Have fun when you can. Think all the time.

Music, Trees, Environment, BBC, Hardwood floors, Storytelling, Adventures, International development, Learning new things, Getting new perspectives, Writing essays, Water, Road trips, Photography, Spaghetti squash, Art, Books, Getting involved, Gingerbread lattes,(Not)Sleeping, Reading, Poetry, Falling leaves, Aging, Monologues, Prickly pear tea, Making lists, Politics, New ideas, Exploring, Traveling, Dinosaurs, Killer whales, Sushi, Pop Culture, Meeting new people, Barbequing with friends, Tubing down the river, Waking up early, Discovering new things, Trees, Empathy, Believing in the Power of Love

December 23, 2014

A bit of winter introspection

I've always been very introspective. I think it has something to do with my brain that never stops thinking a million miles a minute and the fact that I am very critical of myself. I've always been driven, and sought out things that would aid my personal development, and been quite aware of where I'm at, and what I'm feeling at any given moment. That and I like to write and record. These traits naturally complement 'introspection' or the examination or observation of one's own mental and emotional processes.

There are a few times of year where introspection seems to creep up a bit more overtly than others. Making its way from the back of my ever playing mental tape to the forefront. Commanding solitude and time dedicated simply to reflection, introspection and thought as the main event. September, marked for years as a fresh start, a new school year, new challenges and new beginnings. And December marked by cold and crisp icy mornings, the ability to see your breath as the street crunches beneath your feet and you gather with friends and family to welcome a new year and say goodbye to the past.

So here I am, being introspective and reflecting on the year I’ve had. The year we’ve all had. I’ve heard from friends, from family, from strangers that 2014 was a particularly rough year. An unhealthy and unsupportive work environment saw me change jobs and enter a new field in May, to be followed by a stressful and all time consuming municipal campaign to which I devoted my every waking moment and squeezed every last drop of energy into. Coming off the campaign to an unstable political environment saw me forced to assume a new position in a new part of the province that will test my skills, patience and perseverance. The sudden unexpected death of my great-uncle, my partner’s brother being diagnosed with cancer, addictions issues effecting family members added to the stress of an already heavy and stressful years full of change. Buying a house with my siblings and the help of my late grandfather who left us money to invest, moving in with my brothers and my partner, getting a dog (Mikko), and feeling torn between where I am now and where I want and need to go.

This year has been heavy, and its been hard. But in heavy moments where it feels as though I’ll be crushed by the sheer weight of it I often feel the most strength because (even though I must remind myself) I have yet to be buried alive. Time and time again, I step up with the weight on my shoulders and figure out how to take steps to reducing the weight, and I continue to take steps (sometimes tiny steps) until it feels less heavy and I can see that it’s going to be okay, and that I’ve proven myself again to be perseverant, determined, and that nothing can crush my will for too long.

My little sister, Sierra (18), is currently in France working as an au pair for a family that lives on a ski hill and runs the restaurant. She left last week but is having a tough time dealing with homesickness, missing family, and battling with thoughts that she is not strong enough to tackle the challenge she has chosen for herself. I see a lot of myself in her. She took a chance (as I often do) to thrust herself abruptly into the unknown. Got swept up in the excitement of the change, the challenge, the adventure and barrelled on ahead full speed. Now, in quiet moments, she finds herself wondering “what the hell am I doing?”

I can’t help but remember feeling the same way when I was on the last flight into Tegucigalpa for in 2010. It sunk in as to what I was about to do. Live in a foreign place where I didn’t speak the language, a place I was told was dangerous, and work with an NGO that I knew nothing about and knew no one. I would have to learn a language, find a place to live, develop relationships, make friends, conduct research, and do it completely alone. Surely I must be out of my mind, or have seriously overestimated my own abilities. I felt suspended in freefall. My breath catching in my throat and forming a lump in the bottom of my stomach. But we know how it worked out. I learned Spanish. I found a place to live with a family I grew to love. I made friends, developed relationships, completed research and helped the NGO develop a program to engage youth which I then delivered. I went out on my own and took buses, and ferries, and hoped on the back of mopeds and saw the country. I visited friends in El Salvador and tried my hand at surfing. In fact, 4 years ago today I was on a bus headed to Santa Rosa de Copan to see a new part of the country, welcomed by a new friend and her family.

