected. Please conto voice your on issues that are Let Cheung me become the governor that represents you.committed Vote Full-Time decisions and concerns create positive change in imporareas likeLucy Undergraduate Students, for aware me. that many students feel a tad bit ne- sider voting for Nicholas Grant. tant to representation, you. Introducing betterand co-op opportunistudent equity, residence admis-I am Constituency II (Professional Faculties) sions. Thus, I believe have the skills,makes knowledge, ties, ensuring that theIadministration the glected by the university. By this I mean that and enthusiasm necessary to be an excellent Student right decisions that act in our best interests and students always seem to get the short end of the Austin Han Faizan Akbani Kristian Koschany Governor. I would sincerely appreciate your vote.stick. Hello everyone. hopeCEO you’re allvoloff to a grea Like during the CUPE strike,I when stuAustin Han is the founderI and of the strengthening the bond between our three camMy name is Kristian Koschany. am an undergraduhttp://connoranearforgoverningcouncil.wordpress. new year and have an exciting semester ahead. I dents went weeks without grades. Or that psyunteer organization Toronto First Aid Network puses are matters that I will passionately pursue. ate student of geophysics at the St. George campus and com/ my utmost to serve as the Mechani an ardenthealth supporter of are thenot University of and Toronto a was issues addressed and– the President of thepleasure University of Toronto I am a born leader. I have an outstanding history chological cal representative on the Engineering Society thi place very dear to my heart. The university is a secprocessed in a timely manner. All these issues First Aid Society. As a former City Youth Counof accomplishments at various UTM and UofT Dalal Badawi year. Being a part of EngSoc provided me with ond, first, home so manysolutions of us students; As a Political Science student, I look at the worldcan be or resolved withtoefficient and a it fosters cillor ofaToronto a Toronto District School we fac organizations. Elect me as your representative deeper and understanding of the problems friendships through social interaction and community, it and hopehighest to one decision day be able to change the bet-dedicated student who speaks out for all stuBoard Trustee candidate, he is working hard to at the making bodyitatforUofT. as students. It has also been an incredible experi ter. Since the beginning of my university career, I builds knowledge through its world-class education, and ence in governance. But now it’s time for change dents at U of T. I am that student, for I am not represent the interest of all students. Currently Mohammad Amin, your voice at the Governing makes us tougher with its (sometimes intense) difficulty. have balanced my job, my involvement in University time to expand represent th to to defend the students at U ofinstitution T. Vote bystudying Computer Scienceour andhorizons Humanand BiolCouncil.affairs, www.facebook.com/Amin4GC I want give back to this amazing serv- It’s College volunteering and my education. I amafraid body on a at larger ing Cheung on its Governing Council. Please elect me and for measurable change. ogylet as astudent 3rd year student the platform. UniversityI’m of excited to courageous and confident in my decisions in thoseLucy work with fellow student leaders and the Govern areas and Attaran I carefully consider their implications me do just that. Toronto,ing he Council would like to act as your represenBamdad to mould a brighter future. before making them. I try toisbeconsidered very conscious tative in the Governing Council. Visit http:// The University of Toronto to be ofJanessa Duran Marc Marlo Laurin how students at University of Toronto and amJanessa Vikki Bekiaris Duran is a second year student special- gc.austinhan.ca for more information. Canada’s bestfeel University in terms of research now hoping to use to my determination, courage and The University of Toronto is Canada’s oldest, largest, As an active fourth year student in the Concurren izing in Peace, Conflict, and Justice Studies and and education. Though it is truly evident that and highest ranked university. Therefore it is no simple empathy to represent my fellow students in the GovTeachers’ task of in upholding reputation, delivering Computerour Science. She grew up in superior Dominick Han Program for Kinesiology and Physica many students the university are not pleased minoring erning Council.ofURL: https://www.facebook.com/ Education, I will be a strong voice for profes education and alsobefore ensuring opportunities California moving to Chile for at learning VoteDalalBadawi Hi everyone Dominick Han and I’m an in- As curren .The university has one of lowest student ap- Southern sionalI’m students at Governing Council. personal growth are available to all students, Janessa eventually moved to Toronto to be- regardternational studentoffrom China.Students’ I’m a second proval rates in Canada, due to concerns about 17.and President the Greek Association and less of status, ethnicity, culture, gender, sexual identity Sasha Boutilier studies, Iand thus far, has been published year student double-majoring in Computer Sci- Commit high tuition and a lack of interest in student ginorher former Executive of the KPEUA Social disability. will ensure the interests of all students I am a second year St. Michael’s College student beenand involved in social and academi Woodsworth undergrad journal, ence LifeI have Sciences, I’m running for the wellbeing. The governing student council has inin are represented College’s when advocating on the issues that af-andtee, specializing in Political Science. I am involved aspects of the student