Miley, did Louanne take your place again?

There are times when people go through personal experiences, and an impulse takes them to share it with their entourage.

Private people like to keep it in their circles. Some seek professional help if the experience was traumatic. Writers bleed onto paper, journalists publish columns, and philosophers pass them on as social theories.

Public figures take it to their social platforms.

In some cases, the latter deems it fit to impart wisdom after a personal epiphany and claim to have life altogether figured out. Amongst those people is Miley Cyrus.

I grew up obsessively watching Hannah Montana. I remained a loyal fan when the media published stories of a Disney girl gone wild and borderline insane in 2013.

“She’s just doing her own thing after Disney screwed with her identity for a decade,” I would say. “Leave her alone.”

But the little self-revelatory moment she shared on her Instagram story a few weeks ago made me lose all respect for her.

“I was just being like, I don’t know, hardcore feminist vibes and just not allowing anyone in, but now I am,” she claimed in an Instagram live with her new boyfriend, Cody Simpson. “There are good men out there guys, don’t give up. You don’t have to be gay, there are good people with dicks out there, you just gotta find them. You gotta find a dick that’s not a dick, you know what I mean?”

For someone who has spent the last decade honing an image of herself as a queer woman, Cyrus sounds pretty damn ignorant. Using pure homophobic lingo that has been directed towards lesbians for years on end, she completely dismisses the fact that attraction to the same sex is not a choice and is completely natural. Moreover, she further feeds into this “man-hating” image feminists are still trying desperately to debunk, by using her innate hatred over her previous partner and projecting it everywhere.

(Kindly read this in a mocking tone, if you please.)

“I know, I always thought I had to be gay, because I just thought like, all guys were evil, but it’s not true. There are good people out there that happen to have dicks,” she said, “I only ever met one, and he’s on this live.”

Listen, Miley, honey.

We’ve all been there. We’ve all had horrible experiences with men, and sworn them off for good, jokingly saying we should just “turn gay.” We’ve all projected and manifested anger because our past relationships have been unfulfilling, toxic, and terrible. Most of us have the luxury to not be public figures, and say them on a fun night out with close friends. But neither are right. Especially not from a person who has been so vocal about LGBTQ+ rights and identifies as queer. Especially not when people from this community are, to this day, being persecuted for who they love, or when queerness is still put into question. Especially not when so many outlets out there have the ability to educate you on this matter.

Part of me understands where she is coming from. Getting out of a tumultuous 10-year relationship with, I guess, “an evil guy” can be tough. And when you find someone who is able to fix those broken pieces, it takes all your might not to shout it to the world and show it off.

And all of that is allowed.

What isn’t allowed  is to further sexist and homophobic discourses that have always been targeted at queer women. Love who you want to love, but don’t claim to have found all the answers just because, to quote you, “there are good dicks out there.”


Graphic by @sundaeghost


News flash: Your ignorance is your own choice

When I think back to what I learned about Indigenous Peoples in Canada in elementary and high school, I honestly can’t remember much. I can remember being taught about sedentary and nomadic tribes and that the first inhabitants of North America arrived around 10,000 years ago by crossing the Bering Strait, a theory which has been heavily disproven. However, once we reached the 15th century, we quickly set aside and forgot about Indigenous history and focused solely on the Europeans, who had “discovered” this “barren” land.

To this day, I can still tell you the historical significance of places like Montreal’s Hôtel-Dieu and the Plains of Abraham. I can tell you all about Jean Talon and Samuel de Champlain and the importance of the seigneurial system in Quebec. However, my knowledge about Indigenous Peoples in Canada is nowhere near as extensive. I am a settler who, up until my post-secondary education, had only been exposed to the opinions of other settlers. So, when I was taught about events like the Oka Crisis and Residential schools, they were explained as incidences that happened in the past. We never spoke about the influences that these events still have on today’s Indigenous Peoples.

As I would come to find out in my later years, what I had been taught about the history of Indigenous Peoples in Canada was only the first page of a multivolume anthology of injustices and social suffering. Hence, it should come as no surprise that I describe my first introductory course, Native Peoples of North America, as a humbling experience. I quickly realized that what I had been taught about Indigenous Peoples throughout my academic career, and by the media that I consumed, was shrouded in prejudice and delusions.

Through class discussions, I was able to find solace in the fact that I was not the only one who felt as though they were unacquainted with the often egregious acts Indigenous Peoples were, and continue to be, subjected to. Many expressed having high school experiences similar to my own, regarding the information, or lack thereof, that they received. Feelings of bitterness and ignorance were shared by many of us in that class.

Furthermore, international students in the class admitted that they never realized that Canada had such a dark history. They were stunned, as I was, by the country’s ability to hide its racism from the rest of the world. This skill has granted us the international reputation of being one of the friendliest nations on Earth. However, our past and current mistreatment of Indigenous Peoples and their land certainly doesn’t quality for praise.

There is clearly a need for us, as settlers living in Canada, to acknowledge this country’s colonial legacy, while also recognizing the resilience and resistance of Indigenous Peoples. However, how can this be achieved if some are still ignorant to what is really going on?

In order to be supportive allies, we need to be well-informed and open-minded to both the issues at hand and their historicity. Our progress lies in the ways we are educated about Canada’s history. Present and future Canadians must be taught the truth—from elementary to university, and beyond.

What is most rewarding about taking these courses is the opportunity they grant for open and honest discussions about taboo topics. Personally, I found that being able to hear from guest speakers and individuals from different Indigenous communities was invaluable. These interactions enabled myself, as well as my classmates, to challenge our implicit biases and recognize that we all share a common humanity.

Having access to courses and resources about Indigenous issues, culture, and history is fundamental if we are serious about ensuring that all members of the future Canadian society are treated fairly. The good news is that we go to a school in which these things are available to us. Concordia offers courses with Indigenous content in programs such as anthropology and history. Better yet, Concordia’s First People Studies department offers courses and events which cover a wide array of topics from political and social issues, to those of health and storytelling. Willfully choosing to stay ignorant when given the opportunity to be informed is nonsensical. I encourage you all to consider taking a course with Indigenous content during your academic career.

Graphic by @spooky_soda


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