Some days, it feels as though the “Delaney” who had the guts and the confidence to embark on that type of adventure is a different person. That if tasked with the same thing today I would be unable to deliver. But I know that’s untrue. I know that whatever the obstacle, the challenge, the upset, or the adventure I will approach it the same way. Figuring out what I need to do, what needs to get done, taking it apart, and making sure it happens. By playing to my strengths, by giving myself time and allowing myself to feel weak and sad, but reminding myself of my proven track record of strength, determination and courage.

I know my sister will figure out, in her own way in her own time, how to do just that because I see that in her as well, even if she doesn’t. Learning about ourselves, being honest with ourselves, and pushing ourselves to do better and be better is one of the best gifts we can give ourselves. A gift that sometimes hurts more than we’d like it to as it can only be found in moments of discomfort and isolation, but a gift that we should cherish none the less.

In reflection,
Delaney C.

October 31, 2014


A flashbulb memory is a highly detailed, exceptionally vivid 'snapshot' of the moment and circumstances in which a piece of surprising and consequential (or emotionally arousing) news was heard.

I’ve been fascinated with the concept of ‘Flashbulb Memories’ since I first read about them in my Introductory Psychology class in my first year of University. The idea that a moment in time is so emotionally important to us that they're laid down as vividly, completely and accurately as a photograph. Effectively, these moments are etched into your brain able to be recalled in vivid clarity years later.

I haven’t done extensive research on Flashbulb memories, and am aware of the critiques against them but think often of the power of my own flashbulb memories. The ability to be taken back to that very moment regardless of the time that’s past. The taste, the smell, the very visceral feelings all come back. This could be a good thing if my flashbulb memories were positive or happy experiences that one would want to remember, however the funny thing about the brain is we seem to be more vividly effected by those moments of crisis or trauma.

I remember getting the call from Meghan to let me know that Steve K. and his mother has passed away the night before in a car accident. I remember I had been getting ready for school that morning happier than usual for a Tuesday morning. I had a crush on someone and wanted to look extra nice for physics class still elated from a great weekend celebrating Kory’s birthday. I remember not believing her. I remember calling her a liar and collapsing onto the floor, crying so hard that I felt like my lungs were going to escape my chest. That pain, that raw emotion comes back whenever I recall the memory. In the years following I would be reduced to a crying ball in a heap on the ground. Now, nine years later I don’t cry. I don’t lose my footing, but my skin tringles remembering the feelings that day.

I remember the coldest I’ve ever been. As I think about it goose bumps are growing. It was 2008 and the first day of planting in Quesnel Alberta at the start of my second year as a tree planter in Northern British Columbia. It was late May and it seemed like it was going to be a mild but sunny day judging from what I gathered from the balcony of our hotel room I was sharing with Francis and Felicity. That was fine by me. I had forgotten my rain jacket on Manitoba and it was currently somewhere in between Beausejour and my hotel room with expected arrival the following week. I pulled on my Hele Hanson thermal underwear and a long sleeved shirt, covered by a pair of loose fitting shorts, thick socks, my trusted Asolo boots, and tied my hair back with a bandana. On the way to the block I remember feeling excited and exhilarated by the day head, riven by challenge and happy to be back for another season of hard work and high reward. I taped my right hand with duct tape. Covering my fingertips, knuckles and fingers with a practiced technique I had perfected the year before. We arrived, I took a look at the map, loaded up my bags with ~500 trees (as was my preferred strategy) and shovel in hand set off to the back of my piece.

The day started slower than I would have liked. My muscles adapting to the steep inclines and elevations that my prairie body had forgotten about during the year at University. I slogged away finding my rhythm and appreciating the intoxicating smell of earth and pine that I had missed. It started to rain. Slowly at first. I wasn’t worried. This was common place. I actually enjoyed rain days. It was easy to push harder knowing that it was likely a rough day for everyone else as well and if you could remain positive you had a better chance to come out having planted the most trees. I found the competition motivating. I planted on.

As is common in Northern BC, the temperature dropped. The gentle rain turned to frozen snow and began to blanket the ground. I planted on, feeling the layers nearest to my body stiffen as the water that had collected within the fibres froze. My hand started to lose the ability to move as the duct tape gathered ice particles from being slammed repeatedly into the frozen soil. Visibility became difficult. I was unable to see more than a foot in front of me, my freshly planted trees disappearing under a blanket of white powder. A fire had been set up near the road where we would have grabbed more trees, but I had grabbed enough to keep me busy for at least 2 hours under the best of conditions, and never made it there to feel its warmth. My foreman, an experienced planter names Dale, came on to my piece to give me a hand. We began to plant together, something we did regularly, but were unable to fall into the comfortable waltz of working together as we had in the past. We double planted trees unable to see anything. I stopped shivering. We planted, Dale cursing under his breath, until Zap, the lead foreman yelled at us to pack it in. Dale and I slid back to the truck. I asked Zap if we needed to load up the trucks and he looked at me, drenched with blue lips, called me insane and ordered me to get into the truck that he had put the heat on full blast. I started viciously, afraid that I would shatter my own teeth. It took me hours to warm up again.