experience. IFirst want to ensur Vox, has interned at the US Consulate General, Full-Time Undergraduate Student seat. the potential to transform the university’s polifect us. I seek to engage the community and promote numerous campus organizations and lead the club professional students have access to more in positive changeas through involvement, awareness andin that was chosen Ulife’s new member of the time the history that, us, international stucies. Vote Bamdad Attaran, it’s timeplan for forand AFTER U offor T, which seeks to help students academic policies including grading and progressive hope isfor that student canareclusive their futures beyond U of T. On Governing Council,year for 2015. action. JanessaMy is running theevery governdents eligible to be on the Governing Counprogress. academic accommodations as well as better acces their educational experience here at the University I will advocate for continued action to address sexualingenjoy council in the hopes that she may become cil, but until now weprograms still havefor lessthose coverage to elective who in want to pur Toronto. violence, forAziz greater institutional support of studentanofactive sueplans, interdisciplinary study.availabilities, On February 9-20 vot member in an operation integral to the insurance less scholarship Ibraheem co-curricular activities and career development, and ROSI.www.facebook.com of Toronto. and it’s VIKKI hard to BEKIARIS just fit in theonCanadian culture. MyUname Aziz and am first a first-year Ridwan Olow for of T istoIbraheem take leadership as Ithe universityUniversity votevikki student myself, I have firstHey my name is Ridwan Olow. I am running for GovAs an international undergraduate student in the Rotman Comin Canada to divest from fossil fuels. With my coerning Council because I believe I am a strong student candidate Victoria I hope we will haveSt.yourPaola Floro hand experience these issues around cammerce program at Wicks, the University of Toronto, Mathiasabout Memmel voice. have fought for student onconmany levels, support in representing your interests. URL: https:// I have workedrights hard in pus and As I will try my best to of address and solve George Campus. I have a strong background in Since the Ibeginning, the Co-President the Faculty of Music Un and I am ready for the challenge. I invite you to give me www.facebook.com/events/425024714320997 positively to UofT and to the overall your problems. http://dominick-han.com youth and student governance, including service tributing dergraduate Association, I’ve had the pleasure o your voice. Vote Ridwan. meeting students from all colleges and discipline on the Chawla City Youth Council of Toronto as a Ju- student experience. As First Year RepresentaAditya and I’ve had the privilege of working with my fel at Loretto College, I developed leadership Sasha Henry niorname Councillor andChawla, as a member of the Student Victoria Wicks My is Aditya and I am delighted to betive low leaders on issues relating to equity, disclosur As former Editor at The Varsity, learnedAssociate from myComment peers and ultimately Vote SASHA HENRY for Governing Council! Activityfor Council at my high school. am dedi-un-skills, running the Governing Council as aI full-time and accountability over the last three years. I’v I’m knowledgeable of various student interests and am dergraduate student at the St. George campus. English and Caribbean Stud-and Scienc cated to providing a strong, professional voiceTwobecame a voice for first year St. Michael’s stu- As a fourth-year been a student of the Faculty of Arts committed to an equitable, accessible learning environyears ago, I entered this university in appreciation Similarly, my current role as Events Diies student, and as an Executive of the Black for students at the University of Toronto and dents. and a Professional Faculty and I can say that th ment. This means I’ll advocate for 1) more transparent, for its vivid history and esteemed international stat-rector Professional Faculties are a unique experience a for the Spanish Student Organization has onStudents’ Association, I have been active in am committed to ensuring all students received meaningful action to combat sexual violence camure. During my time here, I have had the privilege of U of Tand thatacross is worthy of preservation. As a repre allowed me to gain experience in budgeting, and New College the University in supmaximum benefit individual university experipus; 2) increased institutional and financial support of working with many students who work exceptionally I willbuilding be resolved to provide students’ development; and 3) ensuring ofcareer various social and academic events.a sustainporting sentative, students and community. Asactive stew ences. https://www.linkedin.com/in/ibraheemhard to foster an enriching academic community. Weplanning ardship and advocacy for the benefit of Pro-Facs. able campus, via fossil fuel divestment. I would also will face many challenges and big decisions this new I am hard-working and determined. If elected as a Governor, I want to address the quality and aziz-b947bb67 creategovernor, an interactive media account, to encourage year, and so I will strive to keep the best interests ofstudent I willsocial use my acquired experiaccessibility of education for students on all accountability and keep students involved in the deciundergraduate students in mind. ence and commit to being the voice for all stuthree sion making process. I hope my co-candidate Sasha andcampuses of the University. I will work to URL: www.adityachawla.me dents. you. support. lower tuition fees, improve mental health serI willThank have your http://tiny.cc/VicAndSasha4GC vices and academic accommodations, and challenge systemic racism and other forms of op-


