Losing it: understanding virginity in the 21st century

While the beginning of a new school year usually sees university students attending new classes, buying textbooks, and reading course outlines, some may also be hatching a plan to ditch their V-card status. On the surface, virginity seems like a pretty straightforward concept. A person is a virgin if they haven’t had sex, and isn’t if they have. Among millennials, virginity can even be the quickest way to decide whether someone is a prude or a slut. However, in reality, the concept of virginity is vastly more complicated. In fact, according to Ummni Khan, an associate professor of legal studies at Carleton University, virginity is a deeply ideological construct. “[It’s] based on cis-normative and heterosexist understandings of sexual phases,” Khan who […]

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Commentary: ‘da Kink in My Hair preaches friendship and self-love

“Whatever makes you happy makes you beautiful.” This is what salon owner Novelette tells her customers in the 2001 play ‘da Kink in My Hair. Set in a hair studio, this production tells the story of seven women who have unique perspectives on life, love, loss, and everything in between. The studio is a place where these women talk about their experiences and share their joys and sorrows. Audiences see characters from all walks of life finding strength in each other’s stories, and illuminating what it means to be a woman, and a black woman in particular.  Novelette, portrayed by playwright Trey Anthony, acts as a mother figure, offering advice and courage to each of her clients, all the while bringing […]

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