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The Manson Family & An Exploration on New Religious Movements

The Manson Family & An Exploration on New Religious Movements

Hello there! You may notice my blog has gotten a bit of a revamp. A much-needed one if you ask me. Not only that, but this new blog theme comes hand in hand with a new social studies topic! This post may require a **CONTENT WARNING** though because today we are talking about…

New Religious Movements

If you could describe a Cult using one image, this would be it

But hold on, what is a New Religious Movement (NRM)? Well, you probably know the term under a more common name. Cults. Although the term Cult is usually avoided during academic studies of these sorts of groups. New Religious Movements are groups that have extreme beliefs that are often confusing to mainstream society.

New Religious Movements emerged predominantly in the 1960s and ’70s as American’s searched for new ways of understanding their world. This need for answers was heavily influenced by the violent and jarring events of those eras. People often turned to religious or spiritual guidance during this time because it provided those answers and gave people a sense of community. Unfortunately, the term Cult has a very negative connotation and people feared for their loved ones who became involved. The fear that grew in Americans was not undeserved. With groups like the Manson Family and the Jonestown Massacre, there was true cause for worry.

The Manson Family

For almost a week now, I’ve been doing independent research on NRMs and there are many key ingredients that make up these groups. In today’s post, I’d like to talk about the Mason Family and how they meet the definition of a Cult.

I’d like to note one more time before I get started that there is a CONTENT WARNING on this post. The Manson family though not the most disturbing of cults in terms of practice did commit very brutal murders and Manson used many forms of manipulation and brainwashing on his followers.

The Man..son Himself

Charles Manson was one of the most notorious cult leaders of the 1970s. The first ingredient for an NRMs is to have a charismatic leader and Manson checked that box. He was charismatic and a good speaker.  His ability to control others was ultimately what lead to the success of his following.

Manson took on the role of a hippy outlaw who was fighting against the system. He used this image of himself to pull people in. People came under his influence with the understanding that no one was his equal.

The “Manson Girls” as they became known were a group of young women closely connected to Manson and almost as infamous as him. Many young women at the time we migrating to places like Hollywood and San Fransisco with the hippy lifestyle in mind and Manson’s mission was what they were looking for. Manson used these women to recruit his male following and gain their support. Eventually, he had formed this sort of “Family”.

Spahn Ranch

Spahn Ranch featured in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood (movie by Quinton Tarantino)

In 1968 the Manson Family moved to Spahn Ranch, an old Hollywood movie set used for filming westerns. This is where the next characteristic of an NRM comes in. Isolation. In the middle of the desert, Manson initiated his total domination over the group and severing ties with the outside world only helped more.

At the Ranch, Manson began the brainwashing, another key element of an NRM. He gave his followers psychedelic drugs like LSD and would pretend to take the drugs himself. While they were high he would preach to them about the past, present and future of humanity, manipulate their experience in order to control them. Embedding ideas in their minds. 

Helter Skelter

Manson developed a twisted philosophy and began to appear more and more delusional. He thought that the Beatles were trying to convey a message to him on their White Album. Manson believed the song Helter Skelter referred to a coming race war between white and black people that would result in thousands dying, forcing the Family to live in caves underground until it was their time to return and rule over the world. The end of the world or “doomsday” and the belief that the group will get to a “better place” are popular beliefs in NRMs. It is also a key feature in defining what an NRM is.

At first, Manson told his followers that Helter Skelter would be started by black people but later shirted his agenda, telling the family it was their duty to start it. He told his followers that they were going to be at the forefront of this race war and that they needed to start by killing rich, affluent white people while blaming the crimes on black people.

On August 8th, 1969, Manson launched Helter Skelter. He sent 4 of his followers to a home in the Hollywood Hills where they brutally murdered 5 people, including actress Sharon Tate who was 8 months pregnant. The next night he sent 6 family members to kill supermarket executive Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary.

Manson Trials

Manson had this system of control over his followers. Members stopped thinking for themselves. This can be seen in the video footage of the Manson trials. Linda Kasabian, Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten are seen holding hands, singing and smiling. Like they don’t realize or are ignoring the brutal murders and the fact that they are on trial for their lives.

Charles Manson had controlled their emotions and ways of thinking for a long time both before and after the murders. When Susan Atkins (one of Manson’s followers) was asked questions by reporters, her answers were short and consisted of responses like “I don’t know” or “I didn’t think anything about it”, when asked what they thought about the trials.

The End of The Manson Family

Though Manson was not physically present for the murders he was still convicted of murder. The jury agreed that he had so much control over the minds of his followers that he had weaponized them.

There are many key ingredients that make up a New Religious Movement and the Mason Family checks off many. Manson was the charismatic leader whose ability to manipulate, brainwash and control people’s emotions led to his devoted following. He isolated his followers on a ranch in the desert, severing their ties with the outside world. All of these tactics helped him cement his prophecy of a race war into the minds of his young followers, promising them a better world of their own when it was over.

