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volume sixty-seven, issue 8 february 11, 2022 Masthead Editor's Address ‘managing editor-in-chief Hotlozygotes, ‘ania kell Welcome to the Reproductive Justice Issue. Our editors and ‘content editor-in-chief contributors have handle this ssue's complex topic with ear, Teas huntsman merkur ‘aioe, and humour where appropriate. Read on fer mings fn why and why not to have children in this day and age, treasurer Investigations into the reduction of personhood toa hand of sam swap body parts, and to find ont which contraceptive best matches your personality production manager ‘maya fischmann Your midwives, Linea Huntsman Merkur & Annika Keller copy editor Baitors-in-Chiet 2021/2022 sv billingsey ‘Several pews inthis iste deal with sex and gender base polities Violence. Checkin with yoursef before continuing. The livia cht & nam jag following resources are local suppor ines. Don't hesitate to ‘ach out i you are need joshua bienstock UofT Sexual Violence Prevention & Support Centre — 410-978-2206 opinions ash man & carelle sarkis Assaulted Women's Helpline ~ 1-866-863-0511 arts & culture ‘Support Services for Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse — Iney star tamara milion 1-866-887-0015, avant-garg ‘Trans Life Line ~ 187-456-4966 uwina persaud & maya felsehmann ‘Toronto Rape Crisis Center— Book an appointment with cavers counsellorat 436-597-1171 staff olieeadete alyssa lon isabella persaud ‘yler riches contributors ‘anonymous About us ‘The Gargoyles University College's easiest student newspaper and publishes every two weeks. ‘Weare a paper that believes that sometimes you should be angry, and that sometimes you should ‘be loud, and if you have not hada voice before you deserve a voice. We donot give print space to ‘igo and we do nt feign neutrality on ses of social juste. At tis moment everything in ur ‘office i utilizing preventative bith cont Production bi-weekly on discord (join our server for instant cou)., vmacgargoyleca ‘The anti-natalist argument stems from the past and makes its way into the future. Anti-natalists stipulate that historically, the nuclear family has been a site of injustice that upholds heteropatriarchal ideals. And yes, this is true. ‘Women have been subjugated and oppressed at the hands of their husbands and the state over the institution of marriage. And uncountable people have been denied an opportunity at sapphic or homoerotic romance because of the ideals of white picket fence and two little bat No one will deny that most families today are tainted with institutional shortcomings; itis the conclusion that is drawn from these observations that is contestable. In lieu of the nuclear family, antinatalists advocate for a communal method of child rearing where the ‘community plays a large role in the upbringing of a baby, some going as far to say that the = 8 Babies are not the problem, they’re the product of resistance. ‘There is a troubling strain of thought that I've started to stumble into more and more often in, leftist literature (and yes, by leftist literature I do, ‘mean the insane ramblings of the terminally online immortalized in novella-length twitter threads); that of anti-natalism and a general disdain towards the nuclear family. DEATH TO ‘THE FAMILY! DEATH TO ALL BABIES!! these heathens chant unabashedly. Well, no, not really, Iam just having fun with hyperbole. But they might as well be saying that to my slightly offended self who finds herself frankly confused at these calls to action because 1) I fucking love babies. Baby sightings make my heart implode with so much unadulterated joy that in the moment, I swear would unhesitatingly give up all the privileges feminism has afforded me, abandon my progressive and independent ‘existence and get myself knocked the fuck up with such intent that I could start lactating vicariously (unrelatedly, my boyfriend is alwayss ‘making sure I've taken my birth control). Such is the power of the maternal instinct Iso vehemently deny intellectually and ideologically Secondly, (and more importantly) these beliefs are misguided, marred with misidentification of ‘what the real problem is. It seems to me that an anti-family polities does little to oppose the dominions of oppression we face today and rather, falls right into their spellbinding vision of. an alienated and hopeless future. For the real big, bad e-word is not children (it’s not even cut concept of biological parenthood must be abolished. Ifthe first half of that sentence sounds