Friday, November 06, 2009

The Kids Are Alright

"When you're shameless, you do what you want, how you want, and don't worry about what the neighbours think."
While I was home, I must have bought about thirty magazines. I love magazines about as much as I love chocolate and cheese, and the opportunity to buy so many things that aren't stocked here in Korea or even just the opportunity to not spend $10-15 on them as I usually do, was too hard to pass up. To say my suitcases were not light on the return trip, what with the cans of pumpkin and the books and the magazines and the boxes of chocolates, is putting it mildly.

Two years ago, while searching through the racks at Indigo for Bitch and Bust and Ms (oddly, easier for me to find in Korea because apparently the ESL expats here in Seoul are a fairly lefty-liberal-crunchy crowd), I came across a magazine called Shameless. I read the whole thing and liked it so much that I thought I'd bring it along to Korea and blog about it. If you've guessed that what ended up happening is that I stuck it in a pile of magazines and never touched it again until packing it when I moved, you'd be right.

However, once again I've scored a copy of Shameless. It's sort of like a Canadian Bitch aimed at a high school / university level audience. In this past issue, I learned all about why institutions attempt to ban hoodies (I love my hoodies!), that in Israel women are being edited out of photos in media including election posters, that the Canadian Federal Student association is working on procedures to ban anti-choice groups on campus, all about campus radio and that my alma mater, Queen's University, has a farmer's market now. I've been inspired to look up the music of Big Mama Thorton and the performances of Jess Dobkin and her vagina dentata project. There were articles on being a Pride organizer, DIY, and volunteering abroad.

My two year old copy is just as good. I learned that should I ever end up in Toronto with time on my hands, I should drop by the Clara Thomas Archives at York University to see the collection of 1950s lesbian pulp novels donated by Ruth Sworin. I read about Insight Theater, which performs pieces to teach sex-ed, and a profile on Jenna MacLellan, a student from Sioux Lookout who addresses racism through art. There are always awesome and inspiring job profiles and an advice page and I was introduced to Think Before You Pink - the first time I had really ever put any thought into what it meant to "shop for the cause' and the concept of 100-mile diets. There was an article about rethinking sexual violence from the perspective of resistance, why you shouldn't wear camo and a rant against padded bras. And I have to admit, I was taken in by reading references to the Toronto Public Libraries or Pape Subway Station in the articles - how cool that it's Canadian.

Who wouldn't love a magazine with quotes like these?: "I am not sure how they bottle the smell of summer rain, but your vagina certainly should not smell of summer rain, winter storms, daisies or any other perfumed scent."


Blogger antijen said...

How cool! I'd never heard of this magazine before, but I'm delighted to learn of it. I'll have to see if I can track down a copy next time I'm home.

10:46 PM  

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