This is where we come to rest..

This is my ninja way.

On the Subject of My Name… July 10, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — thisforceofnature @ 5:56 am

People have been asking about my recent name change, so I’ve decided to post this to answer the questions en masse.

Why did you change your name?

Legally, my name is still that of my daughter’s father. The legal process is going to take a while. It could go faster if I decided to divorce him, but that is expensive and will still take some time. I plan to graduate with my BA in December. His lack of involvement in my daughter’s life has contributed to making this process so long and difficult. In short, I do not want HIS name, on MY degree.

Why did you simply not go back to your family name, Fisher?

I have actually talked about changing my name for a very long time. The impending degree forced me to make definite choices about doing so. While trying to decide what I wanted to do, I came to the conclusion that I wanted to create a sense of autonomy, a separate presence from my family. While I am at turns close to my mother and sister, I felt I didn’t need to keep my father’s name to reflect that.

Why did you choose the new name, Corrigan?

I spent six months looking for a name that said enough about who I was, and what I believed. I came up empty-handed. Most ideas I came up with either said too much or not enough. I also wanted something that sounded good with my first name. I began doing family research, deciding to adopt a name that reflected the Irish elements of my family’s mixed heritage. The oldest family member I could locate from the early 1900’s carried the name “Angel”. I did not feel this would be a good pairing with my first name, professionally. After my friends had a good time suggesting other names that sounded comical, someone suggested several names out of nowhere, and Corrigan was one of them. I loved it instantly. I asked the four people closest to me what they thought, and they agreed it was a good fit.

Will you change your name if you marry again?

I might be convinced to hyphenate my name, but I will never change this one. This is the one to leave in your address books.

People have asked me why I randomly decided to change my name, usually people to whom it is incomprehensible to have a name that isn’t tied to one’s family.
My beliefs hold that to name a thing is to empower it. I didn’t want someone else’s name. I wanted a new one, to reflect  my identity as my own person. We live this idea out everyday, when we choose to be known as by screen names, forum handles, email addresses, and even honorifics such as “Mrs. Smith”. People who practice my faith give themselves names used with those who spiritually believe as they do.

I don’t feel any name I’ve had has represented who I am, and who I decided to be. I have grown a lot, because of the people in my life who were closer than family. I haven’t changed my name to confuse anyone. I have finished what I’ve been talking about for a very long time for practical and professional reasons.


We can jerk you around because, afterall…. January 19, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — thisforceofnature @ 7:46 pm

Tristan Taormino is a sexual educator who has spoken at Ivy-league schools, and has done a world of good in sexual education. No more than a month’s notice, the Oregon State University cancelled her speaking engagement. Tristan isn’t begging for work: she’s a busy lady, so it’s twice the income loss for her when an institution contracts her and then cancels, citing bullshit reasons, and having prevented her making contracts in the meantime.

So why do I care? I care because of where I’ve worked, and what I’ve seen, and how much I know it helps young women to meet someone like Tristan. Strong, sex-positive female role models are not easily found. I care because if my niece told me she wanted to go to Oregon State, I’d have to advise her against it. Below is a copy of the email I sent to University officials, and at the top and bottom of this post are Tristan’s press release about the cancellation. The University has yet to issue a public statement about the situation, so if you have a minute, let them know via email or twitter (both at the bottom of Tristan’s press release), intelligently, how you feel about this.


President Ray, Dean Accapadi & Vice Provost Roper,

I am writing in response to Oregon State University’s recent decision to rescind Tristan Taormino’s speaking engagement.

I am not a student of Oregon State University, but I AM a student of Kent State University, Ohio, and I was very disappointed to read the press release
citing the University’s reasons (on and off-record) for the cancellation. I am an Applied Communications major who has worked in political, sexual education, and rape crises fields, and the unique perspective these areas has given me makes this news more upsetting.

The CDC reports that 25% of college-age women will experience an attempted or completed rape in the time they are enrolled in college. Additionally, the CDC reports that half of the 19 million sexually transmitted diseases contracted each year are contracted by people under 25 years old, making it a special concern for college campuses.

An important step in reducing these statistics is to remove the barrier to education about sexuality, and empower people, especially young women, to feel comfortable with ownership of their sexuality. At a time when many young women are learning how to set and enforce sexual boundaries, a talk about “Claiming Your Sexual Power” could have been immensely helpful and inspiring. Being exposed to someone like Ms. Taormino could have also provided your students with a resource which allowed them to form healthy and confident attitudes about sex, assertiveness and responding to coercion. It could have also been an important step in fostering an environment in which a dialogue about sex, sexuality, responsibility and sexual confidence could thrive.

I understand that funding is always a concern: as someone who works in arts non-profits, I know of the challenges of facing political pressure when presenting potentially controversial projects to sources of funding. I understand, however, that Ms. Taormino’s topic was not pornographic in nature, but appropriate to the audience. Far from helping establish an environment that makes it comfortable to gain education about controversial topics such as sex, the University’s response validates taboo. Educating an audience about a topic does not encourage participation in a topic that would not have occurred otherwise.

The University’s choice to cancel the engagement on such short notice and without reimbursing Ms. Taormino’s travel expenses also sends the message that an educator in her field does not need to be taken as seriously as other professionals, again counter to an environment regarding sexuality that would best serve its students. The short notice cancellation also makes it difficult for Ms. Taormino to book other engagements, causing her additional financial loss.

I again must state my disappointment at The University’s lack of professionalism in handling the cancellation of this engagement, and its treatment of Ms. Taormino. I hope this incident prompts the University to examine its policies regarding contracting speakers without first ensuring funding, and to truly consider the best interests of their students.


Crystal Fisher”