appealing, it’s because that’s how most children have been raised. In ignoring the role — social and cultural factors play in child rearing, the nuclear family is posited as an insular and divorced unit when its machinations are far from it. The second half of that sentence makes me question who this politics benefits For any movement to truly liberatory and successful, it ‘ust include the masses. And yes, the masses include rural workers who don't know a lick of feminist theory. And to whom itis not the family that is oppressive but the state or their boss or _ the rising inflation, Even with its flaws, the family or marriage is not what it used to be. ‘Women have more autonomy in relationships, several non-traditional models of the family have emerged and while progress is tobe made, itis certainly happening. Not go all Marxism but ths is because our social relations are” reflections of the power structures we are embroiled in. A commune, no matter how idealistic it sounds, will continue to reflect the inequalities that are pervasive in an unideal world. So perhaps it is not the family we must contest but the assemblage of relations that ste it's capital. [Another seemingly rational anti-natalist comes in ight of the future doom of our planet. The more utilitarian ones would argue that babies are more carbon emissions than we can afford while the empathetic retelling says that the crumbling world is not one we should be bringing children into. Such an argument reeks of defeatist absolutism, like climate change is a destined apocalypse sent down from the heavens and not the consequence of our actions. Actions that we can change and should be rallied around. Further, it pushes the myth of individual action; one's personal decision to be childless will do nothing to change the fossil fuel indus fans the flames of capitalism. A baby is the ultimate symbol of hope, a reason to fight for a better future and craft the world we would want tosee them live in. Our lack of interest in children and families is revealing of a lack of interest in our own futures, our lack of belief in ir mere existence. A white flag in the face of spital and climate change, declaring without a fight that you give up and that they win. "The truth is, and I'm not sure if antinatalists have noticed, is we are already not having kids. We are already not entering long-term relationships. Birth rates and marriage rates ywhere have plummeted at concerning rates, And this does not represent an ideologic victory for them, nor does it mean that left-wing values have prevailed. No. Capitalism has only dug its claws deeper into our existence dissolution of the family is prime evidence. It is not radical or revolutionary to oppose tradition simply because it is tradition; for capitalism itself is a progressive force that will /unhesitatingly ossify anything it encounters. Your bosses would like nothing more than you /having no one to go home to, to live like there is Ino future to strive for, to be as austere in your life so you can absorb more of theirs. Increasingly, families (chosen or otherwise) are not spaces of oppression but spaces of stance—a truly rare opportunity to transcend Jour individual and alienated existences. To be a part of zi something meaningful. And t much more aligned with the spirit of radicalism and siekles, but we can resist its stripping influence everyday through family and friendships and lots and lots of baby- making, What to Say When Arguing with a Pro-Lifer _ anonymous ‘The abortion argument has Tong been considered an ‘unwinnabe’ argument Ithas been hotly debated for decades, butt still manages to lave leilative authorities ata crossroads, making people who are able to get pregnant fel ike thei rights are sipping away: Ifyou're Tike me, you're probably sick of easing people debate over Your reproductive rights by whipping vt thet tried-and-true, heavily misogynistic commentary and Ialf-baked rhetoric. In that ease, here's handy ite guide you can use to respond to thee condesce ding Statements (besides the well-deserved castigation, of course). ‘Nope, not even close. Lt’ get this straight Megaizing abortions doesnot prevent abortions it prevents SAFE, Abortions. One in 12 materal deaths ooeurs a8 direct esul funsfe abortions, and every yea, over ve mili people who attempt an unsafe aertion end up with lifelong physical damage. Not ony that, the leading cause of maternal deaths in the United States is homicide (most frequently by an intimate partner). Carrying a baby ean be