Beast Restaurant

Deep Fried Pickles

Beast Restaurant – 96 Tecumseth St, Toronto

I heard such great things about Beast’s brunch since Dave (@1goatroti) and Adrienne (@AdrienneDLR) went there a few weeks ago. So of course, I had to come and try since I found out they had a dish called the Beastwich.

Above is our appetizer. Boyfriend can never say no to deep fried pickles. I loved these ones because they were sliced, not quartered like other places usually do them. The breading was beautifully seasoned and retained their crunchiness. They served this with a homemade ranch sauce. So delicious, I actually wanted a second order and we hadn’t even started eating our real meals yet.

omelette

We ended up ordering one of their specials, which was the meat omelette, made with beef tongue and sauerkraut (boyfriend’s favourites). It was served with a nice fresh salad and a buttermilk biscuit. I didn’t like the omelette too much, but the salad had a yummy balsamic dressing. The biscuit was perfectly buttery and salty, and we kept eating it even after we were extra stuffed.

poboy

I don’t know what it is with the word po’boy, but I am a sucker for them. I had a softshell crab po’boy at Porchetta and Co about a month ago, and I swear I might have died right then and there. This was a deep fried oyster po’boy with cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and pickles, served with a side of homemade bbq chips. The chips were nice, light, and crispy. The po’boy was soft and cheesy, and while it was deep fried, the veggies kept it tasting fresh and light. The only thing wrong with it was that I realised I forgot that I don’t like cooked oysters. But I’m sure if you like them, then you would love this sandwich. The oysters themselves were huge and meaty, encased in a beautiful coating of fried dough.

beastwich

There’s a third?? How many were you?? It was just me and boyfriend, but of course I had to have a third meal. There were too many choices to just end up with two! And how could we not have the beauty that was called the “Beastwich.” Deep fried chicken atop a buttermilk biscuit, fried egg, cheese, and topped with sausage gravy, served with homefries.

I love sausage and biscuits so much. After the first time having them in Atlanta, I was hooked. The chicken was so moist and deliciously deep fried. Everything together was soft, and moist, and savoury, and heavy in the best way possible. This is exactly what I expect from a sandwich called Beastwich.

Altogether, our bill came up to about $60 — three meals, an appetizer, and a $5 caesar — which wasn’t too horrible, but at the end of my birthday month, our bank accounts are tapped out! I would love to come back and try their dinner though; they have some really yummy looking things on the menu.

“It’s my birthday month.”

Birthday FreebiesContrary to what others might say about me, I don’t really like being the centre of attention, and as such, I don’t really like throwing a birthday party for myself. If I do have a big party (which I have for the past couple of years), it’s because I want all my friends to have fun. That being said, I use my birthday as an excuse to get anything I want, and I celebrate all month long.

This year, I spent my birthday walking around downtown Toronto to collect all my birthday freebies that different companies offer! Starbucks gives you a big fancy birthday drink, Menchies gives you a free froyo cup (up to $5) and as most girls know, Sephora gives you different birthday gifts every year. Yes, all of these perks come with memberships, but they’re all free to sign up, so why not!

A couple other places that give you free things are Tuckers Marketplace and Wok of Fame (free buffet dinner), Booster Juice (free drink coupon), Pickle Barrel (app/dessert with purchase of entree), What-a-Bagel (free 6 bagels with purchase of 6 bagels), and Spoonful (1/2 price buffet dinner). There are a bunch on this list that I found online.

Lou Dawgs

Lou Dawg’s – 589 King St W., Toronto

So I woke up on the noon of my 24th birthday with a hankering for BBQ. I had been having flashbacks to our outing that had included the Lancaster Smokehouse in Kitchener, so I headed out to the closest place to the condo, Lou Dawg’s BBQ. I’ve seen a few Lou Dawgs around, and the Belly Monsters informed me that they weren’t bad. I had a breakfast birthday beer followed by their two meat platter — pulled pork and brisket — which came with two sides — coleslaw and baked beans, my weakness. I also ordered a cheesy jalapeno cornbread, because really, who can say no to that combination? The platter ($14.99) is a great value and it comes with a bun sliced in half for you to make sandwiches if that’s what your heart desires.

Now, I don’t know why I broke my rule of never ordering pulled pork at a restaurant. It is always disappointing and this one was no different. It tasted like what I can make in my slow cooker. I put it in the bread with my coleslaw, which made it marginally better.

