Category Archives: Rants

Are you a Natural Mother?

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Are you a natural Mother? I sure as hell am not!

Being a Mother has been the only job I’ve ever had in my life that brought me to my knees begging for mercy on multiple occasions.

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My husband recently brought it to my attention that other people he knows (sometimes himself included) feel inadequate when around me as a parent. This made me sad. Never since becoming a Mother have I EVER tried to force my opinions or ideas on another Mother because I know people parent from their own experiences. What may be important to me, may not be for you.

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Here is a perfect example. When my husband and I were about to become first time parents, I had actually gotten my ideal job offer, BUT, it wasn’t meant to be because my husband was on a trajectory that would make him 3 times more money than I would ever make, but it would require him to leave for long stretches of time, and IF I took my job offer, it would have meant that my baby would be without either of his parents for most of the beginning of his life.

My own Mother’s words rang in my ears about how much she had wished she could have stayed home with me when I was small instead of leaving me in daycare or with various babysitters and I made the decision to stay home, because I wanted better for my son than I had. I wasn’t sad about it because I have faith in myself and know if I went back to work tomorrow I know I could get a full time job, without much headache.

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I think this is what makes me come off to other Mothers as being a natural. The opinion that others have of me, doesn’t bother me. I will tell you it is entirely because of the fact that life has taught me, when others find fault in you, it is because they don’t have the bravery to look at themselves and figure out what is driving them to criticize others. I know I look crazy to others and I know others think I should care more about their opinions but I just walk through my life to my own beat, looking a touch crazy on a regular basis, and I’m proud of that!

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I parent my children without apologies. I make every bad situation into a teachable moment for them and myself. I’ve turned every meltdown that my kids have thrown in public into a teachable moment for me, sometimes I learn my lesson and say, “No way am I gonna attempt that shit again” other times, I just am hurting to solve the issue and try and try and try again! I hear the criticism from others, I just don’t care! Also I have developed this amazing ability to tune out people, I mean if I can tune out the screaming banshee of a child of mine throwing a tantrum about having the wrong spoon colour, tuning our a mean mommy wannabe is easy peasy.

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Back to my original point, I am not a natural Mother, nope not me, you must have me mistaken for someone else! My house is constantly a mess, I swear in multiple languages, multiple times a day! Everything about Motherhood has been difficult for me, I just stepped up, and did my best, researched the shit out of everything I could and then applied what I could to my own situation. Now I will make a list of the things that didn’t come easy to me.

Pregnancy

Childbirth

Recovery from childbirth (two c-sections that had open holes for over two months, and terrible nurses making me cry in hospital both times)

Sleep (the fact that none of my kids slept for more than 3 hours at a time for more than a year a piece) I am not a morning person.

Breastfeeding judgement

Pumping problems

Judgy Grandma telling me to give formula because my kid was too skinny

judgy relatives thinking that both of my kids were on the Autism spectrum (even though I am trained to find markers of learning disabilities and they are trained to be gossipy Aunties, please give me your unsolicited and uneducated opinion)

Hormonal imbalances

Infertility issues when trying for my second

Miscarriage when trying for my second

Dealing with having my health deteriorate due to complications from childbirth

Weight gain for someone like me who used to be athletic!

Dealing with postpartum depression

Despising my husband for not helping because of his and our culture’s chauvinist ways.

My husband not standing up for me to people who constantly criticized me in his circle of people

My husband not stepping up to the plate once we became parents

Recognizing my children have allergies, and then having to step up to the plate and change everything that I had learned to about cooking and relearn to make everything from scratch. A whole lifestyle change.

Even now, I get so much judgement for REFUSING to hang around people that despise me, because it isn’t worth my emotional sanity to give toxic people even a moment of my time.

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The point of all this is to show you, or someone you know that even when you suspect that someone is perfect, chances are they aren’t. I struggle EVERY Day! I am constantly learning how to deal with life so that it doesn’t tip me back into depression. I don’t want your pity because I deal with my emotions, I have balances and checks in place to ensure that I don’t fall back on hard times. I am emotionally intelligent enough to ask for help when I need it, but I am very cautious of whom I ask.