life-threatening for non-medical reasons. Alf ths aside, people sometimes take for granted just how dtu, Dinu, and dangerous pregnancy i. Globally, 830 people ‘ie ofpregnaney complications every day, and maternal eats inthe US dringand ale dey Rave aly rise since the gos, By legalizing orton, you are asserting to milions of living breathing, contributing members of sockety with friends, families, anda soeal impact, tha their bodies are simply baby ineubators for more important fe forms, that thelr quality of and right to life doesnot mater Banning abortion doesnot save ives it prioritizes celular lifeover viable personhood. Them: “The purpose of sexis procreation. Pregnancy is a consequence of your own actions and its your responsibilty o carry the eld.” Is the purpose of ex relly procreation? Gay people have Sex. Infertile poople have sex. Elderly people have ses, ven when a fertile, consenting heterozevual couple has Sex, getting pregnant i not abWays ikl Sex ca be used to eeate life, but that eannot truly be its only purpose. Oh, and her's lite food for thought where clei the ‘medical system are people dented cae for puting themselves in stations that may led to an unfavourable tutcome? We don't deny medical care to those who goin !mnaceident hen they werent wearing a seatbelt or were Arivng recklessly, nor do we turn awa patients with ‘eompletely preventable heart conditions eased by thelr ict orlifesbe. Pregnant people should not be treated any diferent ‘This argument ako ignores the fact that there no such thing asa 100% effective contraceptive. Sex not some farmed or untouchable osu; itis something almost every human being feels the urge to participate in, eling people they should not have sex if they don't want pregnancy’ like telling people they should not leave the house they dont want to get robbed: itis an overly extreme preventative measure. feontraeptives fai, people have the right to an abortion, Ss To it nt aig CO Be wag Sateen ae Mg season pentectins Saale secuaceaasbre caine srs sae create Semana ae ot ante ‘tiie tional Sh sos oni cae SE a Deaths ttre aoe ee an ea ea Soe ties iat ete ring atetumetrse DS indie A ae Tauris cr hon ast oth en: rte cnn et ica hens ee tna arc Tens ern i nme oe Oh ela e eee eee sSheprauts eieerencwteet chip eco cena ne aa sien meee ae ce The ag ‘heg dewtnyenmeee tect Loma torent a, sear toe COTS Ta Pegeuestesy oem serene ‘Them: “Ifthe pregnancy is not life-threatening to the parent, there is no good reason to terminate it That ion selfish act" ‘Under bodily autonomy, any reason is aval reason to terminate a pregnancy~ but let's examine this common Statoment ate close. Pregnancy takes a phic, ‘ental, nd emotional tll on every person wi goss through it It changes your mind and bods forever, andit seriously affects your hormones and overall heath tis ‘nredibly painful and has some ofthe most detesnental ‘symptoms of any condition, fom bleeding sums to gestational diabetes Its unfair to eubject any human $eing to pregnancy unless they are ready and willing (itis leady hard enough when you ARE ready and willing (Quality of ie matters, and bodily autonomy matters The preservation ofthese ideals e more important Subjective views ou what s'selsh’ or not. Congratulations, youve made it trough a conversation ith a pro-ife.IfTeould give you a medal. Thanks for eading, and remomber to get oud about your reproductive rights many people are not afforded the same privilege living in a society syndrome joshua bienstock existence as a 20 something in 2020 something is being terminally online and ‘knowing that that’s not your fault. it's having friends that you've never met, 3d friends that you fee! like you know intimately even though you haven't seen them in years and probably won't ever see them agai it’s checking facebook just to see what's happening with the people you haven't seen or spoken to in half a decade, and curating your instagram highlights ‘when you're bored and stoned. it’s only knowing people by their profile pictures and the memes they post, and not caring that that’s just the way it’s getting more of a high from reaching past the amount of likes you got on your last post than from getting a text from your best friend. it’s checking to see how much more time you spent on instagram today then Yesterday and then not doing anything about it, and picking apart the picture you posted 6 months ago before archiving it so you don't have to be reminded of how fucking cringe you were and probably still are, and convincing yourself that it's a