It’s a Long Fall From Power

It’s a Long Fall From Power

The Iran Hostage Crisis, the Watergate scandal and the Vietnam War; all of these events became known as turning points in history. In which the world could have gone one way but shifted suddenly another way. I noticed a trend among the presidents who were in power during these events. That trend being; that these events, now considered turning points in history, played a role in the downfalls of the presidents who were in power 1.

The Fallen Kingdom🙂

President Lindon B. Johnson earned his disapproval when he sent more troops into Vietnam, a war that many knew was unwindable 2. Those who opposed the US’s involvement in the war vilified LBJ.

The final months of President Carter’s tenure were rocked by some major crises. With the Iran Hostage Crisis and the failed Operation Eagle Claw (an attempt to save the hostages and end the crisis), disapproval was high. These events played a huge role in his landslide loss in the 1980 presidential election 3.

Nixon’s blatant attempts to cover up the Watergate scandal and spy on American officials he claimed were “threats” lead to his resignation. The only time a president has ever resigned in US history 4.

Let’s Paint The Picture… Literally

I painted this picture! It’s meant to show the fall from power that these Presidents experienced due to their actions against these turning points. Also, I wanted an excuse to make a painting 🙂

Painting in Progress…

It was interesting to explore this idea and it left me with some questions. Are the downfalls of these presidents caused by turning points in history or was it the way these presidents handled these events that turned them into turning points? Perhaps it’s a bit of both. Let me know what you think in the comments!

Has it hit you?

Has it hit you?

For a little while now I’ve been working on this ongoing project of creating a Zettelkasten. I’ve been taking a lot of notes in and out of class in order to build what has essentially become a second brain. After reviewing the thoughts I had compiled I noticed some ideas that were starting to connect.

I wanted to explore this idea about distance and how distance can impact how we judge a problem. Because I think people have a hard time acknowledging a problem that isn’t directly impacting them 1.

It’s Just a Cold… It’s Just a Storm

Covid 19 Protocols

I can’t deny that in the beginning, I had my doubts about Covid 19. Perhaps I was afraid of what it would mean for me and my family if it reached Canada or perhaps I was confident in our Governments ability to handle a pandemic but in the beginning, my friends and I would treasure each other that it was just like the common cold and that it would never make its way to Canada. Silly me…

It wasn’t until the first case in Lynn Valley that it really started to worry me. More information about the virus was becoming available and suddenly the fear of a global pandemic was becoming a reality.

New Orleans before and after

In one of our lessons at school, we talked about Hurricane Katrina. After listening to people tell their stories about the disaster I noticed that some residents of New Orleans reacted to Hurricane Katrina the same way the people I know reacted to Covid 19 2. For the residents of New Orleans, hurricanes were not scary. They had experienced their fair share of them and to some, Hurricane Katrina sounded like another night of harsh winds and lots of rain. For this reason, many who had the option to evacuate felt they did not need to.


At Least It’s Not Happening To Us

Baader–Meinhof Group

It’s hard to look at something terrible that’s happening to people across the world and imagine if that were you. No one wants to place themselves in a difficult situation. Unfortunately, it becomes a problem when we detach ourselves so much that we are no longer prepared for the “What If”.


The Weather Underground

Terrorism was on the rise in the 1960s and ’70s, with groups like the Provisional Irish Republic Army, Black September, the Baader–Meinhof Group and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. However, all these groups were operating and fighting in Europe or the Middle East. Many American’s believed terrorism only happened on the other side of the world 3. It wasn’t until it made its way to America with domestic terrorist groups like The Weather Underground and the Symbionese Liberation Army that they realized terrorism is a threat to every country.

It’s interesting how we detach ourselves from these problem situations, whether it’s on purpose or not. With the people of New Orleans, it was a “boy who cried wolf” type situation. They’d witness so many hurricanes in the past that they were no longer perceived as a threat.

I think our denial of domestic terrorism reaching the west – in the same way as covid – came from this notion that our governments would be prepared to handle such a situation. Or that it wasn’t as big a threat as people say and would fizzle out on the otherwise of the world.

I created this comic strip to summarise the idea that people have a hard time acknowledging a problem that isn’t directly impacting them 1.

Status Report – Quarter 2 & 3

Status Report – Quarter 2 & 3

It may have been 20 weeks since I last had a class with you but clearly based on that letter you know I’ve not forgotten my Shakespeare! (totally didn’t use an online translator) But it has been a while and I’m sure you’ve missed me dearly which is obviously why you asked me to write a blog post about the things I’ve been up to.

My 20 Week Art Factory

In quarter 2 I was taking biology and had one spare and In quater 3 I was taking Physics and Photography. Having the spare for 10 weeks in Q1 was a great opportunity to do some of the things I love, that I normally feel too busy to do. Recently I’ve been getting back into painting. I’ve completed 5 paintings in 20 weeks and in all of them I’ve tried experimenting with different subjects.

