Tasnia Nasar


Top #PeriodsAreNotAnInsult Tweets

Remember that little talk we had a few days ago about period shaming? Yeah, so I’ve decided it’s a thing. If you haven’t heard,  Donald Trump made a comment about Fox report, Megyn Kelly following the presidential debate which – it’s safe to say – Megyn won.  Thus, Donald Trump took to the media to state his opinions about his loss in a very Trump-like fashion.

“You could see that there was blood coming out her eyes, blood coming out of her [brief pause] wherever.” he said, claiming that Megyn attacked him with her questions about his treatment toward women.

But she wasn’t even leaking, Trump. How did you see blood?

Donald later retracted his statement, saying he said ”whatever” instead of ”wherever.” Whatever, Donald. You’re too late. Now please bear witness to all these statements about our periods for the duration of your campaign. Please let us know if you have any questions about the blood that comes out of ”wherever.” We’re highly experienced when it comes to Aunt Flo, as these ladies have demonstrated:


Hopfully this will all bleed over soon. Good luck getting out of this one ”or whatever”, Trump.

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There’s no such thing as period shaming

Once a month, women experience what is known as a menstrual cycle. But I’m sure you already know that.

Despite your knowledge on the subject, I’ve recently been told by society and new-age feminists that we need to start talking about our periods. So let’s talk, shall we?

Periods suck. It’s bad enough women have to bleed out of their vaginas for a week. But in addition to the World War III that’s going on in between our legs, we are also required to act tolerant towards the cashier at McDonalds, who give us judgmental looks when we order a cheeseburger with extra cheese and a side of large fries with some more cheese and a diet soda (because balance).

Whether you learned about periods during those awkward sex-ed classes in elementary school or you share a bathroom with your girlfriend, roommate, sister, or wife — periods are something we, women and men, know exists. Unlike ”period activists” however, no one really likes to discuss periods. Despite period shaming becoming a thing nowadays, there’s some of us – feminists included – who have no problem concealing what comes out of their vaginas. And that’s okay! Please, let me explain why:

In a way, not announcing the arrival of ”Aunty Flo” in a chain email or 140-character sentence  is common courtesy. She’s like the aunt who always seems to cause problems at social gatherings but has to come to Christmas dinner every year only because ‘she’s family’. No one ever says anything about this Aunt, but we’re all thinking the same thing: Ugh.

Yes, periods are a problem. And so are many other things in ones life. However, just like having to listen to your friend complain about their relationship problems during their 30th breakup, talking about your period is rather tiresome, if not unnecessary. Women are all united by the same messes, cramps, and cravings from all around the world. Can’t we just embrace this sweet, depressing fact and move on with our lives?

I’m not saying to be ashamed of your periods. The way we were taught to take our pads and tampons in the bathroom would put James Bond to shame. And that’s not right. What I am suggesting is to act natural about it. The same way we act when we excuse ourselves to go pee and poo. You may not have any problem announcing to your roommate that you have to ”take a really big sh*t” after your date at Chipotle, but you would definitely not behave or use the same language in front of your colleague.

Because they do not need to know. When you excuse yourself to go the bathroom, you’ve already sent a clear message: we’re finally free to check our phones without being rude.

Be practical! Don’t stray away from white pants because it would be ”anti-feminist”, do it because washing white pants with a red stain on it, is a war on its own. My laundry skills are below average to begin with. The added pressure of using bleach on something in addition to putting it into the pile of ”like colours” is just too much pressure. I’ll just stick to my black pants. Some people call them tights. I hear they’re comfy.

Essentially, there’s no need to raise awareness about a subject that everyone is already aware of. Menstruating is a bodily function. But so is urinating, bowel movements, and ejaculations. Despite these words being ”natural” and ”perfectly normal” they still never fail to make us feel slightly uncomfortable. It’s much like the feeling you get when your doctor asks you to explain your bowel movements. You’d rather not.

Thus, although everyone has already jumped on the ”period shaming” bandwagon behind a certain marathon runner, I am here to tell you that there is no such thing as period shaming. Women need to stop focusing on problems that do not exist and focus on problems that do exist. You’ll save yourself a lot of pants by not bleeding freely. Instead of complaining on why your blood makes people uncomfortable, why not complain about why there aren’t enough female representatives in politics? And then do something about it.

Combating period shaming is not advancing the feminist movement. Men don’t even get their periods. How are you going to strive for equality in the biology department when there’s nothing to strive for?

You can’t.

So I suggest putting away the blood, stocking up on that chocolate, and waiting for menopause. Because these cycles are here to stay.

What you can do is deal with more important issues, such as allowing women to buy tampons without the tampon tax. Oh… that’s a problem we’ve already solved. #progress

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Is there gender discrimination in the publishing industry?

So you want to be a writer?