good use of your time because “it’s just for me”, even though you only do it for attention and external validation. it’s posting the fourth selfie of the day on your story and checking to see who saw it for the fourth time, and taking nudes in four kinds of lighting and then spending an hour editing them. it’s doing a reading but visiting twitter after every other page, and then tweeting about how quirky you it’s dm-ing your prof who is too overwhelmed to answer your emails, and having three accounts for each platform: your main, one for work, and one for porn (tehe). it’s turning on night shift when your eyes get tired but not actually putting your phone down. it’s habitually turning on your spotify the minute you walk out the door, and turning up the volume on the train when you hear someone coughing or ling or peeing. it's talking to your mother and father through awkward disjointed text message chains only, and blocking them on everything else. it’s texting your boyfriend for attention whenever you're insecure about your relationship, 1d then going to swipe on tinder because it’s become muscle memory to get high off the matches and a quick conversation or two with matthew so and so from hamilton or arjun so and so from soci00, even though you'll probably never speak to them again. it’s using faceid and touchid and apple wallet and do whatever the fuck else apple tells you to do without asking too many juestions about it. it's paying for your drink with the starbucks app, and reloading your card on the spot. it's spending more on uber eats then on food at the grocery store, and downloading door dash just to get that ‘rood good one-month dash pass. it’s smoking a joint watching netflix outside your front door, and while the shower runs, and at dinner, ‘or when you get up to get a snack, or when you need a break from school, ‘or when you just don’t know what else to dowith yourself, its buying weed for delivery or pickup to avoid talking to the people at the counter, strong, because you need it, even though you know itll make you anxious, Decause you'll be anxious regardless, and there's not much you ean do about it, because you live in a society, and that’s not your fault because that’s just the way it is existing asa terminally online 20 something in 2020 something, We Need to Rename Birth Control eM INICeNS Which [Oey ieeteg esa ee eee ‘conception, You can conceive ad er eee Coenen a eee ene Perret cere eters Perera eras em ree Parenent Method Are You? a= FUE VoeT Dera Ret eonn eo eens ikea French dude. ‘ThePateh Peopledon'tknow whatto expect with you. tad stran ‘but chill overall ey Perey Pen eed Poeerny strong. Also,y intrigueme. Impulsedrug storechedkout ined Seer eas eee Inulioss no preggo, leg my pore een Ses ae reenter Sees Se canna eet Deec Sen 1p ced pe Beans Spermicide | Weird-drunkAunt vibes, Dread Poreoto! than youreally are. sf Nee oe ere ee On © MGS Vp ritmo era Bj slate mean many diferent things for ave of fh torent pple With sue adverse Hei and a ange of Of special, kes senue o argue that heathy bodes arrectogry awe Weall want baticare Weall want 7). CS yoy j Sore sisson te rll Well want bealicre We i went vas time for my ultrasound, Thad become disillusioned ithe gua) tret that ne ebae + that mii egret Thad ace thetccan aie oald : ‘Staying ht vould inet ns pega and sh stay a ee ‘Sind tht wn ony ered i ad Lcocnrrent Lenuldst snow, end couldnt sah onl ras at nen tating yin body ke J stn es aati a Sete After the ultrasound reveated that everything was normal ny ‘phantom baby th 1V, aud I wore set o walt agai. My holy teniy of inconclusive normalcy was all Thad inthe waiting 5 4gzom i waiting room ofthe ER, waiting came nto take one final look at ne. She asked ite what my speakto someone to describe my condition, “Tenn stop symptoms ware, and retold them for what soomed like the passing out, [fel weak, food aks me feel sick, Lean at, fw, millionth time that day. Inconclusive She sid that since tive abdominal area hurts." *Where exactly?” My ‘verthing seemed normal coud be feeling this way because of if nail sur my tru andy entre BY ssn a eat yh Sige tte np oy ng inet. shad have now twas thing serous My erento ore tha twastoldtgo home and eat tomakesue at ty S a hydrated and tha if feel any pia, to just take an ibuprofen. CI i Ubsunpisingy 1 dure beter, Ts sat hone ad sy eh ‘condition contived to decline for about a mont. {had spoken “do, tbowakine rai, Se ee ‘him own doctor, abd we slowly worked tamard igang out 5 itn ngsub Me UH NOE yay geal) aes neetne an