Tag Archives: feminism

We Still Need A Room Of Our Own Virginia

“A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.”

-Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own

Last night as I walked in the door, kicked off my old boots, and collapsed onto the couch at 8 pm still clutching a large black bag to my chest with rain-soaked hair and coat my son looked at me like I was a creature from the mist. Lately, my days are calculated by what deadline is looming, ticking off the number of hours to accomplish said project, with not a single social outing on the calendar until the end of November. In the midst of my sprinting towards the finish line of these projects since last February (when I started my business full-time), an interesting shift has happened in the interior spaces of my mind and well, I suppose my heart too.

I’ve stopped thinking of men entirely and it is quite wonderful. I realize, when I had more time, I day dreamed a lot about them. They took up huge residence in my brain. If I likened it to a house, they would have had the living room, dining room, upstairs bedroom (for sure the biggest one) and of course some man-cave space in the basement. I shared my house with ghosts of men who weren’t actually living there, a sort of spooky real-estate deal that left the culture of my life devoid of my own true self.

Yesterday I decided step more fully into my own life, and owned it as it had always wanted to be owned.

The fact is, for years I have been running around in crappy Zeller’s boots, always cringing when I put them on, feeling bad about my life as I wore them, ashamed of my single-mother status (read: poor), and thinking, next year, next year, I’ll get a really good quality pair of boots. As I walked to the Skytrain station after a long day of a Transmedia conference, I passed by a gorgeous shop called Modern Vintage (couldn’t find a site for them but they sell on Shopbop). I saw a little hand drawn sign that said ‘hand-made’ hanging on the door. Yes. Let’s get hand-made instead of Zellers.

I wandered the shop. Everything was incredibly expensive but…beautifully, lovingly made. I found a pair of boots and tried them on. They fit perfectly and felt like expensive, hand-made shoes should feel: delicious, sexy, special.

A voice in my head whispered: Be who you want to be now.

Silence. I looked at them in the mirror and remembered where I was last year, and thought about where I was now.

I realized in that moment that I was being who I wanted to be: an entrepreneur creating art, writing, making money, living in an urban setting. What was missing? A boyfriend? Yes, I suppose. but suddenly it wasn’t on my list anymore of being who I wanted to be. It was time to buy the boots. They were who I was now.

I’m eternally grateful to my last relationship because if I hadn’t had that experience, I think I would still have other people living in my psychological house. Don’t get me wrong, my head still turns when I smell certain cologne’s pass by me, but my desire is on building my own house, with a room where I can write, and decide what happens inside that space and perhaps more importantly, what doesn’t happen in that space.

The door is closed at the moment to relationships, but I know the right person for me would find a creative way in. For now, I’ll be walking a little more confidently (and comfortably) in these beauties.

Triple stitched, custom detailed, embossed sole, soft as cashmere. I’ll wear them forever.


Filed under Non-fiction, Transmedia

One Lovely blog award, what Jack and Ashton know, and the pleasure of ageless dating

I was nominated by a lovely blogger by the name of Ted DesMaisons (read now, follow, be inspired) and this experience is entirely new to me but apparently I’m now to say 7 things about myself and suggest some bloggers for you to check out, which is in fact, the best part of this little award. Thank you Ted!

7 random things about me:

1. I prefer old, rickety wood roller coasters.

2. I find it hard to leave a hotel room once I’m in it.

3. A good dinner companion is one who is as interesting during the appetizer as they are at dessert.

4. I believe if theatre keeps dying city by city we’re really, as in *really*, going to be in trouble.

5. I jumped off my roof when I was 4 anticipating that Michael the Archangel would show up. He did not.

6. I wrote 72 haiku’s for a haiku assignment in grade 2; Mrs. Sutherland said gently, this is wonderful dear, but do you mind if I only choose only one for the haiku board?

7. I never dreamt of a white picket fence; I dreamt of a closet full of fashion dreams that I could step into every day. I still do. Dream. Of that closet. One day.

Great people, great blogs, just click on them and dive into their world:

Sarah Petrescu  writer, journalist

RadJuli entrepreneur, creator, leather designer

Tess Wixted amazing writer, editor, all around inspiring woman

Brevity Non-Fiction blog Just good to follow forever if you are a non-fiction writer

MaryLou Wakefield Story That Matters  A favourite storyteller of mine, also, a story hunter, writer

Solitary Wanderer great solo travel blog

Granace Doré Genuis fashion/life blogger. J’adore!

The Sartorialist This is Granace’s partner, and wonderful inspiring photography blog

Vancouver Writing Jobs Heidi rocks, she is my local hero.

So, I had a post planned but it will get too long and onerous if I tack it onto this one but I just have to say a few words about a link that somehow slithered across my Hootsuite at one point this week and made me pause. It was written by Kevin Williamson and is titled ‘Like a Boss‘. I supposed I clicked on it thinking it was some entrepreneurial advice. Wow! No, nope, nada, that is certainly not what it is. Please don’t blame me if you feel like you just got punched in the face when you read it. I was really surprised to only see 23 comments on this blog. Actually, that is hopeful–people obviously realized how demented it was and moved on. The part I find a bit head-scratching is when he says: “The Demi Moore–Ashton Kutcher model is an exception–the only 40-year-old woman Jack Nicholson has ever seen naked is Kathy Bates…Age is cruel to women, and subordination is cruel to men.”