The brisket was a little better. Soft, delicious, but sitting in a pool of grease and fat smothered in barbecue sauce. However, when you drain the fattiness at the bottom from the meat, it is actually quite delicious. They also serve the bbq with two different sauces on the side. The hot sauce is not so hot.

The cornbread was a muffin with pieces of japaleno in it. It was really yummy but disappointingly dry. The cheese on top was crispy and chewy and delicious. I did love the coleslaw and baked beans though. The beans were smokey and perfectly sweet. The coleslaw was the right about of tangy and crunchy. The sides were definitely the highlight of the whole lot, along with the funny and upbeat bartender/waiter.

boston pizza

Boston Pizza – 2915 Eglinton Ave W., Mississauga

Yes, I do not only eat at independent restaurants. We actually eat at chain restaurants quite often when we’re trying to please everyone and just need a quick bite. This night was just some wings and desserts. These Caesars were probably the worst Caesar I’ve ever had. The bacon was bleh. There was too much vodka, and not enough tomato flavour, or any other flavour really.

The big round thing in the middle is what they call a “Doughcano.” It’s their chocolate explosion cake wrapped in pizza dough, baked, then topped with whipped cream. It was chewy, with thick fudge in the middle, and oh man. It was perfect. Chewy, sugary, and a huge hit of chocolate if that’s what you’re craving. my only complaint is that the cheesecake tasted and felt more like marshmallows than cheesecake.

The panookie on the right is always a good bet. A giant chocolate chip cookie that’s pan-fried, then topped with ice cream, whipped cream, chocolate and caramel sauce. A nice dose of sugar. The edges are crispy and the inside is chewy.

d hot shoppe

D Hot Shoppe – 4155 Fairview St, Burlington

D Hot Shoppe is a Caribbean/West Indian restaurant that has been recommended to me over and over again by both Dave (@1goatroti) and Justin (@the_Jmoney). On the left is a goat roti drenched in medium gravy and on the right is a doubles, which is a deep fried dough traditionally stuffed with curried chickpeas. They put chutney in it and I asked them to put chicken in it too. They do not look appetizing to someone who’s never had them before but DANG. So good. I’d go eat here twice a week if I were nearby. If you can handle spice, I would still recommend getting the medium. I thought I was soo strong and ordered the hot level the first time I ate at D’s and I regretted it for a few days as it burned through my digestive tract. It was still delicious though.

French ToastPhoenix Chinese Restaurant – 4040 Creditview Rd, Mississauga

A pretty normal Chinese restaurant where you can get your noodles and rice and sweet and sour pork. That beast up there is what they called French toast with peanut butter. It is a pretty dense, sweet bread with peanut butter spread in the middle, deep fried, and then you smother it in more butter and maple syrup. It is deadly. It is delicious.

St Louis

St. Louis Bar & Grill – 6485 Mississauga Rd, Mississauga

My friend Audrey has been obsessed with Caesars lately, and rightly so. They’re delicious. I love it when my caesar comes with a pickled bean. Yum yum.

The burger was quite good, but I just needed a second to rave about these sweet potato fries. Ultra yummy with just the right about of crispiness and potatoeyness still in the middle. They even serve it with a spicy mayo — perfect.

MilestonesMilestones – 10 Dundas St. E. (Yonge & Dundas), Toronto

The Tuesday Peach Bellini special at Milestones is great! It’s like a slushie made of Tim Horton’s peach drink, but not as disgustingly sweet. Then it’s topped with a flavoured vodka, and apparently an animal of the deer variety. The boys were feeling too manly to order one for themselves even though they really really wanted one.

The white chocolate cheesecake is BEYOND. Just beyond beyond. Soft, sweet, decadent, light, with some coffee underneath, whipped cream at the top. Smooth. Take-me-home-to-yo-momma delicious. Tuck-me-into-a-bed-of-rose-pedals-and-make-love-to-me delicious.

Couple Photo

And lastly, the dude that made my birthday outings possible by spoiling me.

I hope all your birthday wishes come true around the world! If they don’t, make them happen.