es s e ‘Adie waiting game ported Soon enough, ase ‘hat ha lr abou my eating abso arte oak 8 = fpproached me towall me trough a lod ot and an TV ‘evo of ning, hod slowy started geting bt. most auroathed eto walk me though ood st andan TY Two mou ser, ingsareslinconcleaver andy condition Ma 4 pregnant ine there was no pose way fra tobe i ill undiagnosed. My pain persists and Tam stilldeomed At J Bremnant [practcesafo sx Tad enstestseonpe day 986% ‘ors byeach st then a * porto myysdnistion andthe moe obvious indeator that pune ‘ at's Cu not be pregnant [was on my pred But ialmost seemed ae thought dit matter hada pant Tle damned they It efor t My od wes tested for pr cmencr lower abdominal aren inthe vicinity of my uterus, tis brushed off s menstrual pain o a potential pregnancy despite my efforts to advocate otherwise ve had this ody for enough tine to recognize the diference between 4 1d few other tests. They checked my heart to se iseoms I won't fully understand what caused my body to shut resting cane up ‘normal-Atersbout four hoor ad own the way that iid ndles tests, {began to hale the word normal. There was ‘othing normal about how Tf, and there was nothing ‘normal about how my body was reacting to whatever vas Tam aware of he eaticar shortages atthe moment and truly sympathize with all the overvrked hospital staff, but Ta, Aisappointed withthe way the healthcare sytem seems to fil ‘wonton seeking medica help Ts abit fucked up shat we jodge nomen for whether of ne they beartfed thle Dbies Yes St = BIT fucked up that we Jidge women for anything perealing to ( thotrow bodies, butlim pert disturbed by thi right now boseure ery ight~ and ye mabout to expene a Titty Talk lucy stark barangay och GlteerBaitgers day Sopa face comm rear seiel Hs fade Scetesbrsconigeny sng ola {Sener sewer wine She don Sane | syne dew somal she et el wad tate tose are ‘Sreameclocaes ad ups hdeth Niner sont cold joy iw Seifcbncb whence as hung hb nie But api sa {iing er nt eect een bee But why does there have tobe any judgment at al If breaseeding makes happy end fe ose to your ide ngs you oy (ify lt Tye ciearly never donee Lent that ai ki would be joy, go fori rather not real Tim st confused and "So decded to educate, ‘nyse biton the istry of breatceding nd the debates around Fst and foremost there used to Be a fnedieal need forbrasteeding Many Frbles wouldnt survive withos the utente provided by thee mother mil ‘Soltyns boob or bast. Ths eat that « Tetof wealthy women would hire wet inuses to brectfeed thelr id they themlves Gdn want to doit. Enter: ‘death of poorer cldcenbectse thelr ‘mothers had to make aiving Breastfeeding wealthy kids And then indastralizatlon The wonderfl ‘Xbek of eptaliom started ticking, women ‘entered the workforce and suddenly ‘reqyone' ives had tbe programmed to pak ecency. Therefore, working others isd t get thee babes on’ feeding schedule, However, when you are breastfeding as often, your boo produce less mle. 8, doctors started to ‘four about the lack of milk production nd sought artical alternatives, Time for a quik hte fnerruption of misogyny his whole debate it ‘already "ets ate on women" enough) Doctors alo thought that eduction would ‘uve gis produce ineiiieat beast. ‘lk ater inf! Thee impeceabe ‘Baking was tha bene were ing, rough puberty while in stool, tee brains woald be distracted fom developing the right hormones and boi Structures tobe able to predace mila {heefore, when gine weat on to have, len ey falar bresstfwding ‘ecatse tele bigbranejuet ied up lof thei egiving nutrient! Sty ut of Schoo, is" empl this spay ‘ucated medial commaniy. ‘Sowimen kept working and autoaomy (dan you hate ftwhen at happens? and their ves neatly mote wrepped up inaciies that weren't conducive to being tthe babes Ueseand-eal 24/7. Women wih more fe time of hares to take breaks inthe ‘idle the working day could conte {Dbreatfeed but wotes ho ad tobe at ‘Work dung the day needed ateratves, Soboth formula and pumping became morecommon practices ‘Sol guessthsis where Pet when we ‘dg women for sing formal, sete realy making lager ements cong ‘women for prong work Cor anything sides reproductive bor? sa hen woken tdi ot squeaky clean wholesome prac, ‘Through the abuse of wet nace which were ainly margtaliaed women of olor erm Gude wane ere ate us the holy domes dues ont Iebacks nd bess others in, ike everthing, breastecig vs bottle fedingisa personal ahoice (aso sometines not echole infenced by Ahly ndrual creumstances. So, beet time you decide o judge someone (ike tng rein ote elo ‘fy formiladaden conen EM Toread my maa source and come to your ‘wn coclisions, read the Time's ania “Desperate Womea, Desperate Doctors” and the Surprising History Behind the Breastfeeding Debute,"by Lily Rathngy, ~ /\\N\ , — Yuck, Kids. —+ 7 anomymous20.zsyearotd | | Soke, maybe I dont want kids because rm (seared ofall the unkawns- but feel ike ‘women, especialy women who are atthe age _yfimerstiye feclng that presoure, shuld have 35 ee reedom to daca al et worries end ‘As.20.75 year old, don't know if want kids ‘And as a20.75 year old, know T haveetlot. time to decide before stat feeling any ofthat =< real pressure, But my sister, who's just entered her thirties single, is defintely going through it with the whole marriage and children shit. he ‘ants kids, and think she already puts enough pressure on herself to be "successful in dating nd finding a life partner without having to deal with the anxiety and, at times, anger of my parents and relatives Asa 20.75 year old, these are the reasons why I don't want tobe a mother: 41. Lam emotionally immature (in ‘my dating life, Tam literally a walking red flag) 2, 1would probably need to start proereating at an age where 1 would still feel way too young, tobeamom 3, Having kids... in this economy? Seary! No thanks! +4. In this political climate? Absolutely not 5. Not to mention our climate crisis 6. Back to me, my beautiful body, ‘my beautiful boobies, my poor vag that will split right tomy asshole creating one ultimate hole 7. Having kids means Ihave to spend my time and money on them which means less and money for myself At the moment, [just don't want to feel rushed into finding a partner before all my eggs are dead and Iend up in a loveless, unhealthy, maybe ‘emotionally abusive, and only sometimes physically violent marriage with a man I may or ‘may not love (Iwill tell myself and my friends T love my partner, but deep down I will not be sure, though I will atively avoid that voice). ‘Marrying the wrong person absolutely scares me to death. And what if I do have kids with this person? A son without a healthy love to look up to, who will probably feel the hatred in our family and grow up to be an emotionally unavailable, disrespectful, slightly homophobic, possibly misogynistic, cheating, dickwad, fuckface of a man. doubts without someone trying to convince them they are being irrational and will "come around” tothe idea. 1 don't tell my parents that I'm unsure about the ‘hole kids thing. As a child, whenever I told them my thoughts on having kids, they called me selfish, Ive always found the societal pressure that women face to have children tobe so strange and it almost seems like there's this cultural bullying of women to procreate. And it seems like only women face this pressure. Men dont really hhear “when am I going to have grandchildren? from overbearing parents until they've found a serious partner, and from my experience it seems same-sex couples don't typically hear “when will you be having kids?™ but “will you have kids?” So strange that all the pressure is put on women, typically heterosexual women, even though procreation isan activity that requires two (if not more) people. ‘And I don't even understand the full force of the pressure because of how young I am (20.75 years old). Tam young and still in school, and nobody's asking me if'm seeing anyone, but I feel like the fact that we as young women already have a slimpse of what's to come reflects the severity of the issue, And within this discourse, I can't help ‘but feel for the women who physically cannot bear children, How awful, irritating, and overwhelming it must be to live ina society that automatically jumps to the oh-you-poor-broken- thing type of pity, as if childbearing is the only thing women are supposed to exist for. And women who do have the option and who choose not to have kids are patronized for their choices, hearing "you don't know love until you've had. kids,” or "kids are what give your life purpose.” Nothing seems fair unless you are a woman who is able to have kids and really really want to have ldren (who are also realy realy fertile). ae 2 In Spite of | All the Pain: Built of Stronger Stuff “Women are bom with pain built in”- Belinda, Heabag- by alyssa lyon j In asinee oft-quoted speech from Phoebe Waller-Bridge's Fleabag, legendary British actress Kristen Scott Thomas delivers this line as a mode of explaining the all consuming woes of womanhood, and how these experiences coalesce to make a woman who is just as cunning as she is