Cool Lime and Ice

Reference Image

I did this painting during the winter when it started getting dark earlier. When that time of year comes around my mood and overall motivation get low. I wanted to paint something that reminded me of summertime and water better reminder than a glass of icy lime water. This was my first time trying to paint the intricate ripples of water and the reflections that the ice makes. Compared to the image I was referencing, I’m very proud of the final product.




Aries Goddess of war

Reference Image

Recently I’ve been practicing painting people. I’ve never been great when it comes to human anatomy but I find that using a reference is a great place to start. When I try to think of a person’s physical characteristics and put them on paper I just don’t understand how everything fits together. When I’m copying an image I have no problem.

This painting was inpired by a few different ideas. I wanted to paint this women in a powerful light. The symbol on her forhead is the symbol of the Aries astrological sign. I am an Aries and though I do not believe astrology can dictate your life, I am fascinated by the characteristic that Aries people are described as having. Aries’ are described as being passionate, motivated, and confident leaders and are represented by the colour red. Another inspriation for this painting was the greek god Ares who is the God war, more specifically the distanstful side of brutal warfare and slaughter. The women in the painting is supposed to represent power. I wanted her to look intimedating and strong like a goddess who’d have you on your knees the moment she appeared.

Notible Mentions

Here are some of the other paintings I did over the past 20 weeks that didnt have much meaning behind them. These were either for fun or just to practice some technique.

I still need to do the line art on this one

The Grind Don’t Stop

Here is a painting I’m currently working on. With quarter 4 (my busiest quarter yet) just around the corner I’m worried I wont have time to finish it but I will try my best! This painting was inspired by my recent and reborn love of greek myth. I wanted to painting Achilles and his lover Patroclus after the battle of troy. This is another paintig featuring human anatomy only this time I havent used a reference image. So far its taken me 4 hours to get this far.

I’ve been loving the quater system. Though it can be sad to say goodbye to a class you’ve been enjoying I do like only having to think about 2 courses at a time. I can’t believe I used to take 8 classes at a time! Having more free time has vastly improved my mental health. In previous years I was either on all the time, working almost every night or I had my school brain completly shut off during time like winter and spring break. This year I’ve felt like there is a perfect balance between those two and its given me time to do things that I love like painting!

In the past 20 weeks I’ve noticed my skills as an artist improve. I’ve learned new skills like painting the human body and understanding depth and refelction and its been a great way to relax. I plan to go to art school after highschool so having this time to adress my artistic side makes me feel more prepared for next year!

The Shrew Hath Been Tamed

The Shrew Hath Been Tamed

Five weeks ago the PLP English 11/12 class set out to tame a beast of a project. In just five weeks we read Shakespeare’s The Taming of The Shrew, learned about the history of the women’s rights movement of the 20th century and wrote an essay answering the question…

How Can We Use Our Study of The Taming of The Shrew to understand how much, yet how little, has changed for women?

The introduction of this new project had me excited and also a bit terrified. I was very excited to study another Shakespeare play since I was a big fan of Macbeth, which we studied last year. The prospect of writing an essay scared me a bit. I had a vision like Lady Macbeth, of me, the night before the due date, writing an essay with no idea where it was going, and then someone getting an A on it? Not sure how that happened but look how visions turned out for Lady M. Luckily, our teacher wouldn’t let us get behind. Over the course of this project, we did extensive research and preparation, like mini-projects, so that we had no choice but to be prepared!

Getting Prepared

First of all, getting prepared means understanding the competencies being assessed.

is essentially what it sounds like. It pushes you to think about how lives and conditions have changed or stayed the same over time.

is harder to understand. Demonstrating this core competency means applying a variety of strategies, like note-taking or discussing ideas out loud, to comprehend and express how texts use features.

20th Century History… Women’s History!

As a woman (omg gender reveal!! let’s have a party 🔥 ), I was thrilled to be learning about women’s history and the women’s rights movement. Never in my whole school career can I remember focusing a whole project on the lives of women throughout history and surprisingly enough, I’ve not heard any talk of classmates outside of PLP doing it either.

Parallel to reading The Taming of The Shrew we began our studies of women’s rights throughout the 20th century. We read several texts written by or about women on a website called CommonLit. Common lit asked you questions at the end of each reading to help you analyze and reflect on the given text. After completing 8 CommonLit readings I could tell my ability to analyze text improved greatly. On the earlier readings, like The Lady and The Tiger, I got 81%, mostly struggling with picking out the theme of the text.

On the later readings like Susan B. Anthony, The Women Serena Williams’ Catsuit Controversy… I was getting 95-100%, having improved on my ability to pick out the theme and tone of texts as well as reflecting on them in the written portion.