 

 

 

 

Smoque & Bones

Smoque & Bones

869 Queen St. West, Toronto

Smoque ‘n’ Bones opened up last week on Queen West, just across the street from Trinity Bellwoods and the always delicious Nadège. I was invited by Dave (of the Goat Roti Chronicles), along with Chanry and Adrienne, to sample some of their wonderful barbecue (touted as Toronto’s answer to authentic Southern BBQ) and jumped at the chance. I am always down for some meat sweats. I parked on a side street and as I got out of the car, I could instantly smell the smoky barbecue luring me into the restaurant. I was already drooling. As I walked up to the restaurant at 7, I went to take a picture of the sign with my DSLR, only to be greeted with the wonderful message, “No Memory Card Inserted.” So please, enjoy the following post accompanied with photos taken with a drunk potato.

sides

Side Dishes – Coleslaw, Potato Salad, Collard Greens, Mac & Cheese, Baked Beans, Candied Yams – $3.90 each

We started out with their range of side dishes. The two stand-out ones for me were definitely the candied yams – soft and sweet – and the mac and cheese, topped with homemade parmesan breadcrumbs. It was creamy, the noodles had a nice bite to them, and the breadcrumbs were so perfectly seasoned. The baked beans were very ketchup-y but it grew on me as it I ate it. The coleslaw grew on me as well, but there was a very strong dillweed flavour to it. The collard greens were nice and bitter. The potato salad had some pulled pork mixed into it; it was good, but I found it to be a little too dense.

Smoque N Bones Fries

Shoestring Fries, Onion Rings, Sweet Potato Waffle Fries – $3.90 each

These three fry baskets were served with a side of chipotle mayo. I can’t tell you which of them I liked more because I honestly loved all of them. They were all so crispy and delicious. The shoestring fries were delightfully crispy, though still with a potatoey mouth-feel to them despite being so thin. The onion rings were crunchy, without scratching the roof of your mouth, and not over-salted. So delicious. And then the sweet potato waffles, which I’m sure would turn my sweet potato hating boyfriend into a lover. All three of these were done oh-so-right.

pickles

Pickle Jar – $3.90

The pickle jar is a mix of chow chow, watermelon rinds, okra spears, jalapeño, and green beans. I was most excited to try the watermelon rinds, but I found them unremarkable. The okra spears were great. Nice and crunchy with the right amount of sour. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to try any pickled green beans (my fave!).

pulled pork

Pulled Pork Sandwich – 1/2 pound – $11.90

I have always been of the school of thought that pulled pork sandwiches (and sloppy joes, and “gourmet” burgers) are meant to be messy affairs. Although I didn’t get to eat this, just the look of it promises to be a wrist-wetting adventure. I am told that it was “very good.”

Smoque N Bones Bread Basket

Bread Basket – $3.90

This creative bread basket came with all my favourite things. Cheese straws, corn bread, a biscuit, and hush puppies! The first three because I’d had them before and they’re delicious; the last because puppies. The cheese straws were light, cheesy, and flaky. Great bite without filling up. Because they’re so light, they’re probably like zero calories. The biscuit was crumbly, buttery, soft, warm, and delicious. The hush puppies tasted like they should, like deep-fried cornmeal batter. Unfortunately, the one I was looking forward to the most, the cornbread, did not live up to my imagination. Less like a savoury cornbread, I bit into it and could have sworn I was eating a pound cake. It could have been more savoury, maybe with some cheese and jalapeño inside. Oh man, now I’m drooling.

Smoque N Bones Ribs and Drinks

Pork Side Ribs – 1/2 rack – $16.90 // Lemonade & Sweet Tea

Judy, you went to a barbecue place and it took forever to get to the meat!!! Yes, it did. And it was so worth it. These pork ribs are served “naked” straight from the smoker, and you’re given a tin of the barbecue sauce with a brush to paint on yourself. The sauce was great, and you can make them super saucy if that’s the way you roll. I’m usually a saucy person, but hooooly. These ribs were so good that I couldn’t even bear to stop eating to paint more sauce on them. They are good both with and without! The meat is super tender and has such a nice bite to it, I’m starting to think that “fall off the bone” ribs are overhyped. There was so much lovely flavour in the meat and the barbecue sauce was on point too. Not too tart, not too sweet, but the perfect complimentary smoky flavour. I would have liked to try any of their other meats, but unfortunately this was all we had for their barbecued meats.

