Podcasts

PODCAST: Cherry Smiley on Indigenous feminism, colonial violence and the sex industry

In this episode we hear a talk by Cherry Smiley. The talk is part of a series on Indigenous Feminism, put on by the First Nations Student Association at Simon Fraser University. Cherry is a front line anti-violence worker, an accomplished artist, activist, and public speaker. She is a co-founder of Indigenous Women Against the Sex Industry and was the recipient of a 2013 Governor General’s Award in Commemoration of the Person’s Case. Cherry is currently completing a Masters of Fine Arts degree, her art practice is one that is deeply passionate and inherently political, grounded in her experiences as an Indigenous woman, radical feminist theory, and in the teachings handed down to her by her Elders. This year, she exhibited Revolution Songs, an installation that focused on the...
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It’s not about you: Beyond ‘kink-shaming’

Let’s just start by saying this: I really don’t care about ‘kink’ or about ‘kinky people’. It just doesn’t interest me. I don’t give a shit about your leather fetish. Really. But because I recently dared to suggest that RCMP officer Jim Brown’s sadomasochistic behaviour might, just might, be related to the fact that we live in a pornified world that sexualizes violence against women and male domination, it was decided by the internet (and the internet never lies, folks) that I hated ‘kinky sex’/’kinky people’, that I simply don’t know enough about BDSM to be qualified to judge images that are very clearly fetishizing male domination, and that I think all people who are into BDSM are terrible, terrible people. Basically, the response I got was exactly the...
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Why does the left want prostitution to be ‘a job like any other’?

The go-to perspective on prostitution from many progressives in Canada these days seems to be a fairly hard and fast vote for decriminalization or legalization. Even many of our beloved East Vancouver lefties  seem convinced that the most progressive position to take is one of ‘sex as work’, arguing that debates around prostitution should prioritize labour rights, allowing women to come out from the underground and ‘into the light’ as free and autonomous workers. The gaps in this logic are all at once complex and simple. While I have long been a supporter of labour rights, of unions, and have counted myself as a fighting member of the working class who has waivered somewhere between socialism and Marxism from the moment I understood the concept of class struggle, I’ve...
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I don't want to silence anyone, I just refuse to hear you: Pamela Masik's (continued) silencing of Aboriginal Women's Groups

Just a quick update to elaborate on my post, written back in October, around the controversy surrounding Pamela Masik’s ‘The Forgotten’ in light of the recent cancellation of her exhibit by The Museum of Anthropology. Regardless of the fact that Masik most certainly is aware of who it is that has opposed the exhibition and why it is that ‘The Forgotten’ and Masik is receiving this criticism, she went on CBC’s As It Happens this morning (listen to part 3 here) and denied having any knowledge of where these criticisms and protests are coming from; completely erasing those she claims she wants ‘no longer to be silenced’. She believes that the canceling of the exhibition represents society’s continued marginalization and silencing of Aboriginal women and yet refuses to acknowledge...
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Breaking news! White lady’s voice hijacked by women from the DTES. Why won’t they just shut up and let her help them?

I. just. can’t. even. I am a little behind on the news here, so please accept my apologies to those who have already been angry, and have perhaps moved on since then. Just recently this story was relayed to me by a prof, who was actually in attendance at a conference called “Absence, Silence, Action, and Voice in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside” at SFU back in August. A guest speaker at the conference was local artist, Pamela Masik. A woman who, as far as I can tell from her website….loves to look at pictures of herself. So much so that she tends to stick herself right into shots of her artwork. In the most humble of ways. Like right in front of the faces of the women she supposedly intends...
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