I can tell you that the Demi-Ashton thing is not only pretty common, it will get more so as women marry less, have fewer children, invest well, and build business’ that support their lifestyles. Poor Kevin. He’s obviously never had the luxury as a young man of being with an older woman. And also, for the record, Jack has seen lots of 40 year old’s in bed–Diane Keaton as just one example, they’re very good neighbours apparently. Wink, wink. I imagine Jack is enlightened enough to look for someone he can spend an evening with both intellectually and physically which may come as a surprise to Kevin that it is even possible with the other sex.

Wait, I have to pause to make some home-made jam, iron my man’s socks, and count money.

Age is not just cruel to women I’m afraid dear Kevin. It’s terribly cruel to men too. Gray ear hair, fading testosterone, Andropause, sagging bits, distended bellies, long eyebrow hair, softly wrinkled under eye bags, silver back hair, you get the picture. And subordination is very fun for some men, except for those that have small, er, egos, then those types really get their back up over a powerful woman doing well, anything. Kevin Williamson, you need to settle down, we democratic women-folk aren’t going to hog-tie you at a woman’s centre! Sheesh.

Or on second thought, maybe we should, just for kicks.

I recently had a date with a young man and I can assure you he did not feel the same way as this writer about older women, in fact, quite the opposite. It is so refreshing to embrace as much of your strength as you want when you are with a younger man; why this appeals is because they realize it isn’t about their ‘subjugation’, it’s about playing with the entire deck of cards versus just the ones marked ‘misogynist’, ‘narrow-minded’, ‘rigid’, and ‘controlling’. I think the irony in Kevin’s comment on ‘what women want’ is that Jack and Ashton are entirely the same kind of guy in that they have sought out women who made them feel powerful and loved and passionate. Age is never a barometer of success but intelligence is. Classy men beget classy women and no age difference need be mentioned.

I for sure am keeping mum about it.


Filed under Non-fiction

Cinderella Revisited

When I was finishing my directing degree at the Phoenix Theatre, I was short a few electives and had to take some basket weaving courses during the summer. It was great. Here I was, preparing for a Fringe show, drinking wine on the beach, having BBQ’s, running around on the back of my friend’s Moped and being 23 years old with only a few courses left in my degree.

The problem was, there weren’t any basket weaving available. So, I took a women’s study course and a classical music appreciation course. I guessed they’d be pretty easy after doing a 4th year directing project.

What I didn’t bargain for in the women’s study course was how it would change my life. I’d grown up with ten men in a traditional, partriarchal model and as I studied women’s feminist writings and listened to my instructor talk about Virginia Woolf and the importance of having a ‘room of one’s own’ I began to see a different perspective. It was like I woke up from a long sleep. Where in god’s name had I been all this time? This was serious $%#@!

I jettisoned girly girl fables, stories, dreams. I said, fuck Cinderella, fuck Snow White, fuck being a wife! I burned my bra, my future white dress, my rehearsal dinner, my cake….my husband.

That was 20 years ago.

A lot has happened. A lot has changed. Do I want all that fluffy bouffant girly stuff? Not really. But I do realize that not allowing anyone in so I could be someone Gloria Steinem would be proud of is maybe not serving me anymore. When I read that Gloria married at the age of 66 I was kind of blown away. But I loved what she said in an interview, when asked about this ‘change of heart’:

It was something about me. I think. First of all, I was 66 years old. I was who I was. I no longer felt that I would have to give myself up in any way.

I love this.

I no longer felt I would have to give myself up in any way. 

Ah. That is it really. That was what I think I was always afraid of, fought for, held onto in my life–that desire to not have to give myself up, my writing, my art, my essential voice.

I know finally, and really understand, what Gloria is talking about. It’s softened me up a little, taken down those unwieldy walls I’d constructed around me to keep out those fables, bows, and glass slippers.

And when I did, lo and behold, it wasn’t so bad! They’re sweet, some of those stories, and they’re not evil, and they have some adorable moments. It doesn’t mean I believe in the idea that women need ‘saving’ or carriages that turn into pumpkins at midnight. But I kind of like the Cinderella story, and you know, I would re-write it to be a girl that didn’t have much money but worked her ass off, was able to support herself, and then met a really great guy and she no longer felt she would have to give herself up in any way. 

Maybe they met in a bar instead of a ball. The point is, Gloria was ready for an equal partnership, and maybe Cindrella in my story would be too, and wouldn’t have to be saved, but rather ‘discovered’ for all of her power, and all of her weakness, faults, and foibles and still loved. That is no fable–it’s partnership.

When asked, why, after 50 years of being single and dating and all of that, would she get married? She said it was because her and David Bale ‘both felt that we wanted to be responsible for each other’.

Isn’t that lovely? So maybe Cinderella and her Prince would be responsible for each other. Lucky Prince I say.


Filed under Memoir, Non-fiction