Week 12 Secondary Post: Blog Posts

Favourite blog post I wrote: Week 11 Main Post: Reimagining Public and Private Space

Besides, have you experienced the weather in Toronto?

I enjoyed framing the questions and answering them accordingly. For that week’s post, I initially had a different idea, started a draft, but then scrapped it because I wasn’t happy. However, I am happy with how the final piece turned out. In retrospect, I think I held myself back a lot during the course of this semester. However, in this second to last week, I felt like more of my own voice came out. As a writer, that’s all I ask for.

Most challenging blog post I wrote: Week 2 Secondary Post: Bell Let’s Talk

I love that Bell Let’s Talk starts the conversation. All I ask is that we continue the conversation long after today is over.

Mental health anything is tough enough to talk about. And it’s even harder when the issue hits close to home.

Favourite blog post a classmate wrote: Week 11 Secondary Blog: Authorship in the News

In fiction, editors serve the writer, in the news, the writers serve the publication.

I feel her frustration. In my experience, editors often make changes without consulting writers. And reading something under my name even though the article sounds nothing like what I would ever say doesn’t sit well with me. I’ve come to accept that this will happen when you write for someone else. The writing world isn’t perfect, but I want to be a part of it regardless or maybe because of its flaws.

Week 11 Secondary Post: Diverse Representation 

Mattel, the maker of the iconic plastic doll, said it will begin selling Barbie’s in three new body types — curvy, tall, and petite. She’ll also be available in seven skin tones, 22 eye colours and 24 hairstyles.

Joseph Pisani

It’s about time. 

Positive and diverse representation of people, especially women, should have happened ages ago. 

The same doll with the same features doesn’t do justice to the infinite differences among human beings. We don’t all look the same, do we? 

Instead of judging others for their appearance, we should accept that people look different. 

What’s more, the media tends to portray women in an unrealistic manner. Because of that, standards for women have been set increasingly high. Society pigeonholes girls by labelling them and regarding members of this sex through binaries. 

You’re kind. Or rude. You’re beautiful. Or unattractive. You’re successful. Or failing. 

And what’s with the limited portrayal of minority women in movies, TV shows, etc? 

American productions have been notorious for casting “thin” Cacuasian females with “good looks”. But that doesn’t mean Canadian companies are doing any better. 

Even though hair styles are easy to change, aspects such as skin colour aren’t. 

I hope these new dolls is a start in addressing issues with gender stereotyping and representation. 

Week 10 Secondary Post: Social Justice Journalism

I’ve stumbled across many social justice blogs and organizations during this year that I wouldn’t have otherwise, if not for this course, Blogging the Just City.

But I still wonder…

Is the future of social justice journalism still bright?

I think a lot of people have different stances on this topic. Plenty of others before me have offered their opinions on issues related to social justice and journalism. Now I want to contribute mine.

Social justice is fundamental to society, any society. There won’t always be complete justice for everybody, but without any measure of justice, there isn’t much of a society. At least in my eyes.

Journalism, on the other hand, isn’t dead. It has just taken on modernized, digitalized forms. And there’s nothing wrong with enhancing the way readers access their news. If anything, journalism has grown more alive. Time has revived the older print form of journalism and breathed new life into it on the Internet. Today writers can share news faster and easier than ever before. 

No matter what happens in the upcoming months and years, there is a future for social justice journalism. Just like there is a future for both separately. Social justice will continue to exist. Advocates will advocate for equality, fairness, and justice. Writers as well as bloggers will keep journalism alive. Social justice journalism has the potential to revolutionize society. 

More and more people are engaging in social justice journalism. Blogs, run by an individual or by an organization, are being created every day. Many of them report on social justice issues or touch on them to some extent. 

Blogging isn’t equivalent to journalism, but it’s still a way of contributing to social justice discussions. And those conversations often lead to so much more. 

Week 9 Secondary Post: “Paper Thin”

The “A4 Waist Challenge” has led to plenty of online controversy

The purported “challenge” 

has people checking to see if their waistline can be hidden behind the width of the paper: a span of approximately 8.3 inches, or 21 centimetres.

Being deemed a “challenge” encourages individuals to attempt it. Can a piece of A4 paper conceal their waistline? 

Unfortunately, this divides people into two groups. Those who can complete the “challenge” and those who can’t. Or those who are “paper thin” versus those who are not. If you’re someone who correlates “thin” with pretty or beautiful, then this “trend” calls people out in the wrong way. If that paper doesn’t hide your waistline, you’re less beautiful than everyone else who can. 

It sends the wrong message. 

And when this message reaches young boys and girls, it can cause disastrous consequences. 

Eating disorders are real. They’re on the rise. The “A4 Waist Challenge” will probably promote the wrong ideas, leading to life-threatening issues.  

The ‘paper thin’ trend originates from China, where it was described as a ‘fitness challenge’ by the state newspaper People’s Daily.

This “fitness challenge” to put it lightly doesn’t seem very realistic. Some may regard it as impossible. 

Worse what started as a “fitness challenge” has the potential to contribute to a lifetime of pain. 

Week 8 Secondary Post: Social Justice Allies

If we truly seek diversity in fiction, we have to let the needs of others come before our need to define ourselves as social justice allies.

Jennifer Armintrout

For me putting the needs of others first is how social justice should work.

But oftentimes there’s a need to align ourselves on one side, to appear a certain way to the public. For some appearing as a social justice advocate takes precedence over doing anything for justice.

I like to hope fiction will be more diverse in the future. But I hope diversity doesn’t stop there. It needs to happen in real life as well. Social justice issues mainly plague minorities, individuals and groups different from the majority.

Fighting for social justice then allows for greater diversity in fiction and in life.

Week 7 Secondary Post: No Lights on Highways

HighwayI took this photo inside my car while my mom was driving me back home from an event that ended around 9 p.m. It’s a picture of the highway we were driving on.

The lack of lights on this long stretch of the 401 made me stop to pause. I don’t think it’s safe for drivers to be on the road, the highway especially, without any streetlights or other form of illumination aside from the vehicle headlights.

More lights means more illumination so drivers can see better. Something as simple as adding streetlamps could prevent accidents and fatalities.

Week 6 Secondary Post: Another Death After Apartment Fire

fourth person dies after Scarborough TCHC apartment fire.

It’s been confirmed that a fourth person has passed away. The residence was for the elderly so the other three deaths were seniors as well.

Nearly twenty people living in the apartment were taken to the hospital to treat their injuries as a result of the fire.

This brings up issues regarding community housing such as whether they are complying with safety regulations and rules.

Officials noted that:

“Toronto Community Housing Corporation was being charged for having combustible materials near an exit.”

While the corporation could be fined for this violation, I believe this isn’t an effective punishment since it likely won’t enact any change. Although TCHC may be more careful next time, chances are residents don’t feel safe. If anything they’re feeling more and more anxious with community housing.