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Jane Tolmie

Associate Professor, Gender Studies & Cultural Studies at Queen’s University

Don't Blame Adam Lanza's Mother

Nancy Lanza -- mother of Connecticut shooter Adam Lanza -- is dead. And it's not the time and place to criticize her as an anomaly, some sort of freakish survivalist, when in fact she was a participant in a broader gun culture that should be getting our serious attention. When such shootings happen, however, it is far easier to blame one individual woman for being a "bad mother" who created a "monster" than to acknowledge that some aspects of society in general might be bad and in need of changing. Where does the real instability lie?
12/19/2012 11:46 EST
AP

Why Blame an Innocent Mother for Her Children's Murder?

On October 25, Marina Krim returned from taking her three-year-old daughter to the pool, to find her other two children -- Lulu and Leo -- stabbed to death in the bathtub of the family apartment in the Upper West Side. The nanny has since been charged with the murders. Many Internet responses have focused on mother-blaming, and especially on the mother's part-time labour outside the home. The father's labour is not discussed, just as his parenting skills are not criticized. This is misogynist victim-blaming. Cyberbullying has politics and here they revolve around contempt for women.
11/28/2012 12:35 EST

Blogging: A Steadying Antidote to Epilepsy

Neverending is an apt description of the experiences of sufferers of incurable illness, and of the experiences of their careers. The blog, an open-ended format composed of both pictures and words, with no natural end, is a perfect medium for encapsulating a sense of working without closure.
03/10/2012 11:54 EST

When Comic Books Aren't So Funny

Comic memoirs facilitate emotional, intellectual, and ethical investments in the experiences of others. It is not about appropriation, or belittling empathy, nor is it a search for satisfaction via vicarious experience. It is about imagination and the transformative power of visual/verbal works that document the world around us, as anti-racist work calls for the re-imagination of that world.
02/12/2012 01:48 EST

Dealing With Illness? Read a Comic

The experience of chronic suffering is difficult to convey in clinical settings and language, but it can be rendered more approachable via a combination of creative techniques. The 'medical humanities' movement is following up on what the world of medical comics can tell us about human experience.
10/15/2011 09:12 EDT

One Mother's (Exhaustive) Search for Gender-Neutral Clothes

In days of shopping I was unable to find attractive colourful unisex clothing for my son in main street/mainstream stores. So may I say three words to the fashion industry: Get over it. It is soul-crushing and mindless to force children to differentiate their sexed bodies in such limited and limiting ways.
09/25/2011 08:29 EDT