As you can tell, this project wasn’t just about writing an essay. We also did a short project on women’s rights throughout the decades. It was a group project and each group was given a different decade to create a presentation on.

The project had its ups and downs that is for sure! It was a short one so we only had a few days to work on it. My group chose the 1960s as our decade which I was super excited about. With the advent of birth control and new and cool fashion trends, it was a revolutionary time to be a woman!

Group Poster

Most of our project prep happened over the weekend and trying to organize everyone over the weekend was next to impossible. However, we managed to decide what the presentation would look like and after that, it was up to our individual work coming together for presentation day! Though this project was short it was a really great way to learn about women’s rights over the decade. Instead of listening to a lecture from the teacher we got to hear it from our classmates and in the end, we shared all our research links for people to refer back to when writing their essay!

The Taming of The Shrew

William Shakespeare, a brilliant writer and a very sexist one at that. But can you blame the guy? He lived in the 16th century after all! Women were a long way away from being eligible for that whole “rights” thing.

The Taming of The Shrew acted almost like a case study for this project. The story was like a window into the past for us to look at how women were viewed and treated. With that information, we could compare it to the history of the women’s rights movement to understand but has changed and what has stayed the same.

As we read through the play I highlighted and annotated quotes that I thought would come in handy while writing my essay. This strategy saved me a lot of time later because I didn’t have to go back and search for quotes. Instead, they were already in my research document! Another benefit of highlighting the text was that it was easier to see what changed over the course of the play and what stayed the same.

Research & Reflect

To make the essay writing experience much easier, we were assigned an ongoing research document to fill with quotes from the play and connections to the 20th-century history we were learning about. By the time we started writing the essay my research document was 16 pages long! I used a variety of strategies to comprehend each text we watched, read or talked about. Making connections from Shakespeare to 20th-century history was something we worked on last year with our Macbeth project and our studies of the cold war, so this process was not new to me. The note-taking style I used for the Macbeth project as well as the one I use most often is the Outlining Method. This works great for lectured but with so much information coming from so many different mediums, I decided to switch it up for this project.

  • Quote Charts

I made charts connecting quotes from the play to history or to the first reactions I had so that my thoughts were organized and easy to learn from. For notes taken in class, I used the Outlining Method because I like it best when listening to presentations so I used it for Women’s Rights Poster Presentations.

Outline and Thesis

To prep, for my essay, I created a thesis and started an outline for my essay. The outline listed all the points I was going to use to support my thesis and had a rough design of how the essay would flow. I had specific quotes listed as well as some basic sentences and paragraphs written to help me structure the essay.

Revision, Revisions, Revisions!

After all my planning was done it was time to write the essay. The first draft started off well but by the last few paragraphs, I was struggling with where to take it. When this happened I made sure to take breaks so that my brain didn’t feel overworked. Another strategy I tried out was talking about it with my parents. Getting feedback on what I already had written really helped me while deciding what to write about.

After my first draft was completed we did an annotated draft where I highlighted the places I used quotes, history, Taming of The Shrew, etc. After that, I got feedback from my teacher. I also wanted some feedback from someone else so I had my friend read over it and annotate it as well. Thanks, Tamara!

After the first draft, it was revisions revisions revisions! My teacher wanted us to do well so she pushed us to revise and correct anything we could. One of my biggest struggles was with writing transition sentences. Sometimes my transitions were too broad which can be confusing to the reader. Othertimes I skipped the transition altogether… oops. After three revisions my essay finally had the flow and consistency it needed.

The Final Product

Click Here For My Essay!

On the last day of the class, my essay was finally done! I had nothing more to worry about, it was all in the past. There are a few things I would have liked to do differently. I think my essay could have used some more history. Feedback suggested including more primary and secondary sources so I will be sure to do some extra research on the front for future projects. I also think I could have included some more outside research in my essay. I used a lot of the resources we were given in class but I think my essay would have been stronger with some more outside research. In future projects, I will try to include outside research to extend my learning.

The thing I loved about this project was that everyone created something different! Though we all had to answer the same driving questions, everyone had a different thesis, answering the question in their own way. I liked that we didn’t have to directly answer the question. If the thesis was approved that meant it answered the DQ so all we had to do was back it up! PLP is a project-based learning program so writing essays is a rare occurrence. I thought I’d feel unprepared but with each stepping stone complete I felt more at ease. I felt confident in my ability to write a succinct historical essay that I could share with the world and I think that’s exactly what I did!




Shakespeare & Game of Thrones – Weekly Reflection #4

Shakespeare & Game of Thrones – Weekly Reflection #4

Since the very beginning of our project “Shrew You!” I’ve been noticing connections between Shakespeare’s plays and the HBO show Game of Thrones (GOT). In class, we talk about how influential Shakespeare has been because of his universal themes about life the universe and everything and it got me thinking about whether those connections I was making to GOT may be related to Shakespeare’s works. Welcome to weekly reflection #4 where I explore my thoughts on Shakespeare’s The Taming of The Shrew and Game of Thrones! Warning mild GOT spoilers ahead.