Now that I’m done hailing the ribs, let’s talk about the drinks. The lemonade had been all buzz, so we simply had to try their “famous” lemonade. Only open a few days, and their lemonade was already famous, so of course we had to try it. The waitress also recommended we try their sweet tea. The lemonade is made from a smoked lemon mixed in with muddle mint. It was nice and minty, and would go well with some gin. It is a nice, light summer drink. However, let’s get at the sweet tea. It’s made with black tea, (mild) black liquorice liqueur, muddled orange, and orange bitters, and it is beyond anything I’ve ever had before. It blows my mind how delicious this drink was, and I definitely see myself walking down Queen West in the summer, having this refreshing drink, and dying happy.

Smoque N Bones Crepe

Bourbon Cherry Crepe – $6.90

A vanilla crepe filled with marscapone cheese, topped with bourbon cherries and icing sugar. It might be the Montrealer in me, but the crepe was a bit rubbery, and didn’t have the delicious crispy edge. The cherries were great, but the marscapone inside was a little bit lacking. It could have had a bit more substance maybe if there was an orange or lemon or something citrusy to heighten the flavour inside. Maybe some ice cream on top, with the cherries and bourbon drizzled on. Unless something was changed, I wouldn’t order this again.

Smoque N Bones Upside Down Pineapple Spice Cake

Upside Down Pineapple Spice Cake – $6.90

Looking like a witch’s hat, this pumpkin spice cake has pineapples at the bottom, and is drizzled with syrup. The cake was nice, but it went beyond when you finally get a forkful of cake, pineapple, and syrup. The sticky sweet of the syrup makes for a moist cake, and the sweet pineapples gave a wonderfully fruity fresh flavour to it all. A perfect ending to a heavy barbecue meal.

I really would have liked to try the Bourbon Banana Foster ($6.90) as well. It sounded so delicious, with coconut custard and puff pastry.

All in all, Smoque N Bones is a wonderful addition to the vibrant Queen West neighbourhood, and already so busy (be prepared to wait if you’re visiting), they’re sure to have a successful opening summer and beyond. I will definitely be back.

Banh Mi Boys

Banh Mi Boys, the place I’ve oft heard about but never been to. On par with Burrito Boyz and Smoke’s Poutinerie for after-clubbing eats. BMB is situated on Queen West, just west of Spadina and I finally convinced boyfriend to go there for dinner. This proved to be the best decision I could ever make. Having known myself for 22 years now, I should have known walking in, that we would pretty much “accidentally” order everything on the menu.

We started off with two Banh Mi, the restaurant’s namesake. For those who don’t know, an original Banh Mi (which means bread or sandwich in Vietnamese) is a kind of Vietnamese sandwich served on a crusty baguette, has various unidentifiable meats and pâtés in it, topped with pickled radish, pickled carrots, cilantro, and chili peppers if you’re feeling feisty. We got duck confit, and pork belly, and just having one each would have filled us up enough without all the other things we bought. These were really good. Warm and meaty, it’s a nice mix of western and eastern cuisines. I liked them alright, but I think I prefer my original banh mi to these (which you can buy for $2.50 up the street) but that’s okay because they offer some other great things on the menu.

This is the beef cheek steamed bao. I love beef cheek because it is always so soft and moist, and this one had a great smokey flavour to it. Topped with cucumber, cilantro, and pickled radish and carrots, it’s stuffed in a steamed bao pocket. In Chinese, it’s called a “siopao” and in Vietnamese, a “banh bao”. It’s a white steamed bun that’s like a bread, but spongy, airy, and slightly sweet.

We move onto the tacos and I am a sucker for coleslaw. We ordered a squid taco and a kalbi beef taco and it came with all the fixings of a banh mi with the addition of the coleslaw and kimchi. Kalbi beef is a korean style short rib beef. It’s got a sweet flavour which contrasts well with the tanginess of the coleslaw and pickled carrots. Very yummy, very messy to eat. The three types of sandwiches are pretty much the same in fillings, but you can change up how you want it served: as a banh mi, a taco, or a steamed bao.

I saved you the best for last though, because this is what the people really come for:

Kimchi fries.

The perfect french fries topped with perfect pulled pork and perfect kimchi, as well as mayo and a bunch of green onions makes this dish, well, perfect. It’s like a poutine on steroids. The crispy fries compliment the soft, sweet pulled pork compliment the crunchy tangy spicy kimchi that makes this something you must try when you visit Toronto. You won’t find it anywhere else in Toronto, and any imitations  are just that. Imitations. Cause nothing comes close to the perfection of this dish.