I hope you take a good hard look at yourself today and just be happy that you have made it this far!

 

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Toronto Police In Schools

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Once upon a time a very long time ago in the land of Rexdale, Ontario, there lived a young woman who would be lucky enough to go to school with Toronto Police officers roaming the halls (in addition to a regular security guard). That same  young woman would graduate with honours and a scholarship to many, many different universities, and return to complete her Masters practicum at the very same high school. Also still at that high school 6+ years later, were the same type of Toronto Police officers.

The problem with Toronto Police Officers being in high schools in Toronto was that it was very, Very obvious to the teachers (both white and non white) that only certain students were even noticed by those police officers. I was approached many times by the uniformed police officers while a high school student. I was also approached by undercover Brandon Walsh looking police officers asking me where I could score some “Ganja”

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I laughed it off then, but that was due to the fact that I didn’t realize why I was being asked this question and not my Chinese Canadian friend, or my Greek friend. Now looking back I understand why, but back then it was a joke.

Fast forward a few years, 4 years of my undergrad and then 1 and a half for the beginning of my Masters program for teaching and I found myself back at my home high school in Rexdale, teaching some of my classmates’ younger siblings or cousins! You know who was still roaming those halls? Yup, you guessed it, Toronto Police Officers! Multiple times when I was teaching there were incidents, where massive group fights broke out (Just like when I was a student) and umm, who went to go break up these fights you might ask…Not the Toronto Police! Nope, they sure didn’t! In fact one of the VPs broke her ankle because she was pushed down the back hill of my school trying to break up a fight. In fact as a part of my training as a teacher, there was actually a page over the PA system where they would say something along the lines of “Paging Mr. Nelson to the front Hallway” which meant ALL TEACHERS come to the front hallway to break up a fight! Not once in my 2 years of volunteering did I see a Police officer break up a fight, but Every Damn day I saw a teachers helping those same “at risk” students instead of intimidating, Not every teacher but most of them at this school were like that.

Those same police officers would stop me in the hallway when I was dressed in jeans every Friday to the point where my supervising teacher suggested that I no longer come in dressed down, because she was worried for my safety (also that teacher of mine was a white lady). They would stop me in the hallway saying the most condescending things, like “Excuse me Missy shouldn’t you be in class?” “Don’t make us send you to the Principal’s office.” When I would snap back at them and say I am a teacher not a student (very loudly) they wouldn’t even apologize, instead almost every single time it would be a mimicking of my voice and then saying something along the lines of, “Hey you should take it as a compliment, you look so good for your age, by the way how old are you?” It would make me so angry!

What makes things worse as a teacher who didn’t recognize my privilege, my students would walk into my class late, and tell me regularly they were late because they were stopped by the cops. I could easily snap back at those officers in front of the Principal’s office, but could my students, nope.

For all those people who say the schools will be less safe without police officers there, you are privileged enough to think that the Toronto Police Officers are there to serve and Protect you. As a young Indian woman with dark skin, I didn’t feel that way, and I still don’t feel that way. I know Police Officers, I have family members who are Toronto Police officers, and I see the problem in them too! There is a systemic problem within the Toronto Police Services, they are brainwashed to be a certain way towards Women, and people of colour, and they reserve their harshest judgement for young Black Men.

Until you are someone who experiences blatant racism or sexism from the organization that is paid to protect you, please just SIT DOWN, AND SHUT UP!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also I will add as I always do, There are good police officers in Toronto, but UNTIL those good ones outnumber the bad ones there will always be anger and fear towards them instead of being revered.

Aladdin Cast White Washed

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The title sounds like I’m race baiting, I’m not. While I think all the actors cast as actually great actors, I have a problem with a British man, (who will inherently bring his own colonial views to this movie) Guy Ritchie, who isn’t exactly known for the diversity in his film, nor showing people of colour in a great light. If you don’t believe me please feel free to watch any and all of his movies!