jaded. = understand the impetus for including a line like this and the commentary which it has sparked has clearly brought us to this point today. But though there may be struggle, and I believe that there is a type of collective pain that only women are able to feel. Frankly, my spirit was woven of tougher shit than struggle and pain, ‘You see, what the capitalist superstructure vwants the woman to believe is that this innate pain is inescapable, harden yourself, and what ‘you cannot harden ~ fix it with the dollar. It starts in adolescence, the break through, that wonderful complex emotionality that colours those years so vividly, that emotionality whieh sustains our passions, creates lasting bonds, falls in love for the first time, dreams in the most vibrant technicolour. Itis that emotionality that upon its first deip like sap froma tree is marked as a threat. Ifit is not controlled, not bulldozed completely -then it risks infecting its host until they are no longer useful i But this beautiful essenee has always refused bottling, so we're trained to be complicit in snuffing out its flame. Onee we sign away that our cries, our shouts, our squeals are the work of being which possessed us before we knew better, then and only then are we women! Holding what we love at arms length beeause we have grown wise to old tricks, if we are too much of anything we are dangerous, Emotionally lobotomized for survival Then suddenly, once you've compartmentalized your identity, gotten hip to the reindeer games ‘ne of two scenarios commonly oceur. For the ‘woman Who has chosen not to take on a ‘motherhood there may be a glance inthe mirror, a chance in any capacity to reflect. Though you have changed on the clearest night you ean till see the hopes and dreams 13 year ‘ld you had, The same 13 year old who ferociously chomped at the bit waiting to live Justa litle bitof life. The woman she i, the ‘woman you are in the mirror has been over taken by the festering sort ofthat ‘built-in pain’. For mother's it will be always be different, you Jookat your child and shudder to wonder why anyone would want to punish her for being soft, sensitive, for daring to ask for her share of ‘wonderment. Butby then that pain has trained you in regret, you can't possibly go back, your share of wonderment was sold off for what they told you was wisdom. And that’s where they are ‘wrong, And that is where they run short. | h ‘Though this preternatural ‘built-in pain’ may have damned us in, we are the slipstream, capable of change beyond any force of control ‘We can leave room for ache and burt, but we can always work to live in bones that grow flowers from their marrow. No matter who we ate, what we have lived through, I believe that wwe are born with and remain tal time, @ breath away from our own divinity, When we are lost, we need only listen and it wll ell us home. maya fleischmann 4 4 content warning: sexual assault , I see you in men I pass on the street my white-knuckled fists being cut by the keys held as tight as my chest when I said I can’t breathe on the floor of a hospital is where you left me. Thave never been safe from your indiscreet eyes from the hands that have bruised my ass and my thighs say you love me or want me and call that your right to lay claim to my body without a fight. you can tell them I'm lying, it’s you they'll believe Tma bitch and a slut, or so you decree I wounded your pride by daring to plea ’ get your fucking hands off of me. Tve been told to forgive and I'm told to forget ' he’s been through a lot, they always protest but I have no more room in my life left for those who will protect a man who cannot take no. SE emer TAO is that all we’re good for? 4 | uvina persaud i? aa amar ~ a — = , worry that I will be considered less of a woman if I can't reproduce i ted children for as long as I can remember. ; — aaa ae Guiken my doctors told me that Pd have more difficulty having children than others. | 'd told me all the other options I could consider when the time came. it me down an¢ k Tree ime hate myself even more, if that vere fen possible. ft i t did I even know at the time? I was still a child. oo } Neath fam older I see others my age settling down and having children. .d, yes I am happy for them... but I do feel sad in a way. a ‘ie. paolo ask me the dreaded question of when will I have children. uo ik PP Ta ilove you so much that it hurts ithuris so much and that scares the shit out of me butt hurts whether like tor not tuse i don’t know how to get rid of. andi don't thinkiwantto