pression within the institution. From February 8-19, 2016, vote SASHA HENRY for Governing Council. Luke Jeagal Our university, while great, is far from perfect. In the past few years, students have seen various issues and grievances surface, and actions being taken without our concerns heard, many of which have long been recurring. I am speaking specifically about the University’s handling of last winter’s strike of CUPE 3902 Units 1 and 3 (“TA strike”); the administration’s refusal to divest from fossil fuels; enormous, disconnected Convocation Hall classes; and continuing tuition hikes among others. We would also benefit from more comprehensive services in mental health and support for sexual assault cases on campus. Vote Luke Jeagal for accountability. Marianne Alice Kalacynski My desire to be involved in and contribute to the University of Toronto prompted me to stand for election for the 2016 Governing Council. Because we spend four years of our lives within this community, I’d like to be a part of this opportunity that allows for students to have some say in what occurs. As an attentive, detailed, involved, outgoing, and concerned individual, I believe I’d positively contribute to the 2016 Governing Council if elected. Currently, I’m a first year with St Michael’s College, and I intend to double major in the humanities to one day become a teacher. http://kalaczyn.wix.com/ personal Anntara Khan My name is Anntara Khan, I am a first year student and am running as a member of constituency one (department of art-sci). I represent many qualities such as honesty, perseverance, attentiveness, dedication, leadership, and discipline. I have previous experience in student body government as a member of Student’s Council in high school. Among my other experiences through which I have developed valuable skills such as organization, communication and flexibility are, Editor of School Newspaper, Student Council Liaison for Prom Committee and Girl’s Rugby Team. If I am elected I will try my best to make this university proud. Daniel Kim Addressing the increasing prevalence of mental health issues among students is key to my candidacy. At U of T, I am an active member of Students for Barrier-Free Access and a Peer Mentor with the English Language Learning program. I also have over 7 years of experience as a public worker at the Toronto Public Library. As a candidate for Toronto School Board Trustee in the 2014 municipal election, I gained insight from residents into student needs. With a strong track record in public service and experience with leadership, planning, organizing and problem solving, I want to become your advocate.

