A Canadian living and writing in Dublin

Archive for September, 2011

Landed

I’ve arrived in Dublin. Overwhelmed is the only way to describe how I feel. I haven’t slept in over 24 hours, but I’m not tired. I have so much take care of, but I seem to be getting along alright.

I’ve found some people who asked me to live with them, and they’ve got some leads on some houses, so hopefully it works out. It’s a little scary to commit to roommates when you barely even know their names, but I think it will be good.

I feel like I’ve stepped in a time warp. Grafton Street hasn’t changed a bit in the six years since I was here. I’m amazed at how familiar Trinity’s campus feels. Most of the students haven’t arrived yet, so the place is pretty much a tourist zone.

This morning, I hadn’t been in the city five minutes when a guy asked me for directions. At least I look like I belong even if I have no clue what I’m doing.

It’s extremely windy today – I’ve already had to chase my fedora across the quad – but it’s sunny. The drastic temperature drop compared to home makes me wish I’d brought warmer clothes.

I plan to register for classes tomorrow and hopefully we’ll be able to sign a lease. Then I can really start to settle in. Right now I’m just kind of in limbo waiting for my life here to get started.

Let’s Go!

 

Yes Means Yes!

I recently had the pleasure of reading Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power & A World Without Rape. It changed my life. Everyone should read this book.

It’s a collection of essays about rape culture, touching on every topic from racism and incest to female torturers and ideas about masculinity. The spectrum of experiences and perspectives represented are vast, and I think everyone can relate to at least a few of the realities presented.

To paraphrase Latoya Peterson in The Not Rape Epidemic, we all have our own “not rape” story.

Yes Means Yes encourages readers to enthusiastically and shamelessly claim the sexual pleasure they want and deserve without seeking the approval of others. Perceptions of “proper” women’s relationships with sexuality and their bodies are turned on their head in these touching, thought-provoking pieces.

Rather than blaming men or taking them out of the equation altogether, as so much feminist literature is accused of doing, this book embraces males as part of the solution. A few of the essays are even written by men.

Reading this book was like having every conversation I’ve had or article I’ve read about rape culture pushed just beyond what I previously knew to be true and bundled into a neat, easy-to-digest package.

Working to end sexual violence can often feel like a losing battle. Each day, we hear new stories of rape and encounter challenges from closed-minded individuals who don’t want to understand the root of the problem and aren’t willing to unite in making our world safer for everyone.

Books like this remind us that we aren’t alone, and that change, though slow and painful, is possible. Only through successfully challenging accepted attitudes and behaviours toward consent and sexuality will rape culture and sexual violence become things of the past.

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