Shocking that people keep asking me Emma Who? Emma GOLDMAN (1869 – 1940) was an anarchist known for her political activism, writing, and speeches. She played a pivotal role in the development of anarchist political philosophy in North America and Europe in the first half of the twentieth century.

“There are, however, some potentates I would kill by any and all means at my disposal. They are Ignorance, Superstition, and Bigotry — the most sinister and tyrannical rulers on earth.”
Emma Goldman, responding to audience questions during a speech in Detroit (1898); as recounted in Living My Life (1931), p. 207; quoted by Annie Laurie Gaylor in Women Without Superstition, p. 382

Perhaps one of my top five humans ever. She lived near Queen and Spadina, and her body was laid in state at the building which today is that big Dim Sum restaurant at St Andrews and Spadina, which was in 1940 a Labour Lyceum. Toronto has been cool (culturally/politically influential) for a pretty long time….

346 Spadina Avenue


Although she only lived in Toronto on three occasions over a 14-year period, and never for more than a year and a half at a time, Emma Goldman had an outsized cultural impact on the city. The well-known anarchist and feminist whom J. Edgar Hoover dubbed “the most dangerous woman in America” filled local lecture halls for talks on topics ranging from birth control and women’s rights to literature, communism, and anarchism. After her death in Toronto in 1940, she become a feature of the Toronto literary landscape, appearing as a character in John Miller’s A Sharp Intake of Breath (2006) and Steven Hayward’s The Secret Mitzah of Lucio Burke (2005). But she spent much her time in Toronto trying to leave it, desperate to return to the United States.

Born in Kovno, Russia (now Kaunas, Lithuania) in 1869, Goldman immigrated to upstate New York with her family in 1885. There she became interested in political activism, particularly in the aftermath of the Haymarket Bombing in Chicago in 1886. She moved to New York City and became a well-known orator and spokeswoman of the anarchist movement. By the age of 24, in the words of Sheldon Kirshner in the Canadian Jewish News (May 28, 2004), Goldman was “widely regarded by friends and enemies alike as a compelling professional agitator and public speaker.” A collection of her essays was published as Anarchism And Other Essays (1910).  Continue reading this article…


Emma Goldman: Marriage and Love

The origin and purpose of the diamond engagement ring

!Bo5CsB!B2k~$(KGrHqEH-DkEuY-t54vGBLpS36UpWg~~_12“many (consumer) products thrive because they are associated with agreeable personalities and activities. Since the 1930s diamond engagement rings have been the premier symbol of romantically honorable intentions and likely spousal agreeableness. Early twentieth-century women faced a problem: prosecution of men for financial damages following breach of promise was declining. It was becoming all too common to be seduced by a psychopath promising marriage and then abandoned after he availed himself of one’s virginity during the engagement. Into this reliable-signaling gap jumped De Beers with the diamond ring, heavily promoted with the slogan “A diamond is forever.” Diamond marketers recommended that women ask men to spend two months’ salary (or about a year’s disposable income) on a ring, as a sign of the seriousness of their committment. Ever since, engagement rings have dominated the demand for diamonds larger than one carat.”

-Spent: Sex, Evolution and Consumer Behavior; by Geoffrey Miller


[VIDEO] ALAIN DE BOTTON – THE ARCHITECTURE OF HAPPINESS: Lecture at Toronto’s Design Exchange, Wednesday October 11, 2006

“One of the great, but often unmentioned, causes of both happiness and misery is the quality of our environment: the kind of walls, chairs, buildings and streets we’re surrounded by.

And yet a concern for architecture and design is too often described as frivolous, even self-indulgent. The Architecture of Happiness starts from the idea that where we are heavily influences who we can be – and argues that it is architecture’s task to stand as an eloquent reminder of our full potential.

Whereas many architects are wary of openly discussing the word beauty, the book has at its centre the large and naïve question: ‘What is a beautiful building?’ It amounts to a tour through the philosophy and psychology of architecture, which aims to change the way we think about our homes, streets and ourselves.” – Alain de Botton

The beating of women is due to mental illness–wanting to be the woman being beaten is the same–the other side of the coin

Irritated today by a radio interview I heard about the stupid Rihanna/Brown thing.

I can’t stand them, and am disappointed by how so many people are talking about them as though they matter…

But what really got my goat was the discussion NOT mentioning that Chris Brown is mentally ill.

The ‘expert’ went on about his “unfortunate lack of contrition”…

It sounded inane…like observing the lack of contrition of a schizophrenic.

And in the same vein…battered women are ILL TOO! 

Why is this not more commonly observed?

Sane women, when punched in the face the first time…LEAVE.



Do something, and seek recourse…take umbrage.

Insane women, seek that masochistic thrill over and over and over.

It’s been studied and reported on so many times in my life.

I am surprised that this whole episode is being discussed as though it were the 1950s or 1550s and not 2012, when we KNOW that..both parties to (chronic) Domestic Abuse are basically insane.

[And here, of course I am not looking to ‘blame the victim’, by any means…but observe a scientific reality]

I am not surprised, and am saddened that I am even babbling over this in this post.

I do not expect them, these “stars” to behave normally, nor do I expect people we may know, who are not celebrities, to behave normally .

Women who find themselves in a series of abusive relationships NEED HELP.

It is not easy, actually, to find the men who WILL actually punch you in the face, kick you when you’re down, and bruise you so it isn’t publicly visible…jesus.

You have to hunt for them.

This is the same reason I get infuriated when Honour Killing is quickly labelled, without thought, ‘Domestic Abuse’.

Honour Killing is Socially Sanctioned.  It is a COMMUNITY CONSPIRACY.

Domestic Abuse, on the other hand involves the insanity of one, and more than usually, two.


We can not analyze behaviours to seek normal reactions of (victim) escape, (perpetrator) contrition, etc.

The expert on the radio actually compared Brown with Michael Virk–the dude who abused DOGS (and is now apparently very contrite and making public service appearances).

Hurting a DOG is obviously different from hurting a human life partner. (and I never like placing animals as lesser than humans, but in domestic abuse situations, I must–you don’t have sex with your dog, you don’t have children with your dog, you don’t have the complexities of an adult human relationship with a dog)

C’mon people.

I hate when the media fails to spread knowledge, but merely perpetuates further ignorance.

I don’t have high expectations of the likes of Oprah, but this was CBC Radio.


I think in almost all circumstances both partners ought to be held on mental health legislation, for professional intervention and addressing underlying causal conditions.


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