Personal Accounts Of Femme-inism
I got a trip to the naturopath as an anniversary present from my dude in Janary and I finally got to use it. My doctor is rad. She says things like, ‘Eat more cabbage and kale’ and ‘Drink more green tea’ and ‘Take more epsom salt baths’. Basically, she freaks me out because she knows all my favorite things and says they’re good for me. Although, the thing I don’t like so much is going on a cleanse. Eating a mostly gluten-free diet and being vegan is not the easiest - take away sugar, nightshades, caffeine, alcohol, vinegar, and SOY and it’s damn near impossible. However, holy shit, it is making me feel amazing. The sugar cravings on the second and third days made me feel like a contestant on a reality tv show that pits women against eachother for entertainment.
Jamil and I are trying to find ways to still eat delicious and creative meals, though. Here is one of our successes so far. I feel like a recipe for vegan sushi is really redundant and we hand roll ours without a mat or a dishtowel. Our favorite combo of ingredients so far is: daikon, carrot, cucumber, and avocado. One major challenge here is no soy. NO SOY. A major part of sushi is the SOYa sauce. We found a great sauce and adapted it to our cleanse guidelines. We ended up almost preferring it to soy sauce, because that garlic and ginger flavour was SO. GOOD.Gluten-Free, Soy-Free Sushi Dipping Sauce
4 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons coconut nectar(or agave or maple syrup)
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 pinch white pepper
1 clove fresh pressed garlic
1 1/2 cups veggie stock
salt to taste
In a saucepan over medium heat, stir together the veggie stock, balsamic vinegar, molasses, ginger, white pepper, garlic powder and salt. Boil gently until liquid is reduced to about 1 cup, approximately 15 minutes.As well, there is no meal that I know of so far that cannot be enhanced by iced tea. I am only allowed green and herbal teas on this cleanse, but that turned out to be no problem. Here is my refreshing midday brew:Peach-Berry Rooibos Iced Tea
1 Peach Tea Bag
1 Mixed Berry Tea Bag
1 Rooibos Tea Bag
3 Teaspoons of Maple Syrup
1 Lemon, Sliced
Pour two cups of boiling water over teabags and add maple syrup. Let steep for ten minutes and add lemon slices. Allow to steep for 10 minutes more. Pour into pitcher half-full of ice. Garnish with fresh peach slice.

I got a trip to the naturopath as an anniversary present from my dude in Janary and I finally got to use it. My doctor is rad. She says things like, ‘Eat more cabbage and kale’ and ‘Drink more green tea’ and ‘Take more epsom salt baths’. Basically, she freaks me out because she knows all my favorite things and says they’re good for me. Although, the thing I don’t like so much is going on a cleanse. Eating a mostly gluten-free diet and being vegan is not the easiest - take away sugar, nightshades, caffeine, alcohol, vinegar, and SOY and it’s damn near impossible. However, holy shit, it is making me feel amazing. The sugar cravings on the second and third days made me feel like a contestant on a reality tv show that pits women against eachother for entertainment.

Jamil and I are trying to find ways to still eat delicious and creative meals, though. Here is one of our successes so far. I feel like a recipe for vegan sushi is really redundant and we hand roll ours without a mat or a dishtowel. Our favorite combo of ingredients so far is: daikon, carrot, cucumber, and avocado. One major challenge here is no soy. NO SOY. A major part of sushi is the SOYa sauce. We found a great sauce and adapted it to our cleanse guidelines. We ended up almost preferring it to soy sauce, because that garlic and ginger flavour was SO. GOOD.

Gluten-Free, Soy-Free Sushi Dipping Sauce

  • 4 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons coconut nectar(or agave or maple syrup)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 pinch white pepper
  • 1 clove fresh pressed garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups veggie stock
  • salt to taste


In a saucepan over medium heat, stir together the veggie stock, balsamic vinegar, molasses, ginger, white pepper, garlic powder and salt. Boil gently until liquid is reduced to about 1 cup, approximately 15 minutes.