I’m going to keep this short, because this casting of Mena Massoud, and Naomi Scott as the leads Will Smith as the Genie, all have one problem in common. They are all the fairest examples of their race. Mena is a light skinned Egyptian, Naomi is part British, and the other part of her is Northern Indian (most Northern Indians are mixed with British, as someone of Northern Indian descent I am mixed with British, Bulgarian and Italian via a 23 and me DNA test) and Will Smith who is very much a light skinned black man.

All of this leads to a major problem for young children who are going to watch this movie after seeing the original cartoon version. Do you know what they will first notice? That the characters are no longer dark skinned. They may not voice this, they may instead internalize it like so many children do, and that is the sad part of all it. There is a billion dollar industry of skin bleaching products, South Asian, East Asian, African, Middle Eastern and basically all people of colour are targeted by the idea that the more white your skin is the more pure you are and the better you are. Now this movie with this casting will only perpetuate this problem.

I’m sure Guy Ritchie will cast the darkest person he can find to be Jafar, but Dark Skinned people are only good enough for the roles of villians.

Aladdin History Lesson

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Aladdin was originally a story within the tales that Scheherazade told a king to avoid him killing her. The Story is of Persian origin, Not Arabic, do you know why I can say that with so much certainty? Because Arabic is a language, not a bloody history or culture. Aladdin was added into the stories by a French writer Balland, and wasn’t a part of the original Arabian nights and it was based on Chinese folklore. It was supposed to have taken place during the Abbasid empire reign, that empire included parts of India, China, the Middle East and Africa and Persia. Aladdin as a story belongs to the people of the East. But all my concern is for the remake of the cartoon version. 

The Reason why Indians can also feel a connection to Aladdin is due to the fact that Persian descendants ruled Indian during one of the Golden ages and intermingled and Married freely. 

When Disney Made Aladdin originally it was meant to be a cartoon that catered to both the various Middle Eastern Cultres and Indian ones. The characters clothing, turbans, facial hair, noses, hair, jewelry even Agrabah is all Ambiguous between all the cultures. Come on can you honestly tell me Jasmine’s dad’s turban is based on any other turban than that of an Indian? 

For reference Agra was one of the Mughals Crown Jewels in its kingdom, so for Middle Eastern People to disregard Indian people having claim to this movie’s origins is equally as silly as Indians disregarding the Middle East influences in the movie. 

The Mouse was careful in playing even Stevens with the creation of the cartoon! Everything that Mouse does is calculated (not necessarily a bad thing). After having random internet arguments with foolish people on that article’s post, I decided to clear the air. 

If you disbelieve me with regards to the origins of Aladdin I have actual hard copies of my Indian Ocean history classes and Muslim worlds first hand account books to help clear the air. Also my 23 and me DNA test and that of my husbands clearly show that we are mixed up with Persian/Indian/British/East Asian/Southern Italian/Native-Indigenous just between the two of us

Bottom line is that someone descending from Persians (not only Middle Eastern or Indian) should be playing the roles.  

Also here is a better suited list of Asian leads:

1. Riz Ahmed – he can already sing and dance he’s a part of swet Shop Boys

2. Avan Jogia- he’s a Canadian kid who played a young king Tut and he can sing and dance via his days on a Disney show

3. Ranveer Singh – I mean he can look like a dirty rotten scoundrel when needed, he can dance and sing like Nobody’s business and he’s played an epic romantic that can literally send shivers down your spine

4. Aryan Khan – SRK’s boy spawn, I mean his father is the Badshah of Bollywood and he would be the Freshest face among since it would be his Debut role. This is my wild card choice since it is based on Rumors that he wants to get into acting. 

5. Arjun Kapoor – he’s a fresher face in Bollywood but he’s proven he has acting chops and he is young enough. 

6. Aditya Roy Kapoor – he for sure can act, and isn’t a typical light skinned actor. He also has a more mainstream accent which I’m sure Disney is looking for…I mean unless they really just want to cast a white person in the role. 