younow i'm just afraid i'm not enough for you and i'm afraid that itl hurt too much one of these days and that il find myself a shell of the person i used to be unable to articulate anything beyond how much it hurts to love you sometimes i find myself staring at my phone, aching, to hear back from you, Jumpitg ou of my skin when {see your ame on the sreen, a but forcing myself to wait a couple extra minutes to pretend i don't care ag mu and then calculating an appropriately funny response to your witty remark before waiting anxiously to see your reply at which point the cycle repeats you in your little shorts me in Something gay and skimpy you lean over to light my joint and i lean over to light your cigarette i take a picture of you smiling and you take one of me, also smiling ilove it when you smile, you say ihateit, isay but i don't hate it as much as i used to, it seems and sometimes i dream of us lying on the beach together "sun shining, drinks clinking, eyes darting, warm bodies clutching it hurts Dut so does everything atleast now im smiling and in love with myself and with you maybe that’s enough yquoy & 1844 NN" 100 WAHT 1g100S LVEUD. 10 SVM qVEDOUd ALAIOS LVALD, JO : ‘qVad SI‘INACISAYd WLI‘ sONAT on iv ve 00d == samp poipavyaig == Son of Satan anonymous content warning: sexual assault, sexual trauma ne “2m You are embedded into my memory, as the unshakable sense of dread that settles itself into my chest; as the sharp jolt of pain that rushes through my head, every time I try to close my eyes. I wish I had never met you. I feel as though I have lived an entire lifetime fearing you. An immediate sense of distress trickled down my spine the moment you strode into the apartment complex. The temperature dropped 30 degrees, yet no one noticed. You strutted, broad shoulders stretched back, chest thrusted outwards; like a wrestler entering the ring. You were greeted with back ‘thumps and fist bumps; applauded like a King, [slithered into the corner to avoid your gaze, but your eyes pierced right through me. They were shaped like almonds, ripened by the rage their carried. I felt naked in your presence. Ian still smell the bitter stench of rotting cheese in your breath. Alfredo pasta for dinner? You fluttered around the party, beer in hand, spluttering your words and throwing that ridiculously hypnotizing smile around. It's that, very smile that cemented into my brain as you traced your finger across my bare arms, mapping out your regime. Did you not feel my body tremble at your touch? Did you not sense my fear, in the way my eyes danced around the room, begging for an extrication? In the way I bit my lower lip to the flesh, blood trickling down my chin. I think you did, and you took me anyway. You plucked me, like a strand of grass, and stuffed me into your mouth. can still feel your fingers, rough like sand, circling my clitoris. You hesitate. ‘What were you waiting for? T can still feel your strong, calloused hands, rubbing your thumb gently against my neck as you thrust yourself inside me. My insides implored to be set free, yet your grip only tightened. ‘Squeezing, yet unable to extract the fear that coursed through my veins. } ‘Squeezing, until there was nothing left to squeeze. Squeezing every last E evidence of life, yet I am still alive. USL V'G7” WA & a — ss I Istill carry the weight of your hungry glare, as you subjected me to your mercy forall of eternity. Your rage itan inhumane fie behind your eyes. You were the hunter examining his prey. You raised your Machete and plunged it " into the abyss that is my corpse. No one would believe me. a And I can still see you now, at the foot of my hospital bed, looming over your a Biv. fallen victim as you had done the night before. I sense your sinister smirk, snarling like the serpent you are. Teasing, daring me to reveal your / transgression. Fear not, for you have succeeded in your siege. Oh, Son of Satan, come, rejoice in my pain, and dance on my grave; for Ihave already graced the fiery pit that is your home. I am already living in hell. eX, > 7 4 “> Ifyou feel you have experienced sexual or gender-based violence, please do not hesitate to reach out to any of the following supports: Assaulted Women’s Helpline— 1-866-863-0511 Support Services for Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse — 1-866-887-0015 ‘Toronto Rape Crisis Center — 416-597-1171 ‘Trans Life Line — 1-877-456-4566 UofT Sexual Violence Prevention & Support Centre — 416-978-2266

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