double standards

Cuddling Doesn’t Mean What You Think it Does… Apparently

by Jasmine Peterson

Dating – it’s exhausting.

At first I thought it was fun (being new to the dating scene, and never having really done the dating thing in my younger years), but as time has gone on, I’ve discovered that it can be really, really exhausting.

I’m a pretty open and honest person. I’ve put a lot of myself out into the ether of the internet (from discovering myself to be polyamorous to the health repercussions of my breakup and consequent brief personal meltdown). So when I’m dating, I’ve got no qualms about being honest about my intentions, my feelings, and my desires. And because I’m such an honest person, an open book really, I often expect that others will be the same. I’ve discovered that this is just me projecting my own qualities onto others; they are not always coming from the same place of transparency as I am.

How much easier would dating be if we could all just be honest about our intentions? I’ve met a few men who were pretty upfront about exactly what they were looking for – whether it was to settle down into a relationship or strictly a relationship of a sexual nature – and it made knowing how to proceed so much easier. What I want keeps changing, it seems, but I articulate it as I go to ensure that any man I am seeing knows that. I’m a work in progress, and I can understand that what someone else wants might also change, so I like to keep the conversation open and evolving to accommodate that.

But what I’ve found to most often be the case is that men are reticent to admit to wanting to have sexual relations, as though admitting that is somehow going to result in some catastrophic implosion of the dating universe. At first, I found this baffling.

“Do you want to cuddle?” a guy would say.

And if I didn’t, I would say no. But some nights, I really did want to cuddle and would accept the offer. Little did I know, “cuddle” is apparently a code word for sex. Because every single time a guy would come over to “cuddle”, he would start making sexual advances. Read more

Posted on by Jasmine Peterson in Feminism 36 Comments

Topless Controversy at Toronto Beer Fest

Since 1996 it’s been legal for women to go topless in Ontario, but at this year’s Toronto Festival of Beer a woman was reprimanded by security after attempting to go topless (wearing a black bra underneath).


As the rain poured down at the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) throughout the afternoon on Aug 7, the soggy and intoxicated crowd grew increasingly boisterous, and many ripped off clothing to dance in the rain.

So when queer activist and photographer R Jeanette Martin was dared by another woman to take off her top, she happily shed a layer, revealing a black bra underneath. (Full disclosure: Martin was at the event with this reporter.) Moments after Martin removed her T-shirt, a female security guard was at Martin’s side, telling her sternly to “put the shirt back on.”

“Why?” Martin asked. The security guard, who refused to provide her name, said, “There are guys here who will take that the wrong way.”  The security guard also told her, “That’s the rules of the festival.”

Martin pointed out that many of the men were topless and many of the women were wearing bikinis, not technically dissimilar from Martin in her bra. The CNE said they spoke to the security guard involved, but argued Martin keeping her shirt on would’ve been prudent for her safety:

Amanda Gray, security supervisor for the beer festival, tells Xtra the security guard who initially asked Martin to put her top back on was “spoken to.” Gray assured it won’t happen again.

But Gray says security people frequently have to diffuse hostile situations that are triggered “when a guy grabs a girl. We’ve had a lot of fights and stuff because guys do grab girls. That’s why I suggested [putting her top on].”

According to tweets from the event, several women then took off their shirts to protest in solidarity with Martin. Many tweeted that Martin’s treatment and that of women who want to go topless in society is hypocritical and a sexist double standard. Saying it’s due to safety also leans toward the victim-blaming side of things, suggesting that if Martin was sexually harassed or assaulted for doing something perfectly legal, it’d be her own fault.

What do you think?

(photo by Tomasz Sienicki via Wikimedia Commons)

Posted on by Jarrah Hodge in Can-Con, Feminism, LGBT, Politics 4 Comments