Marc ‘Marlo’ Laurin The University of Toronto is Canada’s oldest, largest, and highest ranked university. Therefore it is no simple task of upholding our reputation, delivering superior education and ensuring opportunities for learning and growth are available to students. I will ensure the interests of all students are represented when advocating on the issues that affect us. Engaging our community and promoting positive change through involvement, awareness and action is a top priority. My hope is that every student can enjoy and benefit from their educational experience here at the University of Toronto. www.votemarclaurin. com

oped and strengthened through various roles of leadership in high school and internships in a high performance corporate environment. Until recently, international students have not been eligible to vie for governing council positions depriving the university a unique perspective in governance. Given a chance, I will blend my international experience, personal competencies and skills to actively and honestly contribute to the governance of the University. Thanks as you choose to vote. https://www.facebook. com/Mwangi-LK-for-student-Governor1000572636684560/?skip_nax_wizard=true

Pearl Mak Pearl Mak is a third year student specializing in Finance. With a business background, she is trained to incorporate innovation with practical analysis. As the Chief Publications Manager at MESA, she started UTSC’s first business review and injected new branding strategy in creating professional image for the publication. She believes in the power of opinion; that the council represents the voices of different individuals; that being a part of the council means servitude in providing better welfare for students. If change is necessary for students’ development, she hopes to be the initiator.

Abdulla Omari Hello, I am Abdullah Al-Umari, a second year political science student that has served as a Director for the UTMSU, UTSU, and The Varsity Publications through the 2015-2016 term. I am running to promote a reinvestment in the student experience across the three diverse campuses that make up UofT; focusing on Mental Health, Ancillary tuition costs and department based support systems for Arts Science Students. I hope to use the governance model to hold the Administration accountable as I have striven to as a Director, and give the perceptive of a Muslim Student to Governing Council. https://www.facebook.com/GoverningCouncilElection

Eglantina Moglica My name is Eglantina Moglica. I am a second year psychology and neuroscience major seeking your vote in securing a position as a fulltime undergraduate student representative. As an immigrant, sister, part-time employee, and full-time student, I feel well suited in understanding and advocating for the needs of a myriad of the student populace. If elected, particular attention will be given to expanding accessibility for mental health services, minimizing obligatory student fees, improving access to health and dental coverage, and refining communication between executive staff and the student body. Make your vote count by voting Eglantina Moglica into Governing Council.

Danielle Rolfe Danielle is a Full-Time student at the University of Toronto Mississauga campus. On campus, Danielle is the Internal Associate and Conference Co-Chair for the UTM Undergraduate Economics Council (UEC). She is involved with UTMSU as a Clubs and Societies Auditor and a member of the Women’s Ice Hockey Team at UTM. She is interested in providing guidance on the University’s long term goals, based on the needs and desires of the student body in order to enhance the academic, social, and financial qualities of the students of UofT. Ms. Rolfe is in her second year pursuing her studies in Economics https://ca.linkedin.com/ in/daniellerolfe

Fatima Mohamed My name is Fatima and I’m in my third year and studying Political Science and History. If elected as a member of the governing council, I will work to mend the relationship between all u of t campuses. I will lobby for the implementation of an indigenous peoples’ course as well an equity (social justice) course and recognizing their importance to the institution. I also advocated for mental health awareness and expansion of resources available to students. I hope to make a difference with your vote and achieve lasting change. Thank you for your time.

Bingchen (Tony) Shan I am a third-year student, at the department of statistics. Over the past two years, I have taken on leadership roles in student clubs and other extracurricular activities. From first-hand experiences, I understand how uneasy it can be to transition into university from high school for both local and international students. I am running for governing council striving to improve our experiences on campus. Relying on my leadership skills and personal experiences, I would like to represent my fellow students on university matters, as an undergraduate student, undergraduate TA, and summer-time researcher.