As well, there is no meal that I know of so far that cannot be enhanced by iced tea. I am only allowed green and herbal teas on this cleanse, but that turned out to be no problem. Here is my refreshing midday brew:

Peach-Berry Rooibos Iced Tea

  • 1 Peach Tea Bag
  • 1 Mixed Berry Tea Bag
  • 1 Rooibos Tea Bag
  • 3 Teaspoons of Maple Syrup
  • 1 Lemon, Sliced

Pour two cups of boiling water over teabags and add maple syrup. Let steep for ten minutes and add lemon slices. Allow to steep for 10 minutes more. Pour into pitcher half-full of ice. Garnish with fresh peach slice.

Pinup For A Day - How I Found Empowerment in Having My Body Appreciated


The work I do in feminism is working against street harassment, or harassment in public places. Street harassment is something that women face everyday simply by existing in public spaces and it is often seen as ‘normal’ or ‘the price we pay’ for appearing female. Pardon me, mister at the bus stop? Did I ask you whether my tits were appealing to you or whether this walk was really working for you? Sir in the department store, did I ask you if I was looking like a ‘sexy baby’ today?

Feeling beautiful is not frequently a concern of mine - I do quite often feel sexy as hell. The thing that actually makes me feel threatened, unsafe, objectified, and thus very very unsexy is harassment. One such time that really made this distinction clear for me was the opportunity to model for The Foxy Shoppe at the Taboo Naughty But Nice Show. My weight fluctuates a whole bunch due to my hormonal disorder and what my doctor is suspecting may be a thyroid problem- no matter how confident I am, strutting around in lingerie was not exactly at the top of my list. My body changes from day to day and doesn’t give me much time to catch up on what it’s been doing throughout the night. I don’t necessarily feel unattractive when I am at a heavier weight - just different. It’s hard to get used to the way clothes fit when there is roundness in places it wasn’t before, when there are new curves and dimples.

But I was given an opportunity to try on things frilly, lacy, sparkly, and sexy that enhanced every inch of me in a place I refer to as ‘girly heaven’ and have my hair and makeup done for free. How could I let a couple of inches of fat hold be back? Holy hell, am I glad I partook in the femme fatale festivities. Not only was I made to look and feel drop dead gorgeous(modesty has never been one of my strong suits), but being around women who were gorgeous and knew it was intoxicating. I dare you to have been in that room and not felt like any lady-admiring individual would not fall at your feet or attempt to make the world stop spinning in your name.
The most powerful part of the day for me was reclaiming being seen as a sexy woman and doing it on my terms. By presenting myself to a really body-positive audience and saying ‘LOOK AT ME IN ALL MY SPLENDOR AND GLORY IN THIS SUPER HOT SKIRT AND TOP THAT GIVES ME CLEAVAGE DEEPER THAN THE MARIANA TRENCH’ I was choosing to allow eyes to take me in and view me as a thing of beauty. As the women so beautiful and strong and confident hollered from behind the curtain and the audience applauded and cheered, it felt like the exact opposite of harassment. This is what being complimented for your looks should feel like - empowering and inspiring, not dirty and gross. Nuance and context are everything - and the sidewalk is not a runway.


Power feminism is just another scam in which women get to play patriarchs and pretend that the power we seek and gain liberates us.

bell hooks in communion, the female search for love

Date Day at Bistro 7 1/4

My handsome partner and I took a Friday off of work a few weeks ago to indulge in a little self-care. Since he is the Executive Director of a non-profit and I am a nanny, an event coordinator and run my own non-profit, we are pretty exhausted. During the week our time together is usually spent cooking delicious vegan dinner together and then collapsing on the couch in a cuddle heap with a crossword or The Food Network and his dog, Jackson. So, we have date days a few times a month to connect and spoil ourselves with romantic restaurants, afternoon cocktails, treats, movie matinees, buying fancy soaps and books, walks, and some good old fashioned sucking eachother’s faces.

Let me tell you, finding an eatery that tantalizes our tastebuds is TOUGH - we LOVE to eat and have lunched in the obviously vegan-friendly restaurants in our city. This time, we solicited reccomendations from friends and we decided to go to Bistro 7 1/4.


We called ahead to make sure that they could accommodate our veganism, and they confirmed that Chef Alex would whip us up something with what he had on hand. Uhhh…what? Usually our forays outside of establishments without vegan items on the menu resulted in a meal of side dishes passed off as a meal. Instead we were treated to parsnip pancakes with roasted fennel, ginger, and jalepeno with lenti sauce and fennel olive salad.