Well, we have some bad news for you. Ladies, if you’ve ever dreamed about winning a prize for your literary master piece, we’re going to need you to remember something; Don’t write about women. Unless, that is, you’re a man. And that may be a little difficult to do, seeing as if you’re a woman, you can’t really be a man.

A recent study by English-American novelist, Nicole Griffith reveals that books about women don’t win big awards. The results were revealed after analyzing some of the most prestigious literary awards, Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award, and the National Book Critics’ Circle Award to name a few.

”Either this means that women writers are self-censoring, or those who judge literary worthiness find women frightening, distasteful, or boring. Certainly the results argue for women’s perspectives being considered uninteresting or unworthy. Women seem to have literary cooties” the writer stated on her blog.

The post caused quite an uproar from writers all over the world. Each of them took the opportunity to look through their country’s prize lists and unfortunately found similar results.

Well, what about Canada? You may have heard about two female literary icons by the name of Alice Munro and Margaret Atwood. It must be comforting to know we give women the voice they deserve. However, when Maclean’s looked at Canada’s major prizes (Scotiabank Giller, Governor General’s, Rogers/Writers’ Trust) the results were, well, ”Canadian” as Maclean’s put it. The trends were visible but not as pronounced. 26 men and 20 women were handed awards, meaning the raw male-female ratio was better than in the U.S. (Yay?)

The solution to this problem is simple; change it. ”The best way to get decision makers to start taking some remedial action where required is to figuratively smack them around the head with indisputable detailed and in-depth analysis.” Griffith suggests. It’s important to raise awareness of these issues using data and facts. Once we start realizing that discrimination exists, there will be the urge to make changes.

Ideas have already started circulating on the web. One publisher responded with a pledge to accept no books from male writers for a year. Another argued that is time for everyone, male and female, to sign up to a concerted campaign to redress the inequality.


What are some of your ideas? Comment below and let us know!

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Brrr! 3 Tips For Staying Warm In Your Chilly Office

It’s hard enough getting dressed in the morning. Choosing the perfect outfit can be tough, but the added worry of getting frostbite in your air conditioned office can make the process even more difficult. Opting for a sundress under the scorching heat may seem like the liable option, but when your sitting in your office, suddenly all you can think about are the thermals packed away at the back of your closet. That silk blouse that feels so soft and light against your skin? Yeah, probably not a good idea in the drafty confinements of your cubicle.

Worry not, ladies. We have got you.. err, will get you covered in no time! Try these tips on how to stay warm and stylish in the office and still keep cool during those sweaty trips home.

1. Daze in a Blaze

Beautiful and sophisticated look, Well-tailored blazer makes such a huge impact. Remove the blazer and switch up the accessories to go from day to night.

A blazer, that is.  There’s nothing like the woolen goodness of a blazer to keep you warm. Throw it on over a sleeveless dress to prevent you from getting goosebumps down your arm. Wear a light colour, such as the white one (pictured above), to keep you cool when you step outside. Now you can concentrate more on getting that report done and focus less on how nice it would be to sit under a palm tree on a warm, sunny beach in Aruba. Mmm….coconut water would be a nice addition to the office.

2. Opt for pants 

Boho. Love the look.... If I can ever find a pair of these pants that fit me right!!

Sometimes, you just need some fabric around your legs. The extra layer can be all you need to keep you from shivering during your meetings. Wearing a dress may look cute, but is definitely not ideal when the air conditioner is positioned right across from you. Opt for a printed pair like these to look trendy. The material is light, the fit is lose – – it’s the closest you’ll get to wearing pj’s to work! Besides, it also allows you to skip your shaving session for an extra day… we won’t tell if you won’t.

3. Accessorize with a scarf 

Adorable, especially the rolled-up sleeves on the tee.  Via:  What I Wore: Cobalt and Mint, Jessica Quirk,


They come in all shapes and sizes, materials and patterns, and look good with any outfit! A scarf is a great way to add a bit of flare to your outfit and also acts as a barrier against the cold artic wind of the air conditioner. Whether you choose to wrap it around your neck or use it as shawl when you’re extra chilly, a scarf is an excellent option to keep you warm. Who says you have to wait until fall to rock them?

There you have it ladies. Have any tips on how to stay warm in the office? Let us know in the comments!

Stay warm!


#ILookLikeAnEngineer Breaks Stereotypes of Women in Tech

It all started with an ad campaign. The ambiguous message behind it left platform engineer, Isis Wenger, confused on whether or not she was being used to attract women or men to become engineers. Her “sexy smirk” was rather seen as a marketing tactic to lure guys into the tech industry. The response to the seemingly innocent advertisement turned into a discussion of the sexism that is still alive and well in the industry.