Laban Mwangi I am an international student in the Faculty of Arts and Science seeking to major in Computer Science and Physics. I possess strong analytical, organizational and leadership skills devel-

Daman Singh Hey UofT! I’m Daman Singh and I want to improve your university experience. I currently sit on both the UC Lit and the UTSU’s Board of


Directors and use these positions to try to make the undergraduate experience for students as strong as it can possibly be. I want to help build on UofT’s world-class prestige while making sure that the university commits itself to fair and equitable policies for its students. Together, we can push for a stronger university, with fairer class sizes, better mental health resources, lower tuition, more opportunities for career development and much more. URL: http://damansingh. com/ Mike Dequan Tian My name is Mike Dequan Tian. I am an international student from China. I have been to Canada for almost 5 years. International students always pay approximately 5 times more than Canadian students for tuition. However, we never had any voice or representations in the Governing Council previously since holding the Canadian Citizenship was a requirement of nomination until this year. We are the minority of this university who has always held less rights and ignored by the Governing Council. As a member of this minority group, I think it is time to bring our voice in! Catherine Tu When asked to describe herself with one word, Catherine responded with “unconventional.” Growing up with limited resources around her, Catherine always managed to find creative solutions for everything. Currently studying commerce, Catherine hopes to become an influential businesswoman, and by sharing her story, encourage those who are struggling to never give up. As an outside-of-the-box thinker Catherine can’t wait to start illuminating new ideas, and coming up with innovative methods that will make every student and staff member even more proud to be part of the University of Toronto. Anif Wasif HELLO UofT! This is Anil Wasif and I wish to make UofT an even greater place for all. As an international student I feared running for such an honor, but Canadian values have convinced me to do so. My vision is looking through your eyes in order to advocate for lower food prices on campus, increased student employment across departments and a first year grade recovery scheme. Small but crucial changes, this is not all, I am always available for anything that you wish to share with me. I want to be your voice, your choice. Elect me at www.wasifforgovernor.com‎ Gordon Xiong Being a governing council member is not to make any administration decision, but to review, assess and deliberate any matters brought up by the administration staff. Therefore, I will not promise anything specific to be done, because it is simply not part of the job. However, I am standing for my strong perspective on improving academic environment and alumni network for current students. And also, I will put

in my best effort to make final exam grading details available through Crowdmark, with personal connection built in the governing council. Contact me anytime at gordon.xiong@mail.utoronto.ca. Our voices can be heard. Peter Zhang Hi my name is Peter Zhang and I’m a third year immunology and health & disease student at the University of Toronto St. George campus at New College. I am happy to announce that I am running for the Governing Council and I want to talk a bit about my experiences. I am currently serving on the NCSC as a Social Director and on the UTSU on its board of directors, representing New College. I am excited to be on the campaign trail this year getting to know more people so feel free to ask my questions along the way!

Full-Time Undergraduate Students – Constituency II (Professional Faculties) Farheen Ahmed Farheen Ahmed is a Materials Engineering student with career prospects in sustainability. She is an Operations Coordinator at the nonprofit organization Youth for Humanity and leads the University of Toronto’s Solar Ambassadors team. This past year, she presented to faculty about effectively using technology in courses and reviewed course objectives for a team improving two core first-year Engineering courses. If elected to the Governing Council, she will advocate for lowering tuition fees to affordable levels, reducing international tuition to the domestic tuition level, reducing ancillary fees, improving campus mental health services and strengthening anti-sexual-assault policies. Learn more at farheenfathimaahmed.blogspot. com. Ramz Aziz I am a first year student at the Faculty of Law, and would be honoured to serve as your representative on the Governing Council of the University of Toronto. I previously served in the same capacity on the Board of Governors at Dalhousie University, where I brought a progressive voice to virtually every aspect of university governance, including capital projects, collective bargaining, campus sexual violence, fossil fuel divestment and academic quality. Based on this prior experience, I am confident I will be able to channel your concerns to ensure our university remains an institution of stellar repute and excellence. Raffi Dergalstanian Raffi Dergalstanian is a student of Chemical Engineering, completing his Third Year. He is serving as the Chief Returning Officer for the Engineering Society, and is also one of the three Engineering Reps for the UTSU. His experience in representing and serving students will