Not only did we get what was easily the most beautiful meal we’ve ever eaten, there was vegan chocolate pudding with toasted coconut to be had and syrupy, sweet espresso to finish it all off.

Holla-ing Back at the Top of my Lungs

You have had a good day. Full and long and good. You are walking home from a two hour tea with a friend - sharing the exciting, debriefing the difficult, commiserating in the shared. You are thinking about the dinner in you are to eat, the movie you have just rented, and are deconstructing the thoughts that are ever whirling about. The late summer breeze is blowing against your face and the hem of your dress, the sun is beginning its descent but still warms your cheeks. You hear it, and your heart and the speed of your steps start to move a little faster. The whistle. Those two tones you have become accustomed to and become accustomed to guarding yourself against. There is another woman walking in front of you. Maybe the whistle was intended for her. Maybe it’s her friend, a lover, someone she knows. Maybe it was in jest. But she looks up and then enters her apartment building with no recognition of the person whose footsteps echo almost tauntingly behind your own. 

You hear the whistle again and then the sound of feet quickening along the sidewalk. There is a sure, unmistakable shot of adrenaline that pumps itself through your blood. And then you hear it. What you knew was, but hoped wasn’t coming. ”Hey. Hey! Hi. Where are you coming from?”  You steel your face against any acknowledgement that words have just been spoken, nonetheless directed at you. “Hey! What’s your name?” By this point, your arms will be shaking a bit. You will go to swallow and find your jaw completely clenched. So you will speak. You will say: “I don’t need to tell you what my name is or where I am coming from. Did you just whistle at me back there?” The person now walking beside you will  deny that they did. They will tell you they were just trying to talk to someone, but forget who. Probably no one since it is just you and them on the street. You point this out to them. Whatever momentum you had gained in disarming him has now vanished and he is ready for more. “Come on, I’m just trying to have a conversation! Why can’t you be nice?” He will ask.

You will swallow hard, wondering if you will actually be heard, should you speak. But you understand there is more at risk with your silence, so you speak. “Excuse me. You objectified me back there and made me feel uncomfortable and gross. When you act like that I feel unsafe and like I don’t have the right to walk down the street in peace. You lost the opportunity to have me be nice to you. Please leave me alone.” You will continue walking, with purpose. Your full body is shaking now from adrenaline, from power, from vulnerability, from rage. You will want to scream when he hurries to keep up with you. “Come on baby, I was just joking around. Why do you have to be so serious? What’s the matter? Anyways, my name is Alberto* and I live right here in case you ever want to….yeah.” And he will laugh. And you will feel that laugh turn your blood cold. As he laughs at your femininity, at the audacity you had to assert yourself, at the fact that you have a right to feel safe and at you. You will want to throw up. You will walk a few meters down the street and be reminded of the man who persistently and frighteningly propositioned you in the middle of the afternoon, just two months before. You will tremble with anger that consumes you and the fear that nags you.

You will feel the way I did walking down a street in my neighbourhood at 7:30 this evening. 

This is why even with the responsibilities and opportunities I embraced this fall that are crowding my schedule and demanding my energy it is so important to be launching HollaBack! Winnipeg. Because this was just today and this was just me. I am fortunate to have a bit of spare courage lying around and I voice I am comfortable with and, on occasion, not afraid to use. This is for the other ones: who walk with their heads down, afraid to look any male in the eye because it only seems to be an invitation to objectify and defile with words. To the ones who endure the hisses and catcalls, the unsolicited comments on their body parts. The ones for whom violent words escalate to violent actions. This is ensuring boys will not grow into men who laugh when a woman voices her displeasure with his actions. This is believing that we can help girls grow into women who feel empowered and able to state these things or, even better, rarely know what it’s like to feel harassed in their own neighbourhoods and their own cities. This is for women who will re-learn the strength their voice holds and the power that they gain back when they speak it and giving them the tools to do so. To tell them that they don’t owe anyone their name, that they don’t need to respond to whistles and honks and catcalls, that their body is theirs and that when they walk where they walk when they walk wearing whatever it is that they are wearing - they shouldn’t have to answer to anyone for any of it. It’s for you.

