Editor’s note: Leave the shit behind

We want to celebrate our differences instead of hiding them, and highlight our collective identity during a time when there is so much going on that could trap us in a negative mindset. So, we encourage you to leave the shit behind and embrace your unique identity. By bringing up these diverse topics, we hope to create a place where all gender identities are free to be themselves. Whether you identify as a she, they, straight, gay, anything in between, or an ally who walks alongside, we hope you know that you’re one of us.

Talk feminism to me, daddy!

I had never felt more empowered in my sexuality than when I dabbled in kink—not because it is the only way to be empowered, but because it was something that worked for me. I did, however, feel as though my dominant role was more feminist than my submissive roles. As a female dominant with male submissives, I flipped the typical power distance between cis-men and cis-women. As a submissive, however, I felt empowered, but also like I was upholding a patriarchal standard. As a female dominant with male submissives, I flipped the typical power distance between cis-men and cis-women. As a submissive, however, I felt empowered, but also like I was upholding a patriarchal standard.

Asexuality: Prude and prejudice

My own ace experience includes feeling like I’m constantly out of step with what the rest society thinks. To see if others felt the same incongruence as I did, I ran a small survey. It went to anonymous, mostly asexual respondents, ranging from 16 to 26 years old. Most said that feminists, whether in casual conversation or organized groups, just don’t understand asexuals—or even know that they exist. Feminism as a whole has not outgrown society’s discomfort with aces and in turn, asexuality risks being uncomfortable with feminism.

A journey out of toxic masculinity

Feminism was something we heard about only in passing or read about in a brief textbook excerpt. It didn’t hold much meaning for me; it was an abstract concept, not a concrete ideology. Now, as a high school teacher, I aim to promote independence and encourage the development of young minds—it is hypocritical of me to remain ignorant.

A feminist changes a tire

Granted, now, I really do know how to change a tire and, if I was ever stuck on the side of a highway with a flat—or even in a parkade—I suppose I could do it myself. But maybe I had it right all along: just because I’d rather let my dad—or partner—help me out doesn’t make me a bad feminist, and just becuase I can change a tire doesn’t mean I need to risk dirtying my bedazzled jacket.

Sailor Moon: Gay and feminist icon

In both TV and film, superpowers are usually coded as masculine. However, Sailor Moon and the Sailor Guardians use their femininity to destroy evil. The typically-masculine weapons such as swords and guns are replaced with compacts, wands, tiaras and attacks with names like “Moon Spiral Heart Attack.” There’s no need for them to present themselves as masculine because their power comes from their femininity.

Witchcraft’s new era of feminism

Although mainstream witchcraft seems to revolve around astrology, tarot readings and crystal work, individual witchcraft practices range from cooking to gardening to meditation. Despite historical efforts to frame witchcraft as evil in order to control and oppress women, witchcraft today, reclaimed by feminists and social activists, gives back the voices of people who are continually marginalized and oppressed in society.