prove to be a valuable asset when discussing and voting on issues such as: reviewing policies, placement of fees and financial relief. As an Engineer, he will approach problems with the most efficient solution and provide the best service to students. Aidan Fishman Between work, fun and maintaining your GPA, do you ever feel like a fish out of water? If so, Aidan Fishman is your candidate! I’m running for re-election to Governing Council because I believe that students in professional faculties like engineering, law and music need a strong, experienced representative looking out for our interests. As an undergraduate member, I fought successfully to expand campus wi-fi access and hold fee-collecting groups accountable to students. We can’t stop now – please send me back to push for a better university, Every school (of fish) need its leader – vote the Fish for Governing Council! Jorge May My journey at the University of Toronto has thus far been fruitful and diverse. As a student at the Faculty of Music, training to be a teacher, I recognize the importance of specialized subjects and professional faculties university wide. If elected, I will strive to support the needs of my constituents, using my experiences and skills already gained through serving my fellow students in a range of capacities across the St George Campus in various student societies. This university needs a voice that recognizes the difference of studying as a professional faculty student. I will be that voice. Tyler Weil Fellow students, in the past five semesters I have seen this school grow. Once just a launch pad for our future endeavours, it is now home to me. As an active member of the Engineering and New College communities, I love seeing the efforts of engaging students go the distance and contribute to change. My experience includes managing a student-run café, serving on the Engineering Society and New College Residence Council, and head leading in the 2015 F!rosh Week. A vote for Tyler is a vote for commitment toward bettering our home’s policies.

Part-Time Undergraduate Students Susan Froom As a mature student in philosophy and political science, I know part-time students need lower tuition fees, more bursaries, childcare, more accessibility, evening courses and student services. I’ve advocated for these and more as an executive of the Association of Part-time Undergraduate Students, on University-wide committees like Council on Student Services, Hart House Board of Stewards and Governing Council, where I serve on Executive Committee, and University Affairs Board. I have expe-


rience lobbying through provincial and national student groups. For a student advocate with experience, skill, and commitment on Governing Council, vote SUSAN FROOM Feb 8-19 at voting.utoronto.ca www.facebook.com/froom4GC Billy Graydon Billy Graydon is a student of Computer Engineering, completing his Professional Experience Year. He has served on the faculty’s Academic Appeals Board, and is currently the Speaker of the Engineering Society Board of Directors. Vying for one of only six undergraduate positions on a council 50 strong, he will be a strong voice for undergraduate issues: financial relief, making policies friendlier to part-time and PEY students and re-directing fees away from corrupt student unions. A staunch denouncer of political correctness, he will approach matters head-on to ensure that undergraduate students get the fullest out of their representation on Governing Council. http://uoft.me/votegraydon Amir Hossein Moazzami My name is Amir Hossein Moazzami, I have served as Vice President representing Part-Time students for 3 years; introducing a Mature Students Orientation, a transit pass for Part-Time Students (UTM) and support programs for Student Parents. I have studied under several programs, and feel I can represent the interests of my constituents from their diverse backgrounds and fields of study to Governing Council as the role of Part-Time students grows at UofT. My experience with Students Unions has made me accustomed to handling input and ensure all opinions are valued; a quality I intend to bring to UofT Governing Council.

Graduate Students, Constituency I (Humanities and Social Sciences) Alla Babushkina I am in my 6th year of a Ph.D. program at the Centre for Medieval Studies, and I have been involved in representing the members of my department to CUPE 3902 as a steward for the past three years. I’m deeply troubled by the financial position we find ourselves in as graduate students and workers when cost of living goes up every year while our funding does not keep up with inflation. If elected, I will use my voice and position to question this status quo at every opportunity. This February, please vote Alla as your Constituency I candidate. www.facebook. com/alla4gc Elizabeth R. Bernath Elizabeth Bernath studies in the School of Graduate Studies I-II, and aims to represent divisional constituents from her previous experience in university leadership. At present, she holds the position of Vice-President, Graduate Student Caucus, Association of Canadian College and University Teachers of English. In this capacity, she liaises with graduate association representa-