7. Rupinder Nagra – he was heart wrenchingly beautiful in Amal, I cried, still cry every time I watch the movie.

For Jasmine: 

1. Lily Singh a.k.a SuperWoman is still my top pick, she can sing and act plus she has a huge following, this seems like a no brainer. 

2. Priyanka Chopra – because she is a badass. 

3. Hannah Simone – I mean come on she’s perfect and would look great with Riz on screen. She currently plays Cece on new girl

4. Nazneen Contractor – she was in the reboot of Heroes and was fantastic! 

5. Noureen DeWulf- because she could easily be ambiguous between Indian and MiddleEastern. 

6. Kay Ray a.k.a Kiran Rai who plays the title role of Anarkali on the web series by Miss Mutta. She for sure has the chops for it and she can dance too! Homegrown talent like Lily Singh.

7. I would pick Deepika Paducone if Disney could just hire her but I know they don’t seem to want too foreign sounding of an actress…sad by true.

So to that foolish writer on Huffinton Post, next time if you don’t want to write an article or aren’t interested don’t write a half assed one and try to pass it off as something. Ask someone who knows something about the topic for help if need be but don’t publish an article on a branch of the Huff Post meant to destroy stereotypes of Asians. You literally were so uneducated on the top you just perpetuated the ignorance of the Disney casting directors, and that hurts for people who are trying so hard to make a difference and break stereotypes! 

UPDATE: The same writer on HUFF POST decided to respond to criticism but not directly by posting a link to an article that Aladdin has roots in being Chinese, I guess I skipped in my post that there are and were Many Chinese people that were a part of the same empires. The link that she posted doesn’t even prove that Aladdin was Chinese it just shows that the Chinese also had their telling of the Moralistic Story of Aladdin, just like Urdu speaking storytellers and Arabic ones! Urrgh nothing makes me more angry than “journalists” posting ill thought out articles and then post Links that they think prove them correct when in actuality just display another theory, further proving her wrong!

PLEASE PLEASE remember this was a folk tale that spanned various cultures and people are getting upset by it and it’s crazy because it Aladdin NEVER really existed!  

5 ways to stop being a Judgy Mom

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1. Don’t give unsolicited advice. Unless you are asked for help specifically about a topic keep your opinion to yourself.

2. When a Mother is out without her child, don’t ask where the child is. She probably has enough Mom guilt and if not she needs a break and doesn’t need to be reminded of her baby

3. Unless you have something nice to say like “here let me hold the baby for a minute so you can sit” or “wow you look amazing” something along those lines chances are you are gonna say something bitchy like “oh wow your house looks like a hot mess you should call my service” or “you look so tired” No shit Sherlock!

4. This one may sound strange, but people really do this, asking; “What’s wrong with your kid, why does he/she do ___________?” I had someone ask me why my kid doesn’t stop asking questions, or some ignorant crap like that. For a new mom it can be worrying, because lets face it you aren’t REALLY concerned why he’s doing something you are just pointing it out to be a cow, and not the good kind of cow either. I’m talking about those moo faces that chew cuud while giving you side eye. 

5. If you ever feel the need to say “I would NEVER do __________ with my kid, can you believe that?” Unless the blank was some form of child abuse get the pickle out of your bum and understand that every single person in this world is different! If we don’t differ in how we raise our children how will we ever teach them to respect each other’s differences. 

Children learn to be bullies from their parents so if you are acting all high and mighty around your friends and your children, you are setting your kids up for failure in life, let alone the playground!

Please, stop saying these 6 things before my head explodes!

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1. “All of THE sudden” it is actually “All of A Sudden”

2. “Respond Back” or “Reply back” or “return back” you can literally just say RESPOND, REPLY or RETURN! When you add “back” you are being redundant.

