Rank #1: Episode 16: Cam
*Content Warning: This episode deals with issues of colonialism, racism, and sexism Here’s the question that inspired this week’s episode (the message has been slightly altered to preserve anonymity): "I have lots of feminist feels. Mostly anger about the way that women are portrayed, street harassment, and representation of women in media and fashion. In this day and age I feel that, as a woman, not being skinny/not shaving your legs/not wanting babies is an act of RADICAL disobedience. I still feel pretty squeezed by narrow stereotypes, even though I'm almost 30. My question is: What does one actually DO with one's feelings of feminism? How do we speak out? How do we make change?" It can be difficult to figure out how to channel our “feminist feelings.” How do we take our frustrations, sadness and concerns about white supremacist capitalist patriarchy and actually “do something?” How do we do this work in a world that is inhospitable to feminist activism? How do we take care of ourselves amidst the pressure to make change? This week, AY sits down with Cam, a street artist, community art organizer and curator based in Tiohtià:ke/Montreal to discuss art and activism. Cam shares some of her experiences and some helpful tips on how to find your crew - the people to do the work with. Learn more about Cam's work and her projects at @cam_mtl and @unceded_voices. A podcast by Ambivalently Yours Co-produced by Hannah McCasland Recorded at Oboro Artist-Run Center in Montreal Technical support: Stéphane Claude Music: Greg Barkley
Rank #2: Episode 15: Rebekah
*Content Warning: Discussions of ableism and sexism. Here’s the question that inspired this week’s episode (the message has been slightly altered to preserve anonymity): I have been constantly judged my whole life because my legs are two different sizes. High school this year was a little bit better when I realized that why should I care what people think of me? I am my own person, I shouldn't be so fixated on the idea of perfection. Are you confident in your skin? Or do you secretly wish you were someone else? This week, we are excited to share our conversation with Rebekah Taussig, a writer, teacher, advocate, and human lady person, as her website explains. AY and Rebekah first connected on Instagram, where Rebekah shares soft yet confrontational mini-memoirs about what it feels and looks like to live as a disabled woman. We skyped Rebekah from our makeshift apartment studio and after gushing about her amazing collection of floral dresses featured prominently on her Instagram feed, we addressed this week’s question by asking for her insights on disability, emotions and what it’s like to live in a world that is uncomfortable with both. Together, we talk about the strains of traditional femininity and remind ourselves of the importance of valuing our feelings and creating spaces that embrace vulnerability, messiness, and diverse bodies and identities. Above all, this episode is a celebration of how good it feels when you meet someone who just, you know, gets it. You can find out more about Rebekah’s work at rebekahtaussig.com or @sitting_pretty on Instagram. A podcast by Ambivalently Yours Co-produced, edited and narrated by Hannah McCasland Recorded at Oboro Artist-Run Center in Montreal Technical support: Stéphane Claude Music: Greg Barkley
Rank #3: Episode 14: Ryan & Bejal
*Content Warning: this episode is about growing up. We touch on some of the heartaches and struggles that go along with growing up in a society that sees you as other. The discussion contains some harsh language. Here’s the question that inspired this week’s episode (the message has been slightly altered to preserve anonymity): Do you ever get into one of those moods where you feel like changing everything about yourself? Style, personality, everything. I guess I just feel like I've outgrown it all and it isn't who I am anymore. The problem is, I'm worried about how people will react if I change too much, and I'm not sure I know how to change. How do we change? When do we change? Does it happen quickly or does it take forever? How much of how we look on the outside is reflective of how we feel on the inside? This episode is all about change, so we decided to make a change of our own and put co-producer Hannah in the driver’s seat. To answer our question we talk to Ryan and Bejal, two of Hannah’s dear friends, about what it means to change. Both of our guests share their stories and discuss the distinctions and similarities of their experiences with queerness and identity. We discuss the uncomfortable and sometimes embarrassing paths to becoming the most honest versions of who we are, and we talk about the struggle of being different in a world that craves sameness. A podcast by Ambivalently Yours Co-produced, edited and narrated by Hannah McCasland Recorded at Oboro Artist-Run Center in Montreal Technical support: Stéphane Claude Music: Greg Barkley
