Chalky Definitions: Heteronormativity

20140824_150407“A cultural belief system, practices, and institutions that legitimize and privilege heterosexuality, heterosexual relationships, and traditional gender roles. It assumes these to be fundamental, “natural” and “normal” within society.” – CWM


The Chalk of the Town: Maasai Sandals

Maasai Sandals, David Lam Park

Maasai Sandals, David Lam Park

Maasai Sandals

Maasai Sandals


”I think people need to understand the culture of the others and respect it. You should not use it to your own benefit, leaving the community – or the owner of the culture – without anything. If you just take what belongs to somebody, and go and display it and have your fortune, then it is very wrong.”
– Isaac ole Tialolo, a Maasai elder leader and chair of the Maasai Intellectual Property Initiative. In conversation with the BBC, he expressed his discontent with organizations that currently sell his culture as a brand.

It is estimated that over 10,000 companies all over the world may be using the Maasai name in their products.
The top 6 of these each have gained over $100,000 in sales over the last ten years, using the Maasai name or aspects of their culture.
“Not a cent of these profits went to the originators of the culture themselves.”

Source: ‘Commoditizing a Culture: The Negative Effects of Branding on Minority Groups’. Business Today, 06.Jul.2014

Chalk Challenge, Week 21

If you won a trip that included transportation, how would you like to start that adventure? By train, car, bus, boat, hot air balloon, helicopter, dragon …?
this is your dream scenario… ready, get set, chalk it!

Would you fly away on a dragon?

Would you fly away on a dragon?


Chalk your dream mode of transport for your adventures and explorations, and share it on our Facebook page, or on our twitter, or email it to us at


Chalk Challenge, Week 20

We store so much information in our minds. How do you imagine storing it? In a cupboard under the stairs, in organised piles, in chaos, in a colour-coded, alphabetically-ordered filing system? Do you rake it into a pile in the middle of your brain, like fallen leaves or snow? In different rooms of your mind mansion?

Do you imagine keeping your thoughts and ideas in a cupboard under the stairs? In a well organised file or notebook?

Do you imagine keeping your thoughts and ideas in a cupboard under the stairs? In a well organised file or notebook?


Chalk out your mental storage unit, and share it on our Facebook page, or on our twitter, or email them to us at

Chalk With S: For Whose Amusement?

Today, my sister got home after her day at college, and was quite upset about a video her class watched. I would like to share her experience with you here.

The video points out that many schools in rural India have teachers that are unqualified and are teaching their students incorrect information. It focuses largely on the incorrect spelling being taught in English, starting with the days of the week. The teachers are interviewed and asked questions, which they are unable to answer correctly.

While the video points to issues that need to be addressed, my sister found it quite sad to watch. There are sound effects to encourage the viewer to laugh at the teachers. The way the questions are phrased are meant to belittle the teachers and mock their lack of knowledge of the English language, and ability to teach the same. My sister observed the reactions around her as they watched the video, and was disappointed to see that there was laughter, that some people found this entertaining.

In my opinion, whether or not you understand Hindi, this three minute video’s intention to make fun of the teachers is quite clear. Look at the writing on this chalkboard:

I agree with my sister on her view that drawing attention to a problem such as this need not include mocking the English language skills of those involved, when what needs to be looked at is the system. It brings up questions about media ethics, and how to write a story, and for whose benefit or amusement the story was written.

What do you feel about the effectiveness of stories told this way?

Chalk Challenge, Week 19

Do you make resolutions for the new year?

Have you made your resolutions for 2014? How are they going so far?
This week, we would love it if you could chalk them somewhere!

Isn't this a fantastic resolution? We think so! :D

Isn’t this a fantastic resolution? We think so! 😀

Share your resolutions with us by commenting here on this post, on our Facebook page, Twitter, or at

More Time for Answers

We’re back!!!!

And we have some exciting news, we’ve decided to extend the deadline of our ONLINE QUESTIONNAIRE,  this way we will have more time to circulate it and get more of your awesome answers and feedback! 🙂

Extended Deadline!

Deadline Extended!

If you have not done so already, please take the CWM Questionnaire today, and share the link on your Twitter and/or Facebook so that your friends might take it too!

We have lots of chalking plans for the new year, and are going to start planning a few exciting Chalk With Me events for the summer of 2014!

If you have any chalking ideas, or event suggestions, do not hesitate to let us know. Email us at or message us on Facebook or Twitter!

Chalk With S: Before You Turn The Corner

What goes through your mind as you are about to step into a new space? 

Before you walk towards something new

Before you walk towards some place new

I am sure we all have different questions, fears, levels of excitement and concerns about going to new places. What are yours? How do you feel when you are going somewhere new, or even venturing into a different space with new people?

There are few things I love more than travelling. But, I have to say I do have certain anxieties about how people will respond to me, worries about offending them by saying the wrong thing, or making an inappropriate joke, or just not being informed enough about what is going on there. To summarise, I think my concerns revolve around a fear of being seen as an ignorant and insensitive outsider. This is usually what I am thinking of… along with excitement at the prospect of discovery, of course 🙂

Which of these chalk faces represent how you feel when you come across something new?

We’ll be back on Dec 29th to talk more about Wandering and Wondering!

CWM’s Holiday Season Break

Are you celebrating anything this December? If so, we wish you a very happy holiday season!
We hope you are enjoying our Wander and Wonder theme during this time, and are collecting many questions and thoughts as you check out new places and spaces 🙂

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays!

We will both be celebrating the holidays with our families, and have decided this is a great time for Chalk With Me to take a few days off. We will not be posting from Dec 24th, and will be back with a new post on Dec 29th… keep an eye out for it!

We would still love to hear any stories you may have for us during this time. Send us an email at, or message us on our Facebook page or Twitter. Happy holidays, everyone!

Look Who’s Chalking: Tim Cook, Apple Executive

In 2013, Out Magazine named Tim Cook the most powerful LGBT person in the world.

Earlier this month, this Apple chief executive spoke about  his experience with different types of discrimination and notes that “all of them were rooted in the fear of people that were different than the majority”.

Have a listen to his take on attitudes towards human rights, and let us know what you think! You can share more of your thoughts with us through our online questionnaire as well 🙂