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Editor’s Letter

September 28th, 2008     by Derek Hogue     Issue 12: Issue 12: Unhappy Campers     Comments

It’s been a hectic time since our Spring issue. The team has been hard at work on our first Shameless book and planning some exciting surprises for the future (our wish list includes a podcast, more events and a short story contest). The Canadian F-Word awards named www.shamelessmag.com the best feminist blog in Canada (thanks to our great blogging team). And, of course, we’ve been pulling together this issue. So, without further ado, here are some of things we learned this summer.

We learned that the way that summer camps present Native culture is strange and somewhat harmful (“What I Didn’t Learn at Camp,” page 16). In our cover story, Monique Woolnough pulls apart her own past experiences to find out why camps get it so wrong. She recalls how campers were divided into “Indian tribes” and told stories about the way things were done in ancient times. She argues that these stereotypes are more than just fun and games: they construct the myth that Native culture exists entirely in cobwebbed storybooks of the past, ignorant of the struggles that communities continue to face.

We also learned a lot about gender, with several pieces in this issue taking a closer look at cultural, scientific and personal gender lines that we draw. Trevor Dunseith, writing our men’s column (“Not a Guy’s Guy,” page 12), wonders why people assume he’s gay just because he hates sports, likes to knit and rocks out with a hot-pink iPod. Pike Krpan examines the strange history of gender testing in high-level sport, where female athletes have to prove that they’re women before being allowed to compete (“Unfair Play,” page 15). And I sat down with revolutionary writer and performer Kate Bornstein to talk about being a getting past the idea that gender is black and white (“Gender Outlaw,” page 30).

Rounding out our eclectic and newly acquired knowledge, Abby Blinch taught us how to build a campfire (D.I.Y., page 40), Zahra Rasul gave us a history lesson about the Palestinian scarves that continue to be a hot fashion accessory in the West (“Get Up,” page 34) and Rachel Matlow told us about a great documentary on funny women (“Counterculture Classics,” page 45).

So, signing out from Shameless HQ, I hope that you enjoy the issue!

Yours Shamelessly, Megan


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