Rank #4: Episode 13: Julie
*Content Warning: this episode deals with issues of violence against women, stalking, online harassment, and contains harsh language. Here’s the question that inspired this week’s episode (the message has been slightly altered to preserve anonymity): I have been undecided all my life about feminism and it's weird because I’m a girl and I have very strong opinions about the issues. But when I see posts online about feminism that I don't quite agree with and all the arguments and the fights of feminists against other feminists, i rethink it. Do i really want to be a feminist? A lot of us learn about, explore, and engage with feminism online. We’ve discussed in many episodes of Rebelliously Tiny how the internet can make learning about feminism more accessible. But the internet can also be host to hurtful, harmful interactions where call out culture grows and spreads, sometimes out of control. Anonymous users starting fights just because, trolls, harassment… But problems within activist movements do not rely solely on the anonymity and distance of sitting behind a screen. Sometimes the aggression comes from within our own feminist circles, and the nuance between right and wrong or ally and enemy becomes more painful and difficult to sort through. In this episode, we talk to women’s rights advocate and public educator Julie S. Lalonde and together we take a look at some of the conflicts that exists within feminism, we reflect on all of our mixed feelings and we discuss how we can work on together to find alternative ways of communicating when we disagree. Learn more about Julie’s work at yellowmanteau.com or @JulieSLalonde on Twitter and @yellowmanteau on IG. To learn more about the Outside of the Shadows project visit outsideoftheshadows.ca or @outsideoftheshadowsproject on IG A podcast by Ambivalently Yours Co-produced by Hannah McCasland Recorded at Oboro Artist-Run Center in Montreal Technical support: Stéphane Claude Music: Greg Barkley
Rank #5: Episode 12: Sunny
*Content warning: this episode deals with issues of racism, body shaming, femme phobia and contains some harsh language. Here’s the question that inspired this week’s episode: "I look way older than others my age because I'm more curvy. I'm also biracial, so my skin is more light brown and I’ve got curls. I like pink, I like dresses. mainly boys have called me things like "stupid fat black b*tch" as soon as I stood up for myself and some of my friends who claim themselves as feminists tell me that I can't really be a feminist because of my obsession for girly things. although i act like it doesn't, it does hurt me." This week’s episode is dedicated to the fangirl living inside of each of us. The question we respond to deals with the struggle of loving “girly” things like the colour pink and dresses, fangirling over pop culture, stumbling through activism, and learning to be a feminist… a few of our favourite things. To work through this question, we reach out to AY’s friend Sunny, a blogger based in Australia. Despite the 14 hour time difference and grainy Skype connection, we got to hear Sunny share some wisdom about the role of joy in activism, the importance of respecting, rather than belittling, and how to build inclusive activist movements by prioritizing diverse perspectives. A podcast by Ambivalently Yours Co-produced by Hannah McCasland Recorded at Oboro Arist-Run Center in Montreal Technical support: Stéphane Claude Music: Greg Barkley
Rank #6: Episode 11: Hannah & AY
When we set out to create a podcast, we didn’t have much (okay, any) experience in podcast making. We had a few goals and ideas, we found inspiration in other podcasts we admired, and we relied on support from the amazing Oboro artist-run center in Montreal. Mostly, we had a lot of feelings: a desire to talk about and give time and attention to things belittled or demeaned in the mainstream, tenderness towards the questions sent to AY online, feminist fuelled frustrations. In this first episode from the next series of Rebelliously Tiny, we reflect on Season 1, we share the process of creating a second season, talk about the challenges of our Kickstarter campaign, and we discuss our own passions and careers. Use this episode to catch up with us and learn more about Rebelliously Tiny, or even to hear a few tips on starting a creative project from scratch with limited resources and funds. In keeping with our formula from last season, each episode explores a question received by AY on social media: “I'm about to finish a degree in writing, and I'm struggling with my next step. What I really want to do is publish novels, but I worry that it won't pay the bills (and I guess it never might). I'm worried that if I don't get into a field related to my degree, I will never use it. Family are putting on the pressure to just get any job, get money coming in. What should I do?” A podcast by Ambivalently Yours Co-produced by Hannah McCasland Recorded at Oboro Arist-Run Center in Montreal Technical support: Stéphane Claude Music: Greg Barkley