Two memories etched into my memory with visceral clarity. I like to think that these Flashbulb memories shape who we are because they’re the memories that stick most strongly. One day I may write a book…

Always remembering,
Delaney C


“You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.” ― Anne Lamott

I generally try to post well formed, completed thoughts. There is merit to that. However, sometimes a raw thought, a thought not as flushed out comes to my mind and I hold off for months, daunted by the process of formulating a perfect thought worthy of sharing. Sometimes a raw thought, unshaped by time or correctness needs to be shared and I want to start making space for that.

Delaney C

October 7, 2014

Not All Men

It’s Monday. I’m going home at 6pm and a middle aged man and a teenage boy are the only people left on the bus with me. I consider the fact that because the driver is also a man I am the only person left on the bus with the correct genetic makeup for boobs. I’m automatically scared, scared because of my own anatomy. I wonder how old I was when I realized that my own body was going to be the cause of the constant anxiety and fear I feel in situations like this. I get off at the last stop and the older man smiles at me while following me up the street. His smile drips, drips, drips and my heart is pounding, pounding, pounding. He turns off down another road, but I run the rest of the way home.

Not all men.

I’m at home on a Tuesday, beginning to plan the travels I want to go on next year. I dream of wandering the streets and meeting strangers. I just can’t wait to escape the city I’ve lived in for 17 long years. But… my mum is hesitant. She’s forever worried about the danger that being a young girl traveling alone can bring. I’ll be alone and she’s scared. Surely I’m invincible. I feel invincible. But I know, I know this danger is real and I can’t help but think to myself, if I feel unsafe in my own city, how am i going to feel in a strange place with strange men who don’t speak the same language as me? If I was my brother planning this, I would probably just be wondering if European girls are going to be hot.

Not all men.

Wednesday is a beautiful sunny day but I’ve always been told that I don’t have a “nice enough body” to wear a bikini on the beach. Ever since I was 6 years old I’ve thought that having tummy fat was ugly. That skin that doesn’t have a perfectly golden glow is undesirable. I amble to a clear patch of sand in my one piece and I can feel pairs of eyes latching onto me. Hairy men in speedos who I don’t look twice at eat into my body with their stares. I’m a piece of meat. I am a piece of meat? I am here for their amusement. Please don’t let me be eaten alive.

Not all men.

Thursday night two friends and I are walking to our god damn school dance when we hear “Jesus look at you! You sluts heading to a pole?” These words snarl out of the mouth of a respectably dressed man and we stop in horror. Shivers roll up my back in fear. It’s dark. We are alone. What. Do. We. Do??? One of us pulls the finger back. I can never be sure how quickly a sexist man can get angry so we walk quickly away. We’re angry, so so angry. But also so… deflated. I wonder if we deserve this shame.

Not all men.

Sitting on the internet, Friday night and scrolling down my Facebook newsfeed:

“Haha, good job at the game today bro. You RAPED them!”
“Damn with tits like that, you’re asking for it :P”
Another sexist comment…
Another sexist comment…
Another sexist comment…
I’m shrinking and shrinking and shrinking and I want to CRY because these boys don’t realize how small they make me feel with just pressing a few keys. I see these boys on the streets, I talk to these boys, I laugh with these boys. Dear GOD, dear GOD i hope these boys don’t think actions speak louder than words…

Not all men.

Three rules that have been drilled into me since I was young run through my mind at 1.30am on a Satur… Sunday Morning:

-Don’t ever talk to strange men
-Don’t ever be alone at night in a strange place
-Don’t ever get into a car with a stranger
I break all 3 of these laws as I pull open the taxi door. Making light conversation with the driver, he doesn’t see my sweaty hand clutching the small pocket knife I keep hidden on me at all times. He doesn’t even realize the fear I feel at his mere presence. He cannot comprehend it, he never will. How easy would this 15 minute car ride be if I was born a boy?

