Friday, July 31, 2009


"Hey Eva, are you a lesbian?"
It's Scott* again. We're sitting in homeroom, waiting for the teacher to return, and he's asked me the question a billion times.
"Sure Scott!" I yell, letting my sarcastic side do the talking. "That's why I have a GIANT CRUSH ON ROY MUSTANG FROM FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST YOU IDIOT!" My outburst is met by blank stares, with the exception of my friends Jake*, Cameron* Alana*, and Justin*, who laugh and applaud: they all know of my obsession with Roy, and tease me constantly for it.
Scott doesn't get it.
"So you are gay?" he asks, causing me to practically jump through the ceiling as I leap to my feet to retort.
Now everyone's staring.
"You always wear boys clothes though! Why don't you wear some pink?"
"Cuz you're wearing it all!" I growl. It's true: he's wearing a pink t-shirt. My friends laugh, and the conversation ends, but it leaves me confused and hurt.
Why, based solely on my clothing, do people assume I must be homosexual. Why is pink associated with femininity, and why is it so wrong to like people of the same gender anyway?

Society has given us stereotypes of how we're supposed to look, think and feel, but what never seems clear is, well, exactly what is "Society"?
It's easy for murderers to say, "It wasn't my fault, I'm the product of society," but what is society?
Society is us.

We, not some unspecified Other, decided that girls should wear pink, like shopping, and be good at cooking, whereas our male counterparts should wear blue (black, camouflage, etc), like football, and fight wars.
Everywhere, people fight to conform to "societies" norms.

But these norms change all the time!
Before World War II, pink was considered a boy colour, because it was brighter, and therefore stronger, while females were supposed to look delicate and pretty in blue.

Now days, if you're not skinny, you are likely to be jeered at for your size and weight, but in the 1800's, the ideal was to look plump and well fed.

If you go to the beach, you'll see tons of men, women, and even children, flopped out in the sun, intent upon nothing but burning their skin a darker shade, yet looking back a few hundred years, one would find a tan to be a sign of poverty, with all the upperclass doing their best to stay pale.

All these examples prove that our ideals are nothing but constantly changing fads.
This is both disturbing and hopeful.

We have created a world that shuns anyone out of the "ordinary", and idolizes only one type of beauty. We have made a place where who you love can be considered sinful.
But it doesn't have to be that way!

Throughout history, we've proven that a cultural shift isn't only possible, but probable. We don't have to be discriminatory; we can choose to accept everyone.

So don't make excuses about why you won't talk to the transgendered boy in the school cafeteria, or refuse to befriend a lesbian in your workplace. Stop believing that a girl wearing baggy camoflauge pants and a Led Zeppelin t-shirt cannot be straight.
We need to see past our narrowminded beliefs and respect everyone, no matter how they dress, who they love, what their skin colour is, or how much money they earn per hour. It's time to prove that we can do better then our ancestors. It's time to take responsibility for society.



"OMG! Have you seen the new Razor..."
It seems that everywhere I turn, there's a cellphone.
First off, let's get something straight: I'm 13. This fall, I'll start my first year of high school, and yes, I think owning a cellphone could be useful, but why are they the topic of so much conversation?
Cellphones are personal communication devices, but somehow, they've also become the definition of a cool, social teenager. I, as a teen, find this insulting: I don't own a cellphone, and neither do a lot of my friends, but somehow, Sarah's* sleek pink Iphone still manages to be the biggest attention grabber in my grade 8 classroom when she runs into the room on a Wednesday morning, eyes bright with excitement. Even my geeky guy pals take the time to admire the lightning quick Internet services, in favor of discussing our favorite books.
Another example of the power the cellphone has over our society can be found one sleepy day in late April, in the grade 8 core French class.

"...Now, we've been studying various careers for some time, but you all have yet to choose your preference," Chirps the assistant French teacher, "So today you will all take a multiple intelligence quiz, to determine whether you are Logical-Mathematical, Verbal-Linguistic, Visual, Natural, Intra-personal, Interpersonal..." I tune her out. I already know the answer: everything and anything but social.