Porchetta & Co

Oh sweet, succulent porchetta. This place is just beyond amazing. Porchetta is a fatty boneless pork roast that is seasoned with many different herbs  and then cooked in a way that the outside is crispy, light and the inside is melt in your mouth tender. So good that even Anthony Bourdain came in for a bite.

The ciabatta bun is stuffed with 4 oz of porchetta, crackling, and topped with (Kozliks) mustard and frank’s hot sauce. This time I chose to get some bitter rapini on top because I love rapini. When people come to Toronto, they’re always talking about that damn peameal bacon, the prized sandwich of Hogtown. But let me tell you, this porchetta sandwich is SO much better than peameal bacon, and let’s just say, I have too much experience with peameal.

Let’s get back to the porchetta sandwich. The bun is soft and fragrant. The meat is soft, but the crackling gives that satisfying crunch. Boyfriend of course got his piled high with mushrooms and added a bunch of extra mustard on top. Biting into this monster is one of the most satisfying things. I can only wish to have this sandwich every day. :)

Porchetta and Co Website // Twitter // Facebook

Scaramouche

Scaramouche is one of my favourite restaurants, partly because it’s so expensive that we can’t quiet afford to eat there very often, meaning it’s such a nice treat when we do get there. Whenever I get to hang out with the boyfriend, I get to throw all my diet worries away and indulge, indulge, indulge. Above is the view from the south windows of the restaurant. I had been wanting to come here for a very long time since seeing their famous Coconut Cream Pie in an issue of Toronto Eats (arguably one of my favourite magasines) and so for my birthday in June, boyfriend finally took me! And it was so good that he made me promise to take him for his birthday too. And well, here we are.

They start off every dinner service with a complimentary amuse-bouche. I actually can’t remember for the life of me what this is, I think it might be some sort of salmon, but these are just to whet the appetite. They are cute, dainty, and leave us drooling for our meals!

My appetizer this time was a decadent dungeness crab ravioli (24$). The pillows were ultra light and melted completely in your mouth. The light tomato-based sauce was creamy and very rich. So good that we ended up dipping some of the complimentary bread into it so as to not waste a single drop. The crab was light and yet so intense in flavour. There were only a few raviolis, but as this is a french restaurant, small portions are expectant. I don’t care though because every bite is one of those movie moments where you close your eyes and just savour it.

The steak tartare (18$) topped with crostini and watercress, surrounded by a caper mustard. The first time we came, I just had to try the steak tartare because I’d never had a tartare before. Once it reached the table, boyfriend got super jealous because he didn’t know what tartare was but he looooooves his meat raw, or as close to raw as possible. The tartare is so delicious, nice and peppery, with a kick of spicy mustard, and the meat is just so soft and tender.

This was the lamb (46$) that we had last time, but since I hadn’t made a post, this is where I display it. Lamb is usually my go-to dish just because I love the richness of it with the light gamey flavour. The meat was topped with a classic mint pesto and served with goat cheese whipped potatoes. Everything was just so lovely and yummy. I love the arrangement of everything on the plate so that there are endless combinations of things to eat, each ingredient enhancing the flavours of the others. And oh my, how delicious and smooth those potatoes were.

Another reason I had wanted to try this restaurant was because they served elk/venison (46$), a meat that I had never had before! This meat was like a cross between beef and lamb. Super tender, a light gamey flavour, yet has the presence and sturdiness of beef. They were also wrapped in bacon, and really, who doesn’t like bacon. Plated on a bed of baby spinach, a lot of different types of mushrooms, and beets. Oh man I love beets. There was also a mustard cream that  tasted almost like really creamy quiche. I honestly don’t know what to say about any of these dishes because they are all just on a very high level of wonderful cuisine.

This time, boyfriend chose to stick with a standard filet mignon (47$). The meat was, of course, cooked to a perfect medium rare. It’s served alongside green beans (which are sitting in the beef gravy. This is where you swoon) as well as porcini whipped potatoes. Let me tell you, this restaurant has got their potatoes DOWN. They’re light, full of flavour, and not at all overpowering. I probably stole half of his potatoes, and quite a bit of his green beans too. Sharing is caring.