Wenger explains it perfectly in her post on Medium, saying, “At the end of the day, this is just an ad campaign and it is targeted at engineers. This is not intended to be marketed towards any specific gender — segregated thoughts like that continue to perpetuate sexist thought-patterns in this industry.”

It’s no secret that sexism in these types of industries still exist. Engineers, computer scientists, web designers, and others have been subjected towards gender discrimination at one point or another in their careers. However, as women should, Wenger decided to do something about it. Thus, She started the hashtag #ILookLikeAnEngineer to raise awareness towards the gender divide that continues to exist in the technical industry.

Many took to Twitter to support Isis.

The hashtag, as Wenger explained, is not gender specific. “External appearances and the number of X chromosomes a person has is hardly a measure of engineering ability. My goal is to help redefine “what an engineer should look like” because I think that is a step towards eliminating sub-conscious bias towards diversity in tech.”

This invited men to take part to support the initiative as well:

The hashtag is quickly breaking stereotypes about women in the tech industry. Many are often perceived as ”tomboys” or ”nerdy.” Brains and beauty may be the more appropriate terms to use in this case:

What’s more impressive? Her pink hair or the fact that she’s a badass engineer who can still find the time to model:

And they make it look so. easy.

OneLogin may have missed the spot on their efforts to recruit more engineers with their ad campaign, but these ladies will have both men and women wanting to pursue careers in tech in no time. Where do I sign up?

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5 Books Every Woman Needs To Read

A list compiled from The Huffington Post‘s favourite choices, these books by women are just a few of the incredible titles published. They are some of the most-discussed, thought-provoking and life-changing books from a diverse group of women writers. From lighthearted memoirs to lifestyle reads, there’s a genre here for everyone.

Here are the top 5 books that all women should read:

1. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me by Mindy Kahling 

“Perhaps you want to know what Mindy thinks makes a great best friend (someone who will fill your prescription in the middle of the night), or what makes a great guy (one who is aware of all elderly people in any room at any time and acts accordingly), or what is the perfect amount of fame (so famous you can never get convicted of murder in a court of law), or how to maintain a trim figure (you will not find that information in these pages). If so, you’ve come to the right book, mostly!” – Good Reads

2. Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

“In sharing the gritty, heartbreaking details of her own experiences and unrealized desires — in showing us how, exactly, she is a ‘bad feminist’ — Gay reminds us what feminism can and should be: A space where women can realize their difference and their nuances.”


3. How Should A Person Be? By Sheila Heti 

“A raw, startling, genre-defying novel of friendship, sex, and love in the new millennium—a compulsive read that’s like ‘spending a day with your new best friend.'” — Bookforum

4. Bossy Pants by Tina Fey 

“Chapter after chapter, in a voice consistently recognizable as her own, Fey simply tells stories of her life: How a nerdy but self-confident half-Greek girl entered theatrical life (a wonderful community theater, lots of gay and lesbian friends), what Second City was like “back in the day” (cultish, hard, unbelievably fun), how ‘Saturday Night Live’ works (a chemical compound of Harvard grads and Improv people), what it’s like to be a woman in comedy (harder than you think but not as hard as coal mining) or to run your own show or to satirize a vice presidential candidate when she’s standing right backstage.”

5. The Beauty Myth: How Images Of Beauty Are Used Against Women By Naomi Wolf 

“If you have wasted even a minute of today worrying about the way your hair, breasts or thighs look, or about the wrinkles around your eyes, or whether your winter “wardrobe” is working for you … this book is for you.” – The Guardian

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Spotted: Toronto’s One & Only Cosmic Cab

You may or may not have seen it. The flashy cab that has stopped at numerous red lights for many years now. Whether you’re into the pimped up ride or not, the Cosmic Cab has entertained curious Torontonians ever since it hit the streets more than a decade ago. It’s been featured in the news and even has its own hashtag (which pretty much validates its success).

I’ve lived in Toronto since I was 7 years old. Between then and now, I, like many of you, have taken thousands of cab rides to various places across the city. However, never in a million years did I think I was going to get in a taxi like ‘the Cosmic Cab’. I’ve never even heard of such a thing, despite the cab being a city attraction in itself.

I was on my way to the Aga Khan Museum when I got off the bus, as instructed by Google Maps. When it directed me to walk for another 11 minutes to reach my destination in the scorching heat, I decided to call a cab. As I waited at the nearest gas station, the a Beck Taxi pulled up. This one, however, was a brighter orange than their usual service. Silver fringe hung off the top hood and plastic dolls with blonde hair was taped to the toplight of the cab.


Genuinely embarrassed to climb into it, I ushered the cab to keep driving.

”You called cab? Get in, very good!” the South Asian driver man yelled, whom I later learnt goes by the name Akber.