Not all men.
It comes to Sunday, another snoozy, sleepy, Sunday and someone has the AUDACITY to tell me not all men are rapists. I say nothing.

I’m a 17 year old girl.
When I am walking alone and it’s dark, it’s all men.
When I am in a car with a man I don’t know well, it’s all men.
When men drunkenly leer at me on the streets, it’s all men.
When a boy won’t leave me alone at a party, it’s all men.
Not all men are rapists. But for a young girl like me? Every one of them has the potential to be.


My sister, Sierra, found this on tumblr and shared it with me. The writer does an excellent job at articulating how as a women I know it's Not All Men who perpetuate sexism, violence against women,and who make public space a dangerous place for me as a women to occupy.

I recently got in an argument had a discussion with my 24 y/o brother who was frustrated with "being painted with the same brush" as men who are sexist and oppressive when he himself is not. He challenged me saying, "if people are going to assume I am sexist or oppressive simply because I'm white and male, then what's the incentive" for him to make sure that he is not. I had trouble articulating my thoughts with him aside from saying that it's the right thing to do, and that as a women I'm judged every day due to sexism, and we don't always get to decide how people see us or perceive us to be.

One of the differences being that my safety is constantly in question and top of mind, while his feelings may be the only thing to be harmed. He routinely walks home from work in the exchange and downtown to Wolesely and West Broadway at 2 am. An experience he finds calming, enjoyable, and freeing for me is experience filled with anxiety, concern for my safety leaving me hyper aware of my surroundings, going out of my way to stay on well lit streets, and switching to the opposite side of the street to avoid other groups of people. I'd like to think I'm overreacting, being more cautious then necessary, but on more then one hundreds of occasions I've been yelled at, grabbed, and made to feel uncomfortable and unsafe.

I remember one evening leaving Old Market Square after closing down the Jazz Festival and finishing my volunteer shift. I started walking towards my apartment at the corner of River and Donald feeling content with the evening, the fact that at 2:30am it was warm, people were milling about, and I was going to meet a friend and have a beer. As I approached portage avenue a man came up to me and started talking to me. I kept walking while being polite, making it clear that I was headed on my way. I wasn't scared until he grabbed my arm. He grabbed my arm forcefully saying something along the lines of "you're pretty, you're alone, and we should get to know each other."

I'm not small by any means, but I remember feeling terrified. Easily overpowered. I managed to yank my arm out of his hand, kept walking forward and he lost interest. A minuted later, shaken up, I saw a cab and jumped in not wanting to take any more chances that evening. I hoped in the back and as I was giving my address realized the male cab driver was accompanied by a male friend whom sat beside him in the front seat. Again, I immediately felt unsettled, outnumbered and that there was the potential for danger. Was I safer on the street? Or safer in a cab? The ride was short. I hopped out blocks before my apartment, figuring I would take my chances in my own neighbourhood. I remember getting home to my apartment, double locking the door, sliding down to the floor with my back against a wall...and I still didn't feel safe.

As this writer eloquently says, its Not All Men, but every man has the potential, and sometimes I'm not willing to take the chance so that someones feelings don't get hurt.

With anger and frustration,
Delaney C.

June 11, 2014

Women In Power, Women in Politics

Last night I went to an event called ‘Women in Power.’ I wasn’t sure what to expect outside of knowing that there would be wine (yey), some presenters, and that it was a political event. I arrived, talked with some women who shared their experiences, and my confusion as to why we were there. When the presenters started it became clear that we were there so that we could be encouraged or groomed into entering politics in some way, and that the need for more committed, dedicated women who were willing to take the chance and run for office (at any level) is huge. Not shocking to me, knowing that women are severely underrepresented in all levels of politics even though we make up of a little more than half of the population. I’m still confused as to how I ended up on the guest list, but I am going to take it as a sign, that I need to get more involved, which is something that I have been entertaining for a while.

The first presenter was Minister Theresa Oswald and as she was speaking, about her own experience, and experiences that many women in positions of power, in politics, experience, it seemed a bit like a stand-up comedy bit. When she detailed the challenge of juggling many roles, of being late as you drop your kids off at school having stayed up late baking a perfect batch of cookies for their bake sale, while on the phone to ensure your parents’ home care has been arranged and they are being looked after, while trying to at the same time ensure that your constituents are represented and the budget you are trying to pass is a strong one, while having to work harder, show up before and stay later then your male counterpart, go home and run a household, raise your children, and maybe if there is time afterwards and you aren't too tired, have sex with your husband laughter erupted. She discussed her first experience with politics began when she was dating the then Minster of Education, and had the thought “I don’t want to be sleeping with the Minister of Education; I want to BE the Minister of Education.” Much to my amusement she also mentioned the importance of comfortable footwear and the absurdity of wearing heels which are a form of footwear I have sworn off forever.