3. “Could of” instead it is “Could Have”

4. “Intensive Purposes” it is actually “Intents and Purposes”

5. “Merge together” just like respond, reply and return just say “Merge”

6. “How’s going?” maybe this is just a Canadian thing, but the correct question is “How is it going?”
I’m not saying it to be mean, it just drives me so crazy!!! I want to correct people who say it but then I would really be a jerk so you know I ignore it and then it just keeps happening…it is a vicious cycle of driving me crazy! 
Thanks God I got that off my chest…oh wait that one too! “THANK God” or goodness for my atheists 😊

I’m a Westerner with Desi Roots

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I got into a bit of an online argument the other day with someone about whitewashing in Hollywood. It was a very amicable argument, we agreed on most points but agreed to disagree on others. He said something to me though that if Hollywood wants to remake a Japanese movie, why not change characters to suit western audiences….

This bothers me a lot!

I’m not bothered about changing original interpretations to suit modern audiences. In fact I think Hollywood studios should look to Disney and how they are modernizing their cartoons to real life and doing it with more kickass heroines and more diverse characters. I’m so super duper bothered that this guys I was arguing with doesn’t realize that I’m a Westerner, and so are so many of my South Asian, East Asian friends! 

Look I get that people may have a typical idea of what a Westerner looks like but it isn’t just white people anymore who are a part of our landscape. This is the problem with token diversity. Throwing in a brown guy in a sitcom or a black woman shows that there can only be one ethnic person in an entire show is not an actual representation of what the makeup of Canada is or North America for that matter. 

A list of some shows with one taken coloured character: 

The Big Bang Theory

Full house and fuller house 

Grandfathered

The Mick

The Middle

The goldbergs

Saving Hope

Sienfield 

The Simpsons 

Parks and Rec (there were two here so you know that’s a plus) 

There are really just too many to count so I will stop there. 

The problem with these token Characters is that usually they are some kind of Joke or comedic relief or or wait the best is when they are the terrorists let’s not forget when Brown people are cast as terrorist or even sometimes you get the kill two birds with one stone and get a terrorist who is a Black guy!

That bothers me immensely that we are represented like this to the world. But there is something that usually goes hand in hand with whitewashing in cinema or TV, and that is the “white saviour” storyline. 

We saw it with Ghost in the shell, the Great Wall, Dr. strange, and too many other movies. The problem with the white saviour storyline is that for the most part White people do not understand why this makes people of different ethnicities or races upset. The simple truth is that colonizers, whether they were British, Portuguese, Dutch or Italian, we all over the world telling people of colour that they were savages and that they as White people were there to save us from our disgusting way of life. They raped our people, our land and then claimed we were part of their empires. When we went knocking at their front doors, educated in their ways and cleaned up for show, we still were only good enough to be cab drivers and hurry curry resturant owners. 

Oh my God and since we are talking about the White Saviour crap, can you believe that Pepsi commercial? And the Nivea’s “White is Purity” campaign?! See this proves my point. White people have seen themselves also as saviours to us lowlife savages. You mean to tell me those fools in the boardroom at Nivea don’t know that their major client base are coloured people? My best friends growing up were black and Nivea went on our entire body face to toe after every shower, on my skin on hers. Really and Kendal Jenner being the Saviour to the coloured people protesting?!? Really?! Someone fired EVERY single person involved in the making of that commercial!

That sums it up, obviously there are deep seeded issues and stuff that goes way back. But here’s the thing. When my Grandfather was Born he was Born a British Citizen, and the same for my father. So really me being first Generation Canadian, if you look at my pedigree so to say, I’m actually 3rd Generation Westerner, and my sons are 4th Generation. 

With all of that said, the white Saviour shit needs to stop, as does the whitewashing of Hollywood Movies. If you cast Shahrukh Khan and Donnie Yen in a cop Buddy flick it would open screens world bloody wide!

I’m a Brown skinned Indian descendant Canadian born with British parents and Grandparents, I’m double degree educated and I’m covered in Tattoos and piercings and as Western as any other person born and Raised in Canada! 

I’m a Westerner so start waking up and changing your thinking!