Game of Thrones & My Connections to The Taming of The Shrew

This year I started watching Game Of Thrones (GOT) with my partner (I know I’m super late to the party) and I’ve been loving it. The show has so much detail and there is always an interesting story to follow (except Bran’s story and I stand by that). With our recent study of The Taming of the Shrew (TOTS) by William Shakespeare, I can’t help but notice some similarities between the two.

Sansa’s Betrothal to Prince Joffrey

Kate & Petruchio in the 1967 film adaptation
Sansa & Joffrey

Sansa Stark much like Kate in TOTS had a man chosen for her. As an alliance between the Starks and the Baratheons, Sansa was set to marry Prince Joffrey Baratheon. Unlike Kate, Sansa was excited to be married and fair enough considering Joffrey was going to be king. Though Kate wasn’t as excited to be married to Petruchio we can see the similarities of marriage. In the 16th century and how Shakespeare describes in the play, marriage was a business transaction based on wealth and status and it’s just the same in GOT.

Renaming Your Identity

Your name is your identity, the very first thing you were interpreted by before you had thoughts of your own. Have you ever noticed that anyone named Jessica on tv is a popular snob? Yeah… that’s why I go by Jesse. Anyway…

Imagine you’re name was taken from you, someone one day decided that your name wasn’t to their liking so they changed it. If you associated with that name (and there are many people who don’t identify with their birth name) you’d feel ripped off your identity. We see this in the history of residential schools in Canada. In an effort to assimilate indigenous children into the white Christian way of life they were stripped of their culture by cutting their hair and changing their names (Miller).

The Lost Name in TOTS & GOT

As one of his many methods of taming Kate, Petruchio addresses her not as Katherine but as Kate stating it over and over again.


“You lie, in faith, for you are call’d plain Kate,

And bonny Kate, and sometimes Kate the curst.

But Kate, the prettiest Kate in Christendom, Kate of Kate Hall, my super-dainty Kate,

For dainties are all Kates: and therefore, Kate,

Take this of me, Kate of my consolation”


The number of times he repeats this pet name, completely disregarding the name she introduced herself as strips her of her identity so he can control her, thus taming her.

Ramsay (Left) & Theon/Reek (Right)

If you’re familiar with Game of Thrones in any way, you are most definitely familiar with Ramsay Bolton, the sadistic, manipulative bastard child of Roose Bolton and you are probably more familiar with Theon Greyjoy – who was kidnapped by Ramsay, enslaved and renamed Reek. After being constantly told by Ramsay that his name isn’t Theon Greyjoy and is instead Reek, it becomes nearly impossible for a once close friend like Sansa Stark to remind him of his true identity. Out of fear of what Ramsay would do to him, he insists he is Reek and this… is a truly terrifying form of manipulation that leaves lasting trauma on the character.

Shame For Your Crimes 

If there is one very similar thing between TOTS and GOT it’s that they love to publicly shame people who have violated community regulations or laws. In Act 1, scene 1 of The Taming of the Shrew Kate’s father practically begs suitors to court Kate to which Gremio (a potential suitor for Kate’s sister) replies “To cart her rather. She’s too rough for me”. “Cart” was a term used in old modern English referring to the act of parading bawds and whores in open carts around the streets to publicly humiliate and shame them.

Cersei Lannister – Walk of atonement

This exact idea of “justice” can be seen in GOT when Cersei is sentenced to “the walk of atonement”. The walk of atonement is a civil punishment in the 7 kingdoms meant to publicly shame women accused of adultery and prostitution. Cersei is forced to walk naked from The Great Sept of Baelor to The Red Keep which in short, is a very long walk. Cersei is followed by women of the church shouting “Shame” and ringing bells while virtually the whole city watches, throwing almost anything they have at her.


Shakespeare has had a huge influence on us because of his universal themes of life the universe and everything. We continue to study his works today and storytellers are constantly adapting his works and themes into stories of their own. Though I believe the similarities in Game of Thrones and The Taming of the Shrew are based more on inspirations from the 16th century I wouldn’t be surprised if some elements of Shakespeare snuck their way in too. Leave a comment telling me your thoughts on the similarities between these two texts. Do you think elements of Shakespeare’s plays had an influence on Game of Thrones?

Work Cited 

Miller, J. R. “Residential Schools in Canada.” The Canadian Encyclopedia, 10 Oct. 2012,

Shakespeare, William, and CliffsNotes. The Taming of the Shrew. Diana Sweeney ed., New York, NY, Hungry Minds Inc., 2001.

“Walk of Atonement | Game of Thrones Wiki | Fandom.” Game of Thrones Wiki,,or%20power%20they%20might%20hold. Accessed 9 Nov. 2020.