Of course the first time we went, we had to have the coconut cream pie (13$). The crust is flakey to a fault, the pie sitting on top of some beautiful chocolate drizzle. White chocolate shavings on top of a mountain of coconut cream. Now let me start by saying that I don’t even like coconut shavings. There’s too much chewing involved but despite that, this pie was soooo good. The cream was intense, the chocolates, divine. It was a beautiful dessert.

This beautiful thing is the Valrhona Jivara Cylinder (14$). It’s beautifully presented and I wasn’t expecting to be wowed by it, but I ended up floored. The yellow spots are passionfruit curd. It isn’t sour like some passionfruit is and the seeds, when you bite into them are like little balls of sugar. On the left is a fresh banana sorbet sitting on top of nuggets of chocolate. The sorbet is fresh, tangy, and perfect after a meaty meal. The nuggets of chocolate actually pop in your mouth after you bite into them, not unlike pop rock candies. But let me tell you where the magic happens. It’s the milk chocolate cylinder on the right, filled with raspberry foam. But that’s not all it’s filled with.

Underneath the deliciously sweet, with a slight sour, foam, there looks to be a praline-like cream, and under that yet, there is milk chocolate mousse. This thing looks small, but it was so damn good, that I would pay 14$ just for that cylinder alone. So gosh darn delicious.

I wasn’t lying when I said boyfriend likes his raw meat. The first time this happened, I was slightly embarrassed, but I couldn’t stop laughing. This time, I didn’t think he would actually do it again. Sometime after our entrees were finished, I feigned a bathroom break and went to talk to our waiter to inform him of the birthday we were celebrating and if the kitchen could do something special for the dessert. And what does boyfriend order for dessert for a second time in a row? Steak tartare. The first time it happened, the waiter who was cleaning crumbs off our table actually stopped to look at him, like it was the weirdest request because well, it is weird. So yes, so manly that he eats a chunk of raw meat for a dessert, and I accept him for it. And they stuck a candle in it for me.

I really do love Scaramouche, and if I were hella loaded, I would probably eat here monthly, if not weekly. Both dinners cost us between $200 and $225 after tip, and that’s without drinking any wine or spirits. The food is definitely worth it though and the atmosphere is very nice, classy, and the perfect place to treat yo’self.

MY Vagina, Not Yours

I never thought I’d write  a post like this. It may just be the baader-meinhof phenomenon in effect or perhaps it’s just me being more aware of the state of affairs around me.

It started off about 2 years ago when I hear about the Slutwalk, which was in retaliation to a Toronto police officer commenting that “women should avoid dressing like sluts” in order to not be raped, after a string of sexual assault incidents at York University. Just in the last week, it seems as though women everywhere are speaking up about how rape culture and slut-shaming is still prevalent in 2012 and alongside it, old stereotypes hidden behind the thin veil of humour that just then get mean and downright degrading. 

I read this post on reddit by user public_username about how to be a girl on the internet. I don’t publicize myself as a girl, but I see those that do. If you’re in a forum or site where there is not a larger group of women, you encounter horrible sexist comments far more than you would in real life. I’m speaking just in my experience on reddit, where there is a misconception that there are no women that frequent the site. Although many redditors are 20-40 years old, white, male, probably in IT, in the last few years, the site has grown so large that it’s no longer rare to meet someone else who frequents the site. The demographic is no longer that 28 year old white male. It’s estimated that 20% of the users are female, but that number is probably quite a bit higher, since many users don’t identify themselves as female for fear of being targeted with private messages of penises. Women who post words or pictures are met with either sexualisation or accused of using their gender to garner fake internet points.

If you think that people are like this because they have the anonymity of the internet to hide them, it calls to question, are these people assholes on the internet because they’re forced to hide it when they’re interacting with real people. With the alarming about of sexist comments on public forums, it’s quite disheartening to think that the people around you really harbour these feelings.

Then there are the people who seem proud of their misogyny. Talk to any one of your female companions, peers, or family members and they or someone they know have been the victim of some sort of sexual harassment. They’ve been catcalled, groped, and put off increasingly aggressive advances for any number of reasons.


