Posts by Meg Pirie

  • In the Blog

    Queering Sex Ed

    July 3rd, 2014     by Jackie Mlotek     Comments

    Jackie Mlotek provides some excellent references for queering sex ed, because when it comes to our ongoing sexual education, we can learn from each other! She writes: “Who knows what teens need to know better than other teens, especially when they’re taught accurate information from other sources?” READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    Review: Spent by Antonia Crane

    June 23rd, 2014     by Allison McCarthy     Comments

    “Crane’s work in Spent remains powerful and equally unafraid at every turn her story takes,” writes Allison McCarthy. Read more of her review of Antonia Crane’s debut memoir. READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    Review: Janet Mock’s Redefining Realness

    May 30th, 2014     by Jackie Mlotek     Comments

    Jackie Mlotek reviews Janet Mock’s autobiography Redefining Realness, calling it unique, accessible, brave, and authentic, reminding readers that trans folks have so many stories yet to be told. READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    Mummy Dearest: Post-Mother’s Day Edition

    May 23rd, 2014     by Nadia Siu Van     Comments

    My mom was full of many contradictions. In turn, most of her teachings were, too. You were never really sure which side she was on. Yet somewhere among all the contradictions, I understood where she was coming from. READ MORE

  • Blog Series

    Dear Teenage Meg

    April 24th, 2014     by Meg Pirie     Comments

    The cave you found yourself in? That wasn’t your fault and it wasn’t yours to fix. It was yours to experience. And in its own way, it has been one of your life’s greatest gifts and wisest teachers. READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    Love and Relationships Series: Friendship, Petship

    October 18th, 2013     by Meg Pirie     Comments

    One day in elementary school, I had to do a “get to know you” activity with another student. At the part of the form that required me to fill in “Best Friend,” I wrote PEPPY. “Who’s Peppy?” the classmate asked. “My dog.” “Your dog is your best friend?!” Up until that point, this didn’t seem so strange. And why would it? Peppy and I came into each other’s lives when I was 7, and I will always think of … READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Throwing Javelin

    September 13th, 2013     by Meg Pirie     Comments

    When I look back at my high school experience, if I’m being completely honest, it did not start out so well. Mine was not a name that was whispered with hallowed reverence in the hallways. At just under five feet when I was 14, I quite literally got lost in the crowd. The transition from grade 8 to grade 9 was mostly awkward, a little painful (getting pushed into lockers = #notfun), and completely, utterly anti-climactic. … READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    Si se peude: Fast food workers strike in the US

    September 3rd, 2013     by Meg Pirie     Comments

    In May 2001, American author and sociologist Barbara Ehrenreich published Nickel and Dimed. In this deeply provocative ethnography, Ehrenreich attempts to earn a living wage at a variety of service sector jobs in one month intervals, from Wal-Mart associate, waitress, hotel maid, house cleaner, and nursing-home aide. All of these positions paid minimum wage and, therefore, should have provided the author with a sustainable income. What she found was a series of jobs that were … READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    Challenging Mansplaining and Shame

    April 5th, 2013     by Meg Pirie     Comments

    Recently, I’ve been experiencing mansplaining. A lot of mansplaining. This phenomenon is one I define as explaining the world and all of its nuances in a supremely confident, woefully simplistic manner. Mansplanations rely on privilege—derived from whiteness, maleness, ability and/or straightness—not accuracy. It doesn’t matter if the mansplainer is misinformed, grossly inept, or just plain wrong. Worth pointing out as well is that mansplaining as a phenomenon doesn’t mean only self-identified cis men are guilty; whenever … READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    Labour, Harm Reduction, and Allyship

    February 11th, 2013     by Meg Pirie     Comments

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: labour doesn’t exist in a vacuum. And yet, we tend to think about this large part of our lives as somehow separate from “real life.” I’m not sure if this need to segment our labour is a product of Western education founded on arbitrary divisions or a way to detach from work lives that, for some, are filled with precarity, malaise, or just plain boredom. That’s … READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    Second Looks: A Sailor, A Nurse, and Sexual Assault

    October 6th, 2012     by Meg Pirie     Comments

    Photos are funny, aren’t they? A look through an album or Instagram and you see moments in time, frozen with the click of a shutter. It is, as Susan Sontag observed in her book of essays On Photography, proof that you were somewhere. A photo is a pictorial declaration that you took up space, at some point, in some location. And then, there are those images that are, for many, instantly recognizable. We might know nothing … READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    What I learned while trying not to watch the Olympics