Sexist Sunglasses – Weekly Reflection #3

Sexist Sunglasses – Weekly Reflection #3

I’ve been having a lot of thoughts this week. Last time it was about fashion and today I’m wondering if the years of ignorance has made society blind to sexism. In this post, I wanted to talk about my thoughts on sexism in media, using a few music videos as examples and looking at parts of William Shakespeare’s, The Taming of The Shrew.

Every morning for the past week, our class has listened to a different song, trying to understand whether its lyrics and music video are sexist or not. It has sparked some very interesting conversations amongst my classmates. One of my classmates brought up an interesting point that became the inspiration for this post. In response to one of the music videos, we watched (unfortunately I can’t remember which in particular) they expressed that they thought society had become so used to sexism in media that it was hard to even notice it. After that I began to wonder;

Is society so numb to sexism that it becomes unnoticeable in pop culture?

I’m going to be calling this ignorance to sexism in media the “sexist sunglasses” both for the purpose of simplicity and because I think it sounds cool. Here are a few of the music videos we watched in class.

Cherry Pie by Warrant. The song describes a woman sweet like cherry pie. She’s blond, already a stereotype of beauty and ditsy, dancing on screen. Now looking at it, there’s nothing wrong with a woman dancing in a sexy outfit. However, her appearance on screen is solely for the man’s pleasure. With lyrics like “she’s my cherry by” the use my the work “my” portrays the woman as the man’s property. Class conclusion: Sexist but the song slaps.

Now, women being objectified by men is not a modern idea. Not at all! Let’s take a look at The Taming of The Shrew by Shakespeare. A play written about the transaction of marriage between a woman considered to be a shrew and a man who in many ways is even worse. Kate (the shrew) has found her betrothed, Petruchio. After the wedding, Kate is ready to celebrate, but Petruchio denies her the pleasure, saying to all that he must go and that kate must come because they are married and once a woman is married, she is her husband’s property.

“But for my bonny Kate, she must with me.
Nay, look not big, nor stamp, nor stare, nor fret;
I will be master of what is mine own.
She is my goods, my chattels; she is my house, My household stuff, my field, my barn,
My horse, my ox, my ass, my anything.”

– Petruchio, Act 3 scene 2

After a few men try to convince them to stay all that can be said by Gremio is “Went they not quickly, I should die with laughing.” Gremio found the whole situation funny and Shakespeare’s audiences would have to. Not once did anyone considering the mistreatment of Kate. Because those were the sexist sunglasses of Shakespeare’s time.

Characters in The Taming of The Shrew don’t think twice about Kate’s treatment and laugh/enjoy the jokes Petruchio makes at her expense.

Timber by Pitbull ft Ke$ha. This one was a bit harder for our class to come to a decision on. This is also where I started to think more about society’s sexist sunglasses. The song was written in 2013, I was 10 at the time. I remember vibing to this song at school dances. As a more mature (maybe immature honestly) child, I knew what “twerking in their bra’s and thongs” meant. But I never at the age of 10 or 11 thought “Hmm I wonder if this is derogatory and sexist to women?” Probably because my goopy child brain didn’t have the capacity to understand those concepts. Now here I am in grade 12 revisiting this song from a whole new perspective. Like I said it was difficult for us to reach a conclusion on this song at first, and this is where those sexist sunglasses come into play. Many of my classmates, at the age of 10 or 11 remember jamming to this song, knowing the words by heart and to this day never thinking twice about what it could have meant. This song, like cherry pie, is clearly sexist. “I have ’em like Miley Cyrus, clothes off. Twerking in their bras and thongs” is a lyric that doesn’t just objectify women but objectifies another music artist. “She say she won’t but I bet she will” another line in the song that suggests by the end of the night the girl will be sleeping with him, despite refusing earlier. There are many more examples in the song, not including the music video where women twerk on screen more than the actual artist is on screen.

Can we… No. will we take them off?

Now, these sexist sunglasses play a big role in the songs I shared with you when we question whether or not we are willing to take them off. Are we going to stop listening to pop music that objectifies women when it’s some of the most common music on the radio? Probably not. Were Shakespeare’s audiences willing or even aware that they should feel some sympathy towards Kate? From what I’ve learned so far, I’m doubtful. We’ve become so used to the idea that women are portrayed a certain way in media, that it’s hard to notice when it becomes a problem.

What Is Sexual? – Weekly Reflection #2

What Is Sexual? – Weekly Reflection #2

Wow, do the weeks ever go by fast! It feels like just yesterday since I wrote my last weekly reflection. This week has been another jam-packed one! (This will likely be the case every week!) Our class dove right into; Shrew You! our newest project. We began reading The Taming of The Shrew, by William Shakespeare, where we started looking into the roles of women throughout history.