I take my copy of the test when it comes to me, politely passing the rest of the papers to Scott*, who sits directly behind me.
"When everyone has a paper, you can all start writing. The test is in French, but you may answer in English." The teacher stops talking.
It's my first year in school, so my French is woefully inadequate, but deciphering the meaning is easy enough. The first few questions are very routine: "Your favorite classes are English, History, and French" is obviously for Verbal-Linguistic, and "You like to spend time alone to sort out your thoughts", intra-personal.
But then I reach question number 7, and my pencil freezes in mid air.
"You constantly talk to friends on your cellphone."

"Excuse me," I say, raising my hand as courteously as possible,"I don't have a cellphone, what should I put for question number 7?"

The teacher rolls her eyes. "Just don't check it!" She exclaims, as if this should have been obvious.

The fact that a question on a multiple intelligence would require you to own a cellphone in order to be a social person deeply disturbs me.

As I've already said, I'm not a very social person. I have plenty of friends, but I don't talk to them much outside of school: I've never felt the need, but on the other hand, I have friends like Lily* who spend all their time chatting with friends, but don't own cellphones. Not everyone can afford them, and that doesn't mean they aren't social, or prefer to be alone!

Yet the cellphone has become such an icon of teen popularity, it seems unthinkable even to a middle-school teacher that a 13 year old could enjoy company and conversation without owning a mobile phone.

Cellphones cause cancer, kill bees, and generally, cause misery for anyone who happens to be on public transit during someone elses loudmouthed conversation (That's another story), and now they give you a multiple intelligence quiz that says you cannot succeed in any career involving people skills, solely based on the fact that, for whatever reason, you don't own a Samsung.

I as a teenager, wish to reserve the right to live in a world where I am not associated with a small hunk of plastic and metal.

I don't believe that people don't have the right to use cellphones, I'm just saying that I want the right not to.

Thanks for listening to my rants,


*For the sake of my friends' privacy, I've changed everyones names.
Also, no copyright infringement intended in the use of product names. I was just using them to make a point!

Pro Choice

On March 10th, 2009, I opened my gmail account, sighing as I saw the 50 plus emails from friends I had yet to respond to. Idly, I opened one from a e-pal of mine, who, for privacy, I will call Marie. The email was a forward with the title

FW: Red Envelope Day, no, it's not Feb, 14th, It's March 31st

This was what I found upon reading it:

March 31st, 2009

Get a red envelope. You can buy them at Kinkos, Staples, or at party supply stores. On the front, address it to

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington , D.C. 20500

On the back, write the following message.

This envelope represents one child who died because of an abortion.
It is empty because the life that was taken is now unable to be a part of our world.

We will mail the envelopes out March 31st, 2009.

Put it in the mail, and send it. Then forward this event to every one of your friends who you think would send one too. I wish we could send 50 million red envelopes, one for every child who died [in the U.S. ] before having a chance to live.

It may seem that those who believe abortion is wrong are in a minority. It may seem like we have no voice and it's shameful to even bring it up. Let us show our President and the world that the voices of those of us who do not believe abortion is acceptable are not silent and must be heard.

Together we can change the heart of The President and save the lives of millions of children.

Marie is a born and bred Catholic. She is also 13 years old. Already, she has an ingrained belief that abortion is evil in its truest form, and that anyone to receive an abortion is committing the most terrible sin.
Personally, I don't think she had the right to decide such things: it's easy for people living with all the privileges and protection of an upper-class Western lifestyle to condemn other women for choosing not to give birth, but is it fair?
Sure, a lot of people get pregnant because of carelessness, but many others are raped. Should the victims of sexual assault be denied the right to abort, based on a snobbish value system?
More then our clothing, language, history, architecture and art, the thing that makes humans different from all other life on earth is our ability to
make our own choices, and sometimes-many times-that includes the freedom to make the wrong ones. Choice is a beautiful and terrible thing, and we as a species usually use it to destroy, but that doesn't mean we should give up thinking and share a brain!

So maybe abortion is wrong, but that doesn't give Marie the right to decide that for the world.
Safe abortion should be an option given to
all women, everywhere in the world. Until that becomes a reality, how can we boast about freedom?
Please; before you condemn someone for their choices, try to think
What would I do in their place? And forgive them.

Thanks for reading my first ever blog post.