For me, it wasn't funny, although I can understand her intention was to keep the conversation lighthearted. It was soul crushingly depressing. Because it's not funny, it's not comical. For me, that's the reality that I will face if I want to be successful outside of my home, if I want, one day to enter into politics...and who do I have to look up to? The statistics are depressing and the female role models are few and far between because the barriers for women to enter into the political realm are vast and they are steep.

One women I spoke of, who is an entrepreneur and single mother said that after fighting all day, to be heard, to be acknowledged, to grow her business and take care of her family she fights tooth and nail and that she is too tired to attend additional committee meetings, or task forces and just does not have the energy at the end of the day to focus on the bigger picture. Another woman explained that when she had started teaching in the 1970s her colleagues had to resign if they got pregnant, and would need to re-apply and hope they got hired back if they were to take any type of leave. Theresa Oswald spoke of being the first female sitting cabinet minister to become pregnant and no maternity leave policy being in place. I thought of my own experience and even though my father was helpful, understanding and an active feminist, my mom was still alone. My mother still had to fill in the gaps, have her pension and her career suffer, give up her individuality and independence and in turn was titled ‘mother.’ I want more than that. I don’t want to ever stop being Delaney in order to be a mother. I don’t want my title to be so simply reduced to one word that replaces everything else that I have worked up to that point for, while my partner (if there is one) is able to hold on to all of his titles, attributes, and accomplishments while adding one more badge of pride, ‘Dad.’

I shared stories of the covert sexism and misogyny that I had faced in University while participating in student politics. Talked about we are subconsciously taught to behave and think a certain way from the day we are born, and how over the last few years I had been un-learning, un-packing, and re-learning some of the messages so engrained. Why is it necessary to sit back and wait for my partner to propose to me in order to enter into a new chapter of our commitment together? Does it not make more sense that it is a conversation we are both involved in, both participate in and agree to. It seems to that conversation (or lack of) can and will set the tone for our marriage if there is to be one.

In speaking with my partner after returning home, who is by the way caring, compassionate, and generally very understanding of some of the struggles and frustrations I face, but still privileged in that he is a man and will never have to endure some of the treatment that I have, asked what some of the speakers identified as barriers for women entering politics. I told him that I didn’t need a political speaker to spell the barriers out to me. I knew. I know. I know what prevents women from getting involved an engaged in politics, in positions of power. Because I’ve felt them, and experienced them first hand, and every time I do, it’s a reminder that there is no gender equality. That I may have the right to vote, wear pants and work outside of the home, but that every damn day I have to fight to show up and be heard. Have to fight harder, longer, and more eloquently to be valued and respected. Have to make less mistakes, be more sure of myself, and that even so, my physical appearance and how well I take care of my family and my home will always be more valued then my ideas, my opinions and what I have accomplished professionally. That my brothers, and my partner will be respected and valued simply by being present, but that more will always be expected of me because I have boobs.

It’s bleak out there. It’s going to be, and is tough. It’s a man’s world and that is a fact. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t connect with other like-minded women, that I can’t continue to challenge my own ideas and understandings, and that I can’t continue to show up and fight every day so that maybe one day a girl will be able entertain the idea of a political career and have plenty of role models to choose from.

Fighting back,
Delaney C

May 30, 2014

Refusing to sink

Well, well, well. Here I am just about to enter into the 6 month of the year, and I haven't made a blog post since August which goes against the little list I made in January which had me planning on writing more among other things that I had identified would assist me in being a healthier, happier version of myself. Delaney 2.0, Delaney14, Delaney new and improved.

I’m not a fan of ‘New Year’s Resolutions”, but I am a fan of direction and goals so I came up with a list of things I wanted to accomplish in the 2014 year, a list of things I wanted to do more of, and a list of things I wanted to do less.