Stoya, a porn actress by profession, writes for Jezebel.com about the pigs that feel like their entitled to her body. From the men who invade her genitals at sex conventions without her permission to those vulgar catcalls on the sidewalk. Someone actually comments on the article saying,

To turn around and say “don’t touch me” is both hypocritical and immature considering your whole career is centered around being “touched.”

“Yes, moral high horse. But to be honest I’m tired of people who choose a certain path in life to then turn around and constantly bitch about it.

Saying that she deserves this kind of disrespectful treatment just because she has sex for a living. Sex with people and in circumstances of her choosing. This does not mean that she must give her body up to anyone who is ready and willing. What kind of logic is that? You can’t just go up to a doctor in the middle of the street and stick his eye in your infection, just because they’re a doctor. Not only is that logic fallible, but this kind of behaviour doesn’t just happen to porn stars. Reiterating my point above, almost every woman encounters that asshole that thinks he can shout things at a girl just because she walks into his sightline.

There is a very wide line between a sincere “that dress looks really nice on you” to  “Nice ass! Why don’t you back that thang up over here?” Those who do the second rationalise it as, “She should be happy that I’m paying her a compliment.” She should be fucking flattered. I don’t even know what to say to that. We don’t go out dressed like we do to impress you. We wear what we do to make ourselves feel good about our body, to maybe impress that special person. We don’t do it for the random guys hanging out at the side of a building.

And then there’s that special mentality first mentioned here as a member of the Toronto Police force saying that dressing the way you do invites these kind of unwanted encounters. Added to that, our own mayor’s niece tweets something to the effect of “don’t dress like a whore” in response to the recent sexual assaults in the Annex area of Toronto.

I think it is the mentality of very strict Islam cultures (please correct me if I’m wrong), where it is not the fault of the men, who are just incorrigible creatures of lust, who rape women because the women are to blame for their flaunting of assets, clearly targeting the men who can’t help themselves.

  1. Women are just out to get raped and tempt these men to sin.
  2. Men are just lowly dogs who can’t help but to rape because the women are walking out there uncovered.

Sounds silly right? So why is it so popular, even in Western culture, to tell women to cover up before going out, just to be safe. It’s so prevalent to teach young girls that they have to be alert, teach them self defence, tell them to carry pepper spray around because it’s not safe out there. Men are out to rape you. Instead of teaching women “don’t get raped,” why isn’t it common to teach people “don’t rape” instead. I was glad when I saw this ad campaign that shows people the other side of rape prevention.

It also shows another part that I haven’t quite touched on, and that is women are not the only ones targeted by sexual harassment. This post really is spurred on my what I’ve seen and experienced lately. And now that I’ve got all that opinion-based stuff out of the way, I’d like to pile on with my own experiences.

I don’t consider myself a very hot or attractive woman. I don’t think I’m “beaten with a stick ugly” but in my day to day life, I don’t generally dress up unless it’s for something special. For the last two years, when I’m in public, I am in my work uniform because I’m going to and from work, or in my work uniform to go to school, or in grubby clothes to go to school, paired with a backpack, running shoes, some kind of greasy food in my hand, and probably sweating, this is not what you think gets hollered at, and I don’t expect it either.

When I began writing this post, I could name maybe a couple of times in the past few years where I’ve gotten honked at from a car, and I thought that was it, but as I continued, it’s like there have been suppressed memories hiding in the back of my mind. I thought it would start when I was a young adult, really coming into myself and beginning to be confident in myself as a person. Looking back, my first real encounter with public harassment was probably when I was 15 or 16 years old in high school. I was catching some shuteye going home on a long metro ride in Montreal. I was huddled in the corner with my big jacket and backpack, and when I opened my eyes to get off, there was a man standing in front of me, with his penis just.. dangling there. I was young. I was scared. I pretended to be asleep and missed my stop. Luckily, it didn’t escalate from there and when I opened my eyes, he was gone.

From then, it was mostly just some lip smacking, some off-handed sexual comments muttered under their breath as I walked by, honking their horns as they drive by, and I did what I did that first time. I ignored it, held onto my pride, didn’t give them an ounce of satisfaction, and just kept on going.