I Pledge Allegiance to Myself

This is not about when you think someone should have sex or your religious beliefs. We’re all entitled to our own perspectives on that (although I think mine are quite obvious). This is about girls and the women they grow into and the way they perceive themselves. This is about enabling girls to grow into women that reach their utmost potential as world-shaking, ass-kicking, love-bearing luminescent human beings.

Virginity pledges piss me off. Monumentally. No, I don’t think most 13 year olds should run around having sex, but I don’t think they should be lambasted with sex-negative attitudes either. I don’t think they should be inundated with the notion that their virginity is of utmost worth and their sexuality defines who they are. I would love to see girls make more pledges like this:

I vow to grow and develop myself intellectually and mentally, so as to become the brightest woman I can possibly be. I vow to question everything I am taught and accept no truth that does not resonate deeply within me. I vow to not let anyone tell me I don’t deserve or can’t pursue higher knowledge. I vow to listen gently to everyone else’s truth while standing the grounds of my own convictions. I will not let someone discount or invalidate my feelings. I vow to never lose my sense of wonder or curiosity about the world. I will seek experiences that will expand my mind, my capacity for love, and my sense of adventure.

I vow to speak up when I see wrongdoing. I will not be silenced by the opinions of others or the cultural repercussions of telling the truth. I will stand up for the rights of myself and for others who cannot or will not speak up for themselves. I will respect other people, the earth, and myself.  I will refuse to keep company with those who do not nourish and edify me or who treat or speak of others negatively.

I vow to be head over heels in love with my body. I will nourish, rest, and move it like it needs to be. I will be sweet in my speech and thought towards my body and value it for its function and its beauty. I will have lots of GREAT, fulfilling sex - when I choose to and with whom I choose. I will know that I don’t need to depend on someone else for an orgasm. I will not let other’s notions of what my sexuality should be decide how I choose to live it out. I will value my sexuality as a part of the dynamic being I am and not the defining factor. My father is not, NO ONE, is the keeper or protector of my virginity. It is not anyone’s property and it’s not an antique teacup.

I pledge to build meaningful relationships with other bold women. I will not fear and be jealous of the power and vibrancy with which other ladies live their lives, but instead choose to learn from them. I will not make other women to feel inferior or belittled, but aim to empower and celebrate them. I will also enjoy and celebrate the role that the incredible men in my life play and value my relationships with them.

I vow to, above all else, seek contentment from within only. To strive to leave people, the environment, and society a more joyful place than I found it. I will appreciate the beauty that emanates from me and that surrounds me. I will laugh with my head back, I will give without restraint, I will practice radical self-care, I will love genuinely, I will cause mischief, I will dance boldly and with abandon, I will think unique thoughts.

Wherein I Talk About My Ovaries…..Again.

I would consider myself to be fairly forthcoming about the details of my existence. There is little I am ashamed of or embarrassed by and, for the most part, I have no qualms about discussing personal details with genuinely interested and non-judgemental individuals. The prime example is my reproductive organs. My uterus and ovaries, most specifically. See, in 2010 I was diagnosed with PCOS and suspected endometriosis(they can’t confirm the endometriosis until they do an internal scope, which they won’t do because I am ‘too young’, but that’s a story for another day). These are both disorders that seriously affect my life with varying frequency, and when they do explanations are often required. Most usually it’s “Why are you crying uncontrollably, cursing in the general direction of your abdomen, and pouncing on that T3 like a hungry lion on a fresh antelope carcass?” or “Are you actually wearing sweatpants in public?”  PCOS and endometriosis both cause debilitating pain, which ‘cramps’ doesn’t even begin to cover. I used to just politely smile through the agony and tell them I needed to go home because I had cramps or felt sick, but found that excuse being met with suspicion or disbelief after awhile. I have found it’s so much more effective to help give people a visual of cysts on your internal organs rupturing and hemorrhaging, filling your abdomen with fluid and blood. Did it work?  