I am a huge fan and strong believer in personal (and professional) development. In fact I am always reflecting and analyzing myself, my actions, my perspective on a specific situation and identifying weak points, areas where I could improve, and occasionally identifying strengths…some times to my own detriment. This behaviour, at least in my mind, has made me hyper aware of who I am as a person (and a professional) and kept me aware of where I want to go and the path I need to be on to get there. I constantly seek out experiences and opportunities for learning and growth whether it be hands on in a volunteer capacity, joining a committee or project at work, or observing those in leadership and managerial roles to figure out what I like and do not like about their approach and how it would complement my own. Always learning, always growing…and deeply afraid of stagnating, staying in the same place, failing to thrive.

Along with writing more (something I love to do but don’t often make the time for) I made a goal to read more which is something that doesn't always make the cut after finally getting how following a long day but something I am so happy to do.

In June 2011 I made the intentional decision to stick around Winnipeg, to stay in Canada, to pursue a relationship, to put down some roots and to see if they would grow. And grow they did. Its May 2014, and I’ve learned a lot in the last 3 years, I’ve grown a lot in the last three years, and the relationships I wanted to pursue and develop have become strong in ways that I could not have anticipated being possible…and making it more than a bit difficult to take off again.

Unable to decide on a graduate program that was a good fit, I decided that looking for a new job might be the way to go to push myself outside of my comfort zone, hone some skills I want to develop, and explore an area that I have been interested in for a long time. Which has led me to where I am now. Starting a new position, in a new line of work, daunted by what seems like a mountain of learning and firsts ahead. I’m feeling very overwhelmed and like I may have taken a big bite of something I will be unable to chew however I have been in this situation before (as I keep reminding myself) and that it will get better as I feel more comfortable because change and transitions are always hard (I’m trying to have a gentler and more kind mental tape as well).

With summer on the doorstep and new challenges ahead I am going to channel the sun who regardless of the gloomiest days rises the next.

Growing, growing, growing,
Delaney C.

Down, down, down, down.

My heart is angry and hard this week, although if I’m being honest and realistic its been that way for a while now.

Since I started realizing and becoming aware of how little I matter to society, and to people around me. How as a women all signs point to me being less than, and only being assigned value as I related to someone else. How my body is not my own, but how others (typically white men in a position of power) get to have more say over my body and what I get to do with it then I do, and have the right to access over it. How I can’t enjoy a solo bike ride without a man yelling at me from his car window “nice tits” as if I asked for his commentary on my body, and how I have to qualify that experience by saying “I wasn’t every wearing anything low cut” to prove that I wasn’t “asking for it.”

This week a man whose name was Elliot Rodgers killed six people, and sent seven more to the hospital because he wanted to seek retribution against women who had rejected him. I’ve read a bunch of thoughtful and articulate articles on the issue and I’m not going to attempt to write my own. I am angry, ANGRY, that in 2014 this is still going on. That there are people sympathizing with him, posting comments, tweets, responses stating that it was the fault of the women who rejected him and that at least one of them should have slept with him and not been so stuck up. As a women I shouldn’t have to sleep with anyone who wants to sleep with me, or anyone at all, because my body (and what I choose to do with it) is MY decision. I shouldn’t have to say “I have a boyfriend” to ward off unnecessary flirting or advances, I shouldn’t have to have three alternative escape plans running through my mind while walking home alone at night, I shouldn’t have to politely listen when men tell me that “you’d be prettier if you smiled” or worry that the dress I’m wearing might bring unwanted attention even if it’s the dress I want to wear that makes me feel good.

I’m enraged that my generation (and many others) denies that misogyny is an current issue, and denies that we continue to perpetuate a “rape culture” of violent masculinity without addressing that as a society we comply to these standards. We chuckle with little boys are aggressive and domineering, we tell little girls to be dainty and delicate and that when a boy teases you or picks on you he likes you and allow these little girls and little boys to grow up into adults where the same holds true. Where my chances of advancing as a professional will be thwarted because of my gender even if I am skilled and talented at what I do, and where my individuality, safety and security will be compromised every damn day because I am a women.

This is not the world I want to live in. This is not the world I want my sister to live in. Yesterday my heart was so heavy, my mind to frustrated about the INJUSTICE that continues to be perpetuated in our ‘civilized’ society that I wanted to give up fighting. But I can’t. Because I am strong enough to say no, courageous enough to call people out, and determined enough that I will not accept this treatment…on the streets, in bars, in my workplace, from neighbours, friends or strangers…and hopefully by speaking out, and showing other women and girls, men and boys that this behaviour, this way of thinking is completely unacceptable they too can speak loudly, step in when it is happening, and we can move towards a society that values women as individuals, a society that protects and advocates women's rights, and act as allies against those who don’t.

Delaney C