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Archive for the ‘Women’ Category

…and every other sexual assault survivor who has been put on trial and had their honor, their words and humanity discredited through the so-called process of justice.

 

Does an abused partners accusations against his/her partner become any less credible because they remain married? What if someone gets punched in the face by their friend? Does the fact that they were friends before and friends after the incident suddenly make that punch something other than an assault?

 

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I’m passionate about life again! Maybe it’s partly due to the weather but the main reason for the re-ignition of this old flame is Caitlin Moran, Eve Ensler and my new attitude. Continue reading to find out how these incredible ladies changed my life.

I recently decided to take control of my life and instead of mulling over decisions to the point of insanity I now follow my gut. I don’t give myself time to think things over because that usually results in a “safe” decision. “I can’t really afford it” is one of my common excuses. This new attitude started with my decision to leave Japan. This should have been a difficult decision to make but it really wasn’t. I guess I thought that if I could make a major life decision such as to leave the place I had called home for the passed five years than I could make any subsequent decisions easily.

The momentum that this new approach had given my life is incredible. I’m regaining passion for a lot of things that life has to offer, music is one of them but also my passion for justice and equality.

Many of you know that last month I organized a reading of The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler for V-Day Tokyo 2013. For those of you who don’t know what TVM or V-Day are I encourage you to Google it right now! Stop reading this and find out about V-Day.

Every time I’ve organized a charity event I’m always so impressed with the spirit and generosity of the people. It really makes me feel good about bringing people together and creating awareness. TVM was the most stressful event I’ve organized to date but also the most rewarding. Vspot.org have a lot of requirements for the events you organize so I had to adhere to their rules but also adjust to Japanese culture and business etiquette. This was my first time dealing directly with a Japanese owned and operated venue so at times it was difficult to get my point across but they were very helpful and were willing to meet me half way throughout the entire process. This was only a small part of what made V-Day Tokyo memorable and special to me.

Through only word of mouth and a couple of posts on this blog I was able to find an amazing group of ladies willing to help bring awareness and create a dialogue about women’s issues here in Tokyo, Japan. Many of the ladies I had never met before, most of them had never been involved in TVM before and a few told me that they would not have read had I not been the one organizing it. Each woman brought her own unique energy to the readings resulting in a perfect show. The turn out was amazing and I ended up with a tremendous amount of clothing (and money) to donate to our beneficiary.

Somewhere during the last five years I lost my feminine pride or maybe I lost it before that. But the closer it came to V-Day, the more passionate I felt about the issues we were discussing and more importantly about being a woman. In the midst of organizing and preparing for V-Day, I stumbled across a copy of “How to Be a Woman” by Caitlin Moran (synchronicity perhaps?). Finally I found a book about women that I could relate to. To me the book is the modern definition of feminism and Caitlin nails it on the head.

Although I thoroughly enjoyed Morans book, it wasn’t until I sat down to talk with one of the TVM readers when I finally remembered how enraged I used to get when hearing about violence against women, gender inequality or hate and inequality in general. This shit used to fuckin’ piss me off! I would yell at the television and curse the ground that rapists walk on. There was a time when I would cry uncontrollably and turn away from a movie depicting a rape scene or even eluding to it. It all came flooding back to me and reignited my feminist flame. I can wear that label with pride now because I understand it. I used to think of feminists in the same way as many others; bra-burning, man-hating lesbians. If you cut out all the crap and negative stereotypes that surround the word “feminist” you get down to what it really means, EQUALITY. And who doesn’t want equality?

I want equality for everyone.

flag-decorative-pride

 

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Suicide Girls

I used to like Suicide Girls but the types of models they use still promotes the unfair reality that you have to be incredibly hot and a certain size in order to be a model.

Honestly, the only difference between Suicide Girls and other models is the presence of body art and hair color.  Where are all the average looking girls and plus sized models?

Suicide Girls Logo

“SuicideGirls is an alternative to the mainstream media’s obsession with the silicone enhanced Barbie dolls and the incredible shrinking starlets.”

Maybe these girls don’t have fake boobs but in my opinion they’re just as harmful than their silicone counterparts.

I don’t have anything against promoting an alternative to mainstream beauty but if you’re going to do it, do it right. Skinny, fat, big boobs, small boobs and everything in between.

End rant.

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I have an overflowing plate of goodness on my hands right now. Too busy to blog, which I consider a good think although maybe all of you disagree.

So let’s see… derby. Yes, derby!

I missed an opportunity to bout last weekend and I’m still kicking myself in the ass for that one. “Whine, whine, I’m not ready, whine, whine, whine.” I know that it’s my responsibility to further my skills by participating in bouts but I really wish someone had told me I had no choice BUT to bout. Regardless of whether I was bouting or not it was still a good mash up and Tokyo Bombers Girls had one representative, YoYo Akiyo. It was YoYo’s first derby bout and despite the language and rule difficulties she still came away with MVP Jammer award. Woo-hoo!

Rob Shaw took some pretty awesome pics of the match. You can check them out here.

After much thought and consideration, I’ve decided to change my name from Bet T. Rage (which I wasn’t really fond of anyway) to… WAIT FOR IT…

Miso Wicked #EhT4

I wanted to somehow combine elements of both of my homes (Canada and Japan). I think I done good on this one. I would call it a success and lucky for me it’s unique enough to not be rejected by the international roster, I hope.

What else is happening in my life?

I started and finished the Hunger Games series and absolutely loved every page of the three book series. I think there were times when I actually thought I lived in Panum. I went through a bit of withdrawal when I finished but found solace in Factory Girls by Leslie Chang, which is what I am currently reading.