tives and administrators in each department of English in Canada. As well, for five years, she has served as President, Tenants’ Executive, for the University of Toronto, St. George, Charles Street family residence, representing over 700 households, and serving as a member of the Student Family Housing Advisory Board. Gabriel Boulianne Gobeil Academically, Political Science doctoral student Gabriel Boulianne Gobeil explores the ramifications of artificial intelligence on war, seeking to understand how new technologies can be regulated to benefit actors besides states. Gabriel’s community leadership has been demonstrated as Chief Steward Francophone for the uOttawa Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) 2626; steward for UofT CUPE 3902; and volunteer in the 2015 Canadian federal election. Gabriel reflects judiciously and distinctly on important matters, as he would on those of concern falling within the fiduciary jurisdiction of the Governing Council. As a Graduate Student Member, he will contribute to good governance at UofT. http://bit.ly/1Pf3SUb Christopher Cully As a Master’s student in the Department of Social Justice Education at OISE, I have successfully worked to build community among students, faculty and staff to ensure strong student representation in governance processes. As a student representative on the Graduate Education Council of OISE, I have advocated for the inclusion of a diversity of student voices and perspectives. As your Governor, I will bring together my experiences as a secondary school educator in History, English and Indigenous Studies, and as a graduate student representative to contribute to building a supportive and constructive educational environment at the University of Toronto. Alex Nyikos My main priority as a member of the Governing Council would be to make the body more visible and accessible to students of all backgrounds. It has a huge potential to deliver for us, and could benefit from wider involvement. I support divestment from fossil fuels, and feel that the university can and should adopt more tangible policies to reduce its carbon footprint and promote sustainability on campus. As an undergraduate at New York University Abu Dhabi, I served as Treasurer and Vice President of the student body, and accomplished major curriculum changes and student life improvements in those positions. Annastasia Oraegbunem Annastasia Oraegbunem is a Virgo-born three years earlier in 1990’s, an energetic mother of three children whilst holding a Bachelor of Science in Education – Biology from the University of Nigeria Nsukka in ninth year of the 21st century with over three years’ experience

in teaching. Participated as a Registrar for the Mothers’ Day campaign for Breast Cancer Society of Canada, in 2015. Currently enrolled in a Master of Education, Educational Leadership and Policy at the University of Toronto. Thus, got involved in LHAE-Departmental Student Association executives and Graduate Student Research Conference Planning Committee for 2016. For more about me click https://twitter. com/IamAnydos Bogdan Smarandache My name is Bogdan Smarandache and I am a PhD student at the Centre for Medieval Studies (CMS). I am currently serving a third term as student representative for Division I on the Graduate Education Council of SGS and have served as president and secretary of the student committees at CMS. I offer the Governing Council my perspectives on policy and higher education at UofT as informed by my understanding of issues affecting graduate student life, including the effects of the rapid expansion of graduate studies in Ontario and the working conditions and financial pressures faced by student workers.

Graduate Students - Constituency II (Physical and Life Sciences) Christine Moon I want the graduate student’s voice to be heard in a meaningful way at the Governing Council. I am committed to increasing funding, TA opportunities, and mental health supports for graduate students in the sciences. As an undergraduate at Brown University, I was a member of the Sexual Assault Advisory Board, a peer mentor, and a residence don, and have represented the student voice in many ways. Currently I am a student at the Institute of Medical Science, conducting research at Princess Margaret. I committed to my community at UofT, and I am confident in my ability to represent you. Sarah Wheeler The University of Toronto is a breeding ground for excellence and cultivates an international playing field ideal for the progression of knowledge. As such, upon achieving my BSc from U of T in the spring of 2015, the decision to continue my studies at our university, pursuing of an MSc in Physiology, was the obvious choice. Graduate students at U of T are provided with the unparalleled opportunity of studying at Canada’s premier institute for higher education. Through active participation in governance I commit myself to ensuring that this legacy be maintained, and transparency of authority be upheld.

QUESTIONS? Please contact the Chief Returning Officer, Anwar Kazimi at 416978-8427 or anwar.kazimi@utoronto.ca, or the Deputy Returning Officer, Patrick McNeill at 416-978-8428 or patrick.mcneill@ utoronto.ca.



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