I am a lover of fashion. The fact that you can identify a time period by the clothes people are wearing is very cool! Clothing has changed a lot over the years, especially for women. What’s considered appropriate for women to wear fascinates me. In this post, I will be exploring the continuity and change of women’s fashion throughout the centuries, in order to try and answer my longing question; At what point in history did women’s fashion become sexualized?


Women in the Elizabethan era sported long elaborate dresses that covered the feet almost completely. A bodice around the chest flattened the breasts and tightened the waist creating an almost masculine look with broad shoulders and thin waists. A farthingale was worn around the bum to create a wide look. A small chest and a big bum creating a stylish and attractive look.

Fashion trends of the time were set by the wealthy. To ensure the elite were the only ones wearing fine clothing laws were set to stop commoners from wearing certain materials. For example, only higher ranks could wear gold cloth and only royalty could wear purple. Different cloth and colours held different statuses. In an era where a woman’s main purpose was to be married off, clothing that portrayed wealth was appealing to potential suitors.

With the launch of the feminist movement in the 20th century, women started advocating for their rights to self-determination. Along with this came a shift in women’s fashion. Flapper girls of the 20s rejected the corset, sporting loose boxy dresses that came up to the knees. This was risky for the time period.

WW2 hurried women’s fashion in the “boyish” direction. With women entering the workforce there was a need for practical clothes and jeans earned their place in women’s wear. However, post-war society kissed jeans goodbye as women regressed back to their traditional gender roles and began to accentuate their femininity again.

Women’s fashion has shifted greatly over the centuries. Notably shifting the most in the 20th century with the rise of the feminist movement. Though the style has changed a lot, one thing remains unchanged. Women are repeatedly sexualized for what they wear and what parts of their body they chose to show. So, do we regress back to the full coverage dresses of the Elizabethan era? No! Women should have the freedom to express themselves without receiving pointed looks from “intrigued” onlookers. Women should be able to wear what they want without others putting them down. Shoulders are not sexual, ankles and knees are not sexual and a women’s stomach isn’t sexual! The sexual appeal of those body parts has been decided by those who believe it is their business to control women. In history, a woman’s appearance has been the source of a man’s pleasure. As such, society has pressured women to cover up for their own safety. That’s because if she were to reveal too much skin, for example, she would be considered the cause of a man’s distraction and the onus would be on her to change her behaviour. Has a boy ever been sent home from school because he became distracted by a girl’s revealing clothing? No! Instead, we have been subject to years of women being told to cover up, so men wouldn’t be tempted by their own inappropriate thoughts. When are we going to teach people to stop objectifying women’s bodies and understand that a women’s appearance isn’t for their pleasure?

Work Cited

Cartwright, Mark. “Clothes in the Elizabethan Era.” Ancient History Encyclopedia, 31 Oct. 2020,

Monet, Dolores. “Renaissance Fashion: Women’s Clothing in Elizabethan England.” Bellatory – Fashion and Beauty, 26 Apr. 2020,

The British Library. “Clothing in Elizabethan England.” The British Library,,front%20to%20show%20an%20underskirt.&text=A%20fashionable%20Elizabethan%20woman’s%20wardrobe%20was%20complex. Accessed 1 Nov. 2020.

Webb, Ali. “The Evolution of Feminist Style.” CR Fashion Book, 26 Aug. 2020,


Marking History – The History of Deep Cove

Marking History – The History of Deep Cove

When you talk about history most people think, American history or world history. However, history is a process of interpretation and taking perspective but most importantly, understanding that history can be as small as a single-family. Welcome to my Marking History reflective blog post!

Driving Question:

How can we as historians uncover and share stories about our community?

Like our driving question implies, we as historians set to uncover and share stories from our Deep Cove community. In partnership with the Deep Cove Heritage Society, our grade 11/12 class worked together to revamp the Deep Cove historical walking tour. We created a pamphlet and a custom google map!

The Pamphlet

The Google Map

With the new quarterly school system in place, I’m taking two courses for 10 weeks and then switching to another two. This happens 4 times throughout the year. PLP has adapted well and is managing to keep things interesting. For these past five weeks, we’ve been working on a project called Marking History. I have to say, it’s been the perfect starter project to adjust to such a short work period. Doing a class project allows you to focus on your own work while still contributing to a bigger product. To complete this project we were split into two groups, the eagles (in charge of the google map creation) and the wolves (in charge of the pamphlet creation).


As a member of the eagles group, (the cool kids who came to school Tuesday and Thursday) I along with other Eagles members was tasked with making our Google Map. Each person in the class, wolves and eagles had a stop on the walking tour they had to write about (21 stops in total). Our job as the google map curators was to take everyone’s write-ups and make that google map pop!

The Moore Family Home

Like I said at the beginning of this post, history can be as small as one family and that’s the information I tried to contribute to our walking tour! My stop (stop #2) on the walking tour tells you all about Deep Cove’s first permanent residents, the Moore family. As a historian, it was my job to take historical perspective and tell you just how important the Moore family was to the development of Deep Cove and its history today. My historical marker description includes two written narratives; one for the google map and one for the pamphlet. The google map also includes an auditorial walkthrough and a digital enhancement.