Between derby and full-time work I somehow manage to make time for two online courses. I’m taking the courses through Vancouver Island University and so far the experience has been positive. It’s the first time I’ve ever taken part in online learning so it’s had a slight learning curve but I seem to have figured out.

That’s about it for me. My birthday is coming up on October 5 so make sure you swing by and wish me a happy birthday.

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I recently got my hair cut in Japan, not my first time, and certainly a long shot from the experience I had the first time I went to a salon here.

Seeing as how I was practically a tomboy up until a few years ago, hair cuts and hair products (with the exception of hair spray and mouse) were never a huge concern of mine. Now? Well, just consult my boyfriend about the number of hair products that exist under and around our bathroom sink. I don’t even know how to properly use all of them, I just buy them because I think I need them. I’ve got wax (hard and spray), mousse, hair spray, a few different types of heat protection, anti-frizz, anti-humidity, anti-rain, and the list goes on.

What I’m really here to talk about are my salon experiences in Tokyo.

The first time I ventured out out of the comfort of my damaged, mangy hair was maybe a year after I arrived in Japan. I was desperate, so I chose the most appealing sign and price in my neighborhood (yes, I did little to no research). But back then I wasn’t quite willing to pay ¥6000~ for a hair cut at Sin Den or Watanabe; back then, I was still cheap. Now spending ¥6000 is easy as pie.

And so I went. I made sure to put my phrase book/dictionary in my bag and away I went as if heading to the last stand.

The first thing I noticed about the salon was how friendly the staff was even though we didn’t understand each other. I was even brought a drink while I waited for my turn in the electric chair. When they were ready for me, they brought me to my seat and I attempted to explain what I wanted. It wasn’t anything too complicated, just a trim. I really don’t think the stylist ever interacted with a foreigner before because he was just as nervous (if not more than) I was.

From my experience a quick shampoo is usually a give in when you get your haircut. However, in Japan that shampoo time is something completely different. As your legs are covered with a blanket, your face with a sheet (to protect your makeup), the stylist gently leans you back and then begins to massage your scalp. The series of thoughts that went through my mind were, “what the…? That feels pretty good……………Wait! What the hell? I didn’t ask for this. This better be free.” and, it was. Intense scalp massages are a part of the incredible Japanese service you receive at salons, legitimate salons.

The cutting itself went fine, aside from the constant reassurance I had to give to my stylist about the length. Then it came time for drying and styling. As you probably already know Western hair and Japanese hair are very different and I don’t just mean in terms of color. Texture, thickness, volume everything is different and for someone not used to dealing with Western hair let alone CURLY Western hair well, I’m sure this was a daunting task for my stylist.

My salon experiences in Canada always guarantee a blow dry and straighten with an iron something that I apparently took for granted because I didn’t get the same treatment during this experience. I got what probably most Japanese customers get, a straight blow dry. Anyone that knows me, knows my hair and a simply blow dry (despite the use of product) always results in frizz, a big ol’ head of frizz. This time was no exception. I said it was fine, paid my dues and left wishing I had a hat, a hood, anything to cover my electrified head. As soon as I got home the straightened got plugged in. Phew!

The next few times I visited a salon it went relatively smoothly because I brought pictures AND made sure I asked for straightening.

Then, I found Watanabe and my saviour, Chie. I grew tired of having stylists who didn’t have experience with western hair and that didn’t speak English. I know that I’m in Japan but when it comes to things like doctors, dentists, esthetician and hair dressers they absolutely have to speak good English. It’s a requirement because my horrible Japanese can’t be trusted to get me what I need and/or want.

The first time I went to Watanabe was when I was turning or had just turned 30 and I had decided that I needed a more grown-up look. I went for a dramatic cut and color with the artistic director of the salon, Chie. She worked her magic and gave me one of the best hair cuts I’ve ever had. I trust her so much now that I just let her do what she thinks is best and it’s always a win. But that’s beside the point.

Its customary (at least at Watanabe) to not only give scalp massages during shampooing but once you are back in your chair you also get a full neck massage. Going to a hair salon here is not just an in and out therapy session (although I’m sure you could shorten it by opting out of the wonderful extras, but why would you want to?) its a process, a very relaxing process.

Some other hair salons with English-speaking staff include:

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Prelude…

Time for an update I suppose or some poetry? I’ll just write and see what comes out.

Since my new hair cut (courtesy of Chie @ Watanabe) I have accumulated a lot of hair products. I now have spray in wax, hard wax, straight hair mouse and anti-frizz/heat protector. It’s all a bit confusing actually and I don’t really know what any of them do so I just use them all at once. My hair is instantly greasy, success!! 😉

I recently discovered that Japanese grapes are gross. It took me 3 years because I refuse to pay $5 for a bunch of grapes, the only reason I had them recently was because they were given to me. I guess if you like really sweet fruit you’ll like Japanese grapes but for me, grapes need to be a bit sour, not taste like you’re chewing grape flavored gummies.

Time for AWESOME NEWS! Less Than Jake is coming to Tokyo at the end of October. I’m fuckin’ STOKED!! Roger will be mine, oh yes, he will be mine.


Here’s some great news for the ladies living in Japan. You can actually get over-the-counter medication for infections of the yeasty kind. What I mean is that you don’t have to go through the hassle of going to a doctor and getting a prescription when you already know what the problem is. The product is called フレディCC (Furedi CC) and is available in cream or suppository form. Both are sold separately not in one set like in the West. The cream costs around ¥1200 and the suppositories cost around ¥3000. It’s a lot more than you would pay back home but at least you can avoid going to the doctor. I’ve been in this country for 3 years and just now discovered this product, thank god for the internet and my interneting skills.
I guess that’s all for now. I’ve been working on some poetry that I’ll post soon, once it’s perfected.

Love Banana

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