    August 17th, 2012     by Meg Pirie     Comments

    Now that we’re no longer inundated with the minute-by-minute updates from London—newsflashes brought to you by Coke and McDonalds—it’s time to take part in Ye Olde Olympic retrospective and for me to confess the following: My name is Meg. I am a feminist. But I also love the Olympics. That said, I am highly, highly critical of the corporate ethos that governs not just the Games’ infrastructure, but also how the labour of amateur athletes … READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    Feminism is for everybody: Join the global boycott against Hyatt Hotels

    August 2nd, 2012     by Meg Pirie     Comments

    A little over a week ago, a worldwide boycott of Hyatt hotel chains was announced in the US, organized by UNITE HERE, the union that represents Hyatt hotel workers. Hyatt is guilty of labour abuses that are becoming more common in this age of austerity, including ever-increasing, oppressive workloads (cleaning thirty rooms in a shift, to start); limited time off; and of course, hiring contract workers to cut costs, to name a few. Additionally, there are … READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    On Valentine’s Day, Fall in Love with Your Friends

    February 14th, 2012     by Meg Pirie     Comments

    On Valentine’s Day we are, quite literally, bombarded by a deluge of nonsensical language. For this reason, I hate this superficial, highly choreographed “holiday” that tells us how love should be expressed. Rather than emotional support and having (a) partner(s) who act(s) as (an) ally(ies), love is reduced to an economic transaction. I’m neither the first nor the last person to comment that Valentine’s Day does more harm than good: it polices who we love, … READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    Taking on the Union Busters

    February 6th, 2012     by Meg Pirie     Comments

    We live in a time where our rights are on the job have been carved away, bit-by-bit, whether it’s hapless governments or multinationals who benefit from neo-liberal policies. For this reason, participatory mobilization alongside collective bargaining has never been more important. The following video helps illustrate this point. Precarious work in its many forms is open to myriad abuses and our experiences with labour intersects with ableism, racism, sexism, colonization, transphobia and homophobia. We need labour … READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    Tituba’s Revenge: organizing and advocacy for not-for-profit workers

    December 23rd, 2011     by Meg Pirie     Comments

    One of the greatest achievements of neoliberalism is the ways in which the state’s role shifted from caretaker to CFO. This ostensibly seamless transition saw the rise of the not-for-profit/non-profit sector (I use the terms interchangeably in this post), stepping in to provide necessary social services that were once the responsibility of our governments and elected officials. In other words, governments need not-for-profits, and not-for-profits, which might receive some funding form government agencies and need … READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    Blurred optics: media visibility, wage discrepancy, and gender binaries

    December 13th, 2011     by Meg Pirie     Comments

    This January, Shameless will publish its Labour Issue. We’re really excited about this but it’s also useful to think about the ways in which labour intersects with numerous issues. None of us exist in a vacuum—we are all works-in-progress that reflect specific communities and unique experiences—and labour is no different. Throughout 2011, a pet media issue was income disparity between men and women. The Washington Post, for instance, reported that in 2010 the average starting salary … READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    The new must-have for Fall 2011? Unions.

    November 3rd, 2011     by Meg Pirie     Comments

    On October 31, The Toronto Star published a story detailing a successful union drive at H&M in Square One, a large shopping center in Mississauga. The process began in July, when Amy Tran, a member of the United Food and Commercial Union (UFCW), approached Sabrina Butt. Was she interested in a union, Tran inquired? Butt, an H&M employee since 2008, took time to gauge how receptive her full- and part-time colleagues were to this … READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    A shameless assessment of Ontario election advertisements and some voting tips

    October 5th, 2011     by Meg Pirie     Comments

    You may have noticed a few things over the last month if you live in Ontario. Yes, there’s a provincial election happening and besides being incredibly important, it’s also been incredibly annoying. Phone calls. Incessant attack ads. Flyers crowding your mailbox. OMG don’t you get it Conservatives? We’re just not that into you! But seriously, certain ads deserve some attention, if for no other reason than to poke fun at how ridiculous they are. After all, … READ MORE

  • In the Blog

    Neoliberalism, Politics, and Youth

    August 30th, 2011     by Meg Pirie     Comments

    Like so many Shameless articles I write, my initial intentions and detailed plans get abandoned, only to become fluid starting points for a less-tidy set of observations. So, while I was originally going to offer some commentary after riots erupted in the London, England neighborhood of Tottenham (I still will), I am also going to talk about youth and politics, as we near closer and closer to the provincial election in Ontario. First of all, for … READ MORE

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