Needless to say, I have become quite comfortable discussing my ovaries and uterus in public spaces. Whenever I am in the hospital, I get to tell usually about 4 different strangers in the medical profession about my symptoms, my periods, fascinating details of the passing of bodily fluids, and my sex life. After the hospital I usually relay all of that to my parents, friends, and partner along with all the juicy details of the invasive tests, poking, and prodding I am subject to. There are some people who ask just to be polite and some who are really, genuinely interested. I’m going to go ahead and share all the gory details anyways. You know why? Because women need to start talking about our bodies and men and women need to start listening to women talk about ours outside of our weight, outside of how fat we feel, outside of whether or not a garment makes our boobs/butt/waist/arms/legs look bigger/smaller/more round/’too slutty’, outside of how much we hate our nose/freckles/earlobes/nail beds. We need to talk about bodies that are visually or non-visibly disabled, bodies that started out as male bodies, bodies whose color makes them and the folks inside of them pre-disposed to violence and prejudice and oppression. We need to talk about bodies that ache from bending down to pick up a baby all day and breasts that are tender from feeding that baby. We need to talk about bodies that are menopausal, that are pregnant, that are unable to be pregnant, that are fat and healthy, that are terminally sick, that are arthritic, that are strong and capable. We need to talk about how all this obsession with one kind of body affects the women inside of all these different types of bodies. For while we are much more than our bodies and greater than the sum of its parts, we kind of rely on our physical self to navigate ourselves through the world and to be the vehicle for our ideas, theories, love, and brilliance.


Women’s bodies are up for public consumption - whether they are visually appealing to us or not. It is perfectly acceptable to fawn over and idealize some bodies and criticize and pick apart others. However, heaven forbid we talk about the actual function of those bodies and the complications of such. Society wants to talk about female bodies all day long until those bodies are menstruating, sweating, flatulent, sagging, defecating, hairy, breastfeeding - anything which gives us away as being real, human and less than the object we are expected to function as. If you want to talk about women’s bodies, you should be prepared to talk about all of it - even the parts that make you uncomfortable. I am really fortunate that the people I am in close contact with are awesome about this - my friends, my partner, my family, my roommates, my employers. My partner even once called my uterus awesome. I know. So, women, let’s do it. Let’s feel free to work the real struggles and triumphs we have with our bodies into discussion. It might be uncomfortable at first, but there is nothing wrong with feeling a little discomfort. Talk about your body hair,  ask for a tampon if you need a tampon, brag about your 10 k run, talk about your cancer, bring up breastfeeding, and don’t shame or shy away from other women who do so. Our bodies are complex and amazing and fill a multitude of functions - from merely keeping us alive to functioning under incredible stress to looking beautiful. Those things are not mutually exclusive. So, if we can talk about someone’s rack, we should be able to talk about their ovaries. I won’t shut up about mine until we do.

Purpose and Pontifications

Welcome to my wonderful, wierd corner of the internet. Let me explain who I am and what the hell I am doing here.

I am Jodie Layne and I am as much badass as you can fit in five feet three inches. At the moment I hang my nightgown collection and my heart in Winnipeg, Manitoba. I work as a nanny and as an event coordinator for a local health organization, as well as running my own non-profit, feminist organization. When I am not smashing patriarchy I can be found doing crosswords, hoarding books, creating vegan magic in my kitchen, drinking a scotch and soda, taking outrageous baths, making things, riding my bike, dancing in my kitchen and curling on Friday nights. I have a mouth like a sailor and a lipstick obsession.


My goal here is to have a blog that I would want to read. My friend/roommate and I were bemoaning the lack of a blog that fully encompassed our interests. For example, I love not only reading feminist blogs, but reading about the best natural beauty products, finding new arts and crafts projects, gardening tips, being inspired by sex positivity and sex education, hunting down delicious vegan meals and desserts to try, discovering playlists of new music to inspire my workdays, and lovely things to make my home even more sanctuary-like. I decided to write that blog. I have had some blogs before and I really missed writing for an audience, but I also realized that daily blogging made me more aware, intentional, and grateful in my living. Blah blah, new age stuff - but I liked the effect that documenting my life had on me.


So maybe some of this is selfish, but I also want to join so many other and put my own very very small dent in the belief that women have to choose between the things considered traditionally ‘feminine’ and feminism. That I have to choose between being a ‘nice’ girl and being a sexual one. That I have to be either only politically and socially aware and wanting to wear cute things. So, this is my little slice of the internet and my own journey into my identity and the beautiful thing that is the life I am creating.