“This is it. This is how murder stories start.” I thought as I climbed in to what seemed to be a scene from a weird comedy or a Bollywood movie.  Magazines upon magazines were stuffed into the pockets in front of the back seat. There were decorations hanging off every inch of the small parameter of the cab.

I look around, shocked and slightly amused. It looked like an arcade threw up in there. Video screens were placed at behind the headboards for his passengers’ pleasure. Because my ride was so short however, I didn’t experience the vast collection of music he said he offers, including videos of “Sharukh Khan and Kajol” he promised to play for me the next time I called him. (I got his card!)


He was an incredibly friendly man, Akber Batada. Upon hearing I was on my way to the museum, he told me anything and everything I needed to see during my time there. In a span of just four minutes, he explained his daily routine; which consisted of walks, naps, and serving his community – all with a smile that reminded you of the hospitality of a true Indian.

I asked him to permission before documenting my moments in the cab when he told me about his experience with the media. He’s had more than his 15 minutes of fame. When I told him I would be writing about this myself, he proceeded to give me some solid life advice.

“Keep going!”

I shall, Akber. I shall.

The passion he has for his job oozes out of him. His character is brighter than the strobe lights with the service to match. I would’ve certainly regretted refusing to get into the Cosmic Cab. After all, a little bit of neon  can be all you need to make your day. It just goes to show that, like Akber so effectively demonstrates in his everyday life, sometimes doing something out of the ordinary is what makes you the happiest.

Ever been in the Cosmic Cab? Tell us about it!

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Councillor Norm Kelly is Toronto’s #1 Tweeter

If you’re not following Councillor Norm Kelly on Twitter, you’re not following the right people.

Whether you’re looking for a daily dose of rap lyrics, Toronto culture, or some solid life advice, scroll through Kelly’s tweets. You may be surprised to know that they’re all written by the 73 year old himself.

And that pretty much makes him cooler than any of us will ever be.

His tweets have very little to do with politics, other than small tidbits on how to drive on the controversial HOV lanes , that is. (Note taken, Norm)

His lack of the conservative persona that many other politicians possess is seen through his light-hearted pokes at the law. In just 140 characters, Norm never fails to put a smile on your face. Or an idea in your head.

Norm’s unexpected knowledge of popular culture has struck a chord with millennials and… rappers? 

It’s safe to say he’s Drake’s #1 fan. Nothing prevents Norm from speaking from his mind. A valid quality needed for someone in politics, we’d say. While everyone’s busy being politically correct and trying not to offend anyone, Kelly is front row and center on debates he feels strongly about. He chooses sides openly and proudly, even when it comes to celebrity feuds.

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B: Norms tweets picture of a full battery in response to Drake’s diss track “Charged Up” #teamdrake 

And on days when rappers are calm and quiet and you might just need a quick pick-me-up, this Councillor will always be ready to cheer you up.

What a thought provoking question, Norm.

We even share the same taste in fine cuisine. Let’s not forget the time Norm fought for equality after finding out Reese’s Peanut Butter Spread was only available in America.

After months of anguish, Norm took another step into ensuring Toronto is provided with the best service.

He sought out to validate the information so we wouldn’t be left heartbroken. 

And with great leadership, comes great success. 


Well done, Norm. Well done.

It seems you always have our best interest at heart. Not to mention, you feel the same pain we feel. The empathy, my friends, is real.

The man is a man of many hats. He’s your Councillor, he’s your rap enthusiast, he’s your source for the latest happenings, but most importantly, he’s your friend.

Let’s grab coffee, Norm!

Follow Councillor Norm Kelly on Twitter @norm.

WATCH: Men React to Their Girlfriends Getting Catcalled

Every women knows the feeling of what its like to be catcalled. However, our male loved ones never really know what we go through when it happens. The incident is often brushed off or we’re told to wear more appropriate clothing.

So Cosmopolitan decided to make things more personal with 3 couples. Watch as the women’s boyfriends react to their loved ones being catcalled on the streets of New York.


Glad to know we’re on the same page now, men.

RECIPE: Garlic Scape & Cherry Tomato Pasta

Roasting garlic scapes with tomatoes and red onion sweetens them and enriches their flavor; toss them with pasta, lemon juice, and arugula for a simple summer meal.



 Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 12 spaghetti
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 10 garlic scapes
  • 1 pint multicolored cherry tomatoes
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup baby arugula
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced


  1. Heat oven to 400°.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; add spaghetti and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain pasta and keep warm.
  3. Toss olive oil, garlic scapes, tomatoes, red onion, salt, and pepper and spread in an even layer on a baking sheet. Roast for 12–15 minutes, until tomatoes are just beginning to burst.
  4. Remove from oven and toss with spaghetti, arugula, and lemon zest and juice.
  5. Serve immediately.

Comment below and tell us how it was. Bon appetite!  


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