About

My name is Ariel. I live in Ottawa. I used to write a column for Xtra and a blog called Dykes Against Harper. My day job is at a kick-ass public sector union, where I wrangle media and do a lot of writing. I took three years off of blogging to do an MA in women’s studies and to ride the crazy fertility roller coaster that brought me to my current state. I am a new mama to baby Daphne and will be home for the next year. You can follow me on Twitter if you’d like. I tweet a lot about pro-choice politics, sex worker solidarity and queer issues. Though I’ve been writing a lot lately about sleep deprivation and the challenges associated with nursing a newborn. Are you surprised?

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2 Responses to “About”

  1. The Next Beyond March 15, 2012 at 12:36 pm #

    I’m excited to have found your blog and look foward to following you!

  2. Colin April 2, 2016 at 7:29 am #

    Hi Ariel,
    Just a quick note as I get annoyed with the limiting ability to express thoughts on Twitter. First off. thanks for engaging with me a little bit in this conversation on Twitter. Just to be clear, I actually fully agree with the essence of this specific issue about gender specific activities at this Rec Centre. At the end of the day, I’m glad it got changed and you were instrumental in evoking that change, which should absolutely be commended! Admittedly, I took the conversation in another direction, only because I personally have question marks about how we use social media. I wasn’t trying to attack you, but you telling me you were done engaging with me made it seem like maybe you were feeling attacked, or at least didn’t agree with what I was trying to ask. I tried to be respectful in those tweets, but perhaps I failed. But at the core of what I was trying to get at, was simply asking in what ways we use social media. I agree with you about the importance of public commentary. Fully. If this had been a program offering from a huge company that has a Communications department, I would fully agree that using social media would be the way to go. But I was trying to put myself in the shoes of this small Rec Centre and wondering if this use of social media was warranted. And maybe you’re right – maybe it was. Maybe that’s the world we live in now and that’s how change is evoked. I’m reading a book by Sherry Turkle called Reclaiming Conversation and she has studied conversation for the past 30 years as an MIT professor. Research shows we lose empathy when we communicate via text or social media, and maybe because this was fresh in my mind, that’s what I was focused on a bit. Again, I fully agree that the Rec Centre needed to change their wording as there is no doubt it was sexist. But my question revolved more around how we do that. Maybe what you did through your blog and the media wasn’t in fact shaming. Maybe it was just bringing to light this situation and the Rec Centre needed this in order to make the changes necessary. All I was trying to do was ask the question of how we go about evoking change and our use of social media in that pursuit.
    At the end of the day, something got fixed that needed fixing and that’s the most important thing. Perhaps you’re right – intent is unimportant, effect is. I think I’m just intrigued by Turkle’s argument that online, we are merely “connecting” and “engaging” and that those things are very different than having an actual “conversation”. When you said you were done engaging with me, it was an appropriate use of the word. I was disappointed because I felt like we were having a conversation, but I now realize it wasn’t that at all, it was simply two strangers engaging with one another briefly online. And while that may be the reality of this digital world we live in, it makes me sad a bit that our ability to have real conversations is being affected by this. that’s in part why I run the non-profit that I do – to get kids outside, to find balance with the massive amounts of time they’re spending in front of screens.
    Anyway, I just wanted to send a note to try and explain myself a bit more and to thank you for engaging me in this issue. It’s been an interesting process for me (mostly because it was my first real “exchange” with anyone on Twitter), and definitely feel like I’ve learned something from it. Thanks for what you do – I think it’s prescient and super important.
    Cheers,
    Colin

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