Written Narratives
Google Map Narrative – click to enlarge
Pamphlet Narrative
Auditorial Walkthrough

 Digital Enhancement

The Creation Process

We were limited to 150 words for the pamphlet and 300 words google map so writing the narratives wasn’t too time-consuming. We were also working with some great resources, Echoes Across The Inlet and Echoes Across Seymour which were filled with wonderful histories of the Deep Cove and Seymour area. There were so many moving pieces in this project that I had to do a lot of revisions. Revising word count and making sure my texts included more than one historical perspective were the two biggest ones.

My idea for the digital enhancement came to me pretty easily. Because the Moore family rowed a boat filled with all their belonging from Vancouver to Deep Cove, I thought it would be meaningful to make a timeline with the theme of rowing a boat between the two locations. I believe my design process showcased my ability to create a more engaging text which was a crucial takeaway from the overall learning.

My role for the google map creation was route planner. I was in charge of creating each pin and the route people would take during the tour. I quickly learned while creating the google map route that the program we were using wouldn’t allow me to make 21 stops on the route, which was the number of stops we needed. In the end, we decided to scratch the route idea and stick to markers on the map. My classmate Adlih later discovered that we could make custom icons for the stops which had been a previous problem we faced. This meant I could create the numbered icons you see on the map now. I spent a good amount of time creating individual PNGs for the stops, all different colours and numbers (obviously). My desktop was quite cluttered after that but I think it was well worth it and gave our google map a deserved aesthetic.

I think my biggest strength during this project was trying to look for ways to help the project where it was needed. We were on such a tight schedule that I didn’t want to do my part and call it quits. I was always asking Emily, our lead curator if there were ever ways I could help and I think it benefited the final product as well as my own learning during the project. My biggest weakness was not diving deeper into my story. The Moore family’s story isn’t very broad and I felt like I hit a roadblock early on. Next time I do a research project like this, I won’t just limit myself to telling the story at face value but instead, do some even deeper research into the impact it had on modern-day.

In conclusion…

This project taught me to step back and look at history from a non-biased lens and overcome my current concerns, beliefs, and values to understand people in the past. My digital enhancement, written narratives and auditorial walkthrough gave me the opportunity to sharpen my skills by creating engaging and meaningful texts. It was really refreshing to focus on something so close to home instead of learning about world histories that I generally feel disconnected from. I hope to revisit the Marking History project in the fourth quarter so that I can work on my shortcomings and become a stronger historian!


Weekly Reflection Oct 12th – 16th

Weekly Reflection Oct 12th – 16th

It’s good to be back at school after it closed in March due to the Covid-19 lockdown. Starting off the school year was new and exciting but with each new school year comes new tasks for PLP students to take on. For example, THE WEEKLY REFLECTIONS! That’s what you’re reading right now. Every Sunday night I’ll be sitting down to reflect on my accomplishments and failures this week and hopefully learn something from them!

The Big Crazy Switch

This week has been jam-packed. The class finally wrapped up our Marking History project. After 5 weeks of hard work, we were ready to send off our pamphlet and custom google map to The Deep Cove Heritage Society. Adlih and I worked together on some last-minute problem solving for the google map. She had discovered that there was a way to make custom markers on the google map so I began making custom numbers for each stop. My desktop was quite messy after creating them all.

I’m working on a final reflection post for the Marking History project but for the sake of this weekly reflection, I wanted to write down a few of my thoughts. The project felt like a real success to me. I love working with the whole class on something big because you really get to see everyone’s efforts shine. Since we are a grade 11/12 class it was also a really good way to get to know each other. I’m proud of the work I did on my own as well. In five weeks I wrote two write-ups, recorded an audio version of my tour write-up and designed the route and number tags you see on the map.

If there is anything this quarter system has taught me, it’s that I can adapt well to tight deadlines.

This week we reached the end of our 5 weeks in the hybrid school model and on Thursday we switched to full time in the afternoon. Now we are starting a new project with Ms. Willemse. We started this new project talking about the women’s suffrage movement and discussing how far is too far when it comes to jokes in the media. It was a captivating way of introducing the project and needless to say I am very excited to see where this goes.

Since the new switch to full time in class afternoons I’ve been a bit stressed out. I’ve received a lot of homework with the start of this new project on top of a big project I’m starting in another class. I’m confident I’ll get it all done and I’m trying my best to stay focused on one thing at a time but it can be pretty hard when you’re being pulled in so many different directions. My biggest strength right now though is sticking to one task at a time and taking breaks so as to not overwork myself. I’m excited to start the new week because that usually helps me feel better when I’m stressed out. I’m also really looking forward to exploring our new Social Studies/English project!

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