This past summer, I was getting off an 11-hour shift on a Saturday. I had been awake since 6am that morning and just very tired walking home from work. I was probably drenched in bacon sweat, from working around bacon sandwiches all day, and this car of young-ish guys come screeching down the street. They were honkin, and hootin, and hollerin. One of them looking me straight in the eye as his hands and mouth made a most vulgar motion. Something inside me just snapped. I didn’t do anything rash, it just hit me like, what did these guys expect? Is it just some hormonal kick in the dick that they get off on, yelling at a girl like that? What did they want me to do, jump in their car and suck their bag of dicks? How did they expect me to feel, what did they want me to feel? I suspect that they don’t give a shit, and I was just a thing to yell at for kicks. Saying “I’d hit that” as a naive display of machismo, making up for the suave bullshit they’ve never had.

All these memories and feelings came rushing back when I started writing. And then there are the two incidents that really spurred me to write this.

As you know, I started running recently. I preferred to run at night because my street is pretty busy for a side street, and I don’t particularly like people seeing my fat ass run and struggle. So I do it when there’s barely anybody around. The other night, as I was on my run, this car drives past and honks. I lift my hand to wave because I have family in the area often, so I assumed it was someone I knew. When I looked, it wasn’t anyone I knew at all. “Just some asshole looking to get his rocks off,” I thought. About 10-15 minutes later, the same car comes back from the opposite direction, slows down, and parks beside me as I was walking (resting phase), and the driver leans over to talk to me. I had my headphones in, did not want to engage, and kept walking. After I’d gotten a few steps away, I started running and didn’t stop till I got to my house, scared that he would follow me home, where I was alone with my dog. Luckily, I turned around and he wasn’t there. I may have jumped to conclusions, but bearing in mind that he had definitely driven out to the main road, where there are plenty of shops and gas stations if he had questions about the area, I just felt really unsafe in my own neighbourhood. I was wearing my sweater, headphones in, sweaty, and breathing pretty hard while I was walking. What the hell about my physical disposition invited you to stop right beside me all creepy-like to have a conversation. I was not wearing come-hither clothing, I did not give off any signals of wanting to mate. From that incident alone, I’ve decided not to run outside anymore, instead now concentrating on indoor cardio workouts.

And the second incidence, I guess some people could say I brought it upon myself for wearing a skirt and engaging in alcoholic drinks. Logical people would say I just wanted a night hanging out with my cousins and some music. But of course, I’m with a group of people, minding my own business, that means I’m here to hook up with strangers, right? We’re standing around with our drinks when this guy comes up to me and starts a conversation. Friendly conversation is fine, I’m okay with this, I enjoy this. He asks to dance, and I tell him I have a boyfriend. That should be that.

Nope. He goes on to assume that my boyfriend is unimportant if he’s not attached to my side and practically tries to drag me out to the dance floor. I tell him a firm no, and if he wanted to resume our conversation it would be fine. His relentless pursuit and boyish face made me feel like he’s learned all his pick up tricks from movies and Jersey Shore. If a girl says no, she doesn’t mean no, she just wants you to try harder. No. No. A million times no. I ask him how old he is. “20.” Not that it matters. I’m trying to deter him when he asks my age, I lie and say “25” citing that he’s too young and I am not interested (I’m actually 22). He should probably get the hint that I don’t really want to talk or dance with him anymore. Thankfully this time he does. Does he gracefully accept this and move on?

Nope. He gets butthurt and starts bashing me in the middle of the club, saying that I was too old to be there, and I shouldn’t be hanging out at places like this. I’m sorry, but why did he think that just because he was talking to me that he was entitled to dance with me, to cop a feel, like I was being a bitch for not wanting to. I want to say it’s because he was young, inexperienced, and generally doesn’t know how to get turned down, but I’ve heard these kind of stories from many different people, from different walks of life. Where when the woman doesn’t put out, she’s a frigid bitch. And yet, and yet! if she dresses how she likes, doesn’t give it out, and the men take it, she’s bashed for wearing a short skirt and “asking for it.”

I know it’s been a long read, and it might be a lot to ask, but I’m really just hoping for awareness that this goes on. That when guys, you see this kind of thing going on, you don’t encourage your friend to “cop a feel,” to “just keep going for it because she clearly wants you.” For everyone to know the difference between joking and misogyny, and to have a society where it’s safe for people to be walking outside without being afraid that they’re just asking to be raped. Without our bodies being the target of sexual assault whether physical or verbal. Without derision and unwanted advances. I just want us all to get along without being uncomfortable, and if not, well, you can find me in my basement doing Jillian Michaels exercises.