Rank #7: Episode 10: Coming Out (Bonus Episode)
In the first season of Rebelliously Tiny, we talked about the personal, the political, the complicated, the intimate, the relatable and all the ambivalence in-between. With these discussions, we hoped to foster tenderness, friendship, love, understanding, learning and unlearning. We are currently working on a second season of our podcast but before we share our new conversations we decided to take a moment to reflect on Season 1. In this in-between-seasons episode, we hear familiar voices as they discuss “coming out” and help AY answer this episode’s question: “I need help coming out. I don’t know how to do it. I want to do it in a creative way.” A podcast by Ambivalently Yours Co-produced by Hannah McCasland Recorded at Oboro Arist-Run Center in Montreal Technical support: Stéphane Claude Music: Greg Barkley
Rank #8: We Need Your Help for Season 2!
We need your help for Season 2! The first season of Rebelliously Tiny premiered in May 2017, and features conversations about growing up, feminism, anxiety, sexual, gender and racial identity, sexual violence, body image, toxic masculinity, depression and more. The response has been overwhelmingly positive and now we are ready to start working on season 2. We just launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund our studio time, production costs and allow us to compensate our collaborators. Please help support this project by donating to our campaign and/or by sharing it with your family and friends. Thank you! Support season 2 here: www.kickstarter.com/projects/1942182488/rebelliously-tiny-a-podcast-by-ambivalently-yours A podcast by Ambivalently Yours Co-produced by Hannah McCasland Music: Greg Barkley
Rank #9: Episode 9: Johanne
*Content Warning: Discussions of depression, mental illness and suicidal thoughts. Welcome to the season finale of Rebelliously Tiny. Here’s this week’s question: “Hey there, I just wanted to let you know how much I love your art and how it makes me feel so understood and a little less alone. I'm 21 years old and for the past few months I've been feeling so alone and so afraid of what the future holds. I feel hopeless and useless. Most days I can't even get out of bed. I feel like I'm wasting my life. I need hope and motivation. Honestly I need a bit of a reason to live. Do you ever feel this way and do you have any words of wisdom?” As we mentioned in the first episode, this podcast began as Ambivalently Yours’ way of asking her community for help. This is why she decided to end our first season with the person she has turned to the most throughout her life: her mom, Johanne. Together they discuss what to do when you wake up with negative feelings and have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning. Johanne then shares tips on how to stay motivated, in a way that only a mom could. Johanne and Ambivalently Yours also use this opportunity to look at their personal relationship and family history, and the influence it has had on the way they face the world. They also talk about the challenges of becoming more emotionally open and the advantages of learning how to ask for help.
Rank #10: Episode 8: Armando, Michaël & Graeme
*Content Warning: Discussions of gendered violence, sexism, and eating disorders. Welcome to another episode of Rebelliously Tiny. Here’s this week’s question: “I'm 15 and my good friend at school is male and anorexic, many people shame him for this because 'male' and 'anorexic' don't seem to match in today's society sadly. There's also a girl with anorexia but people give her support, I assume because she's female. I was wondering if you knew of anything I could do for people at my school to view males with mental health illnesses differently?” This week, Ambivalently Yours reaches out to her friends Armando and Michaël, a married couple, and to her partner Graeme, for help responding to this question. In this “double date” podcast episode, we talk about allyship, mental health, body image and its relationship to gender norms. The two couples became friends after discussing these topics, and wanted to think through this question together. We also explore the implications of gender roles in society, and our guests speak to their own experiences with masculinity and femininity as defined by mainstream culture. In addition, we think about when and how we could be including different voices into these discussions, while also making space for specificity within social justice.