I struggled with what to write today. Which subject seemed to have the greatest importance.
In the end I felt there was no subject that had greater importance. They represented different cultures, different concerns, different areas (work, school, motherhood, reproductive rights) different focus (success stories and stories that show how much work is still required) and I realized that I couldn’t anymore choose a topic of greater importance than I could choose a woman of greater importance.
The death of Doris Anderson affected me greatly.
Here was a woman who having fought so hard for her own success could easily have told others to pull themselves up by their bootstraps.
Yet she never tired of trying to right the wrongs that had made things so hard for her.
We can learn from her example.
So often you hear expressed “well I am not a feminist but…”
“I would call myself a feminist except for the radical types..”
I hear these things and wonder how they apply to women like Doris Anderson, Judy Rebick and to women whose names will never be in history books but who wrote letters, attended rallies, stopped being the bringers of sandwiches and takers of notes and demanded to have their issues addressed.
It was a mere 20 years ago that the commons erupted in laughter over the subject of domestic abuse.
It was only last year that Peter McKay referred to Belinda Stronach as a dog, and that the government of Stephen Harper stated he had not crossed any lines of decency in doing so.
It was mere months ago that this same government drastically cut the budget of SWC and ended all advocacy and research.
Some say do it yourself, get away from the trough.
Well women did do it themselves. They opened shelters, formed support groups, created underground tunnels for others to leave abusive relationships.
Finally the government decided to starting helping to support these initiatives.
The DIY was already done.
That we are being asked to reinvent the wheel is tiresome and shows a complete lack of understanding of historical fact.
Our daughters should not have to fight the same battles we did.
There should be no question of fair wages, there should be no question that rape is not even partially the victims fault, there should be no question that a woman has autonomy over her body, there should be no question that she has the right to marry or not (and regardless of sexual orientation), there should be no question that WOMAN does not mean less than.
And so our voices must never be silenced. We must continue to ensure that not only do the future women of the world have the rights won so far, but that they have every equal opportunity to live, love, work, play and exist in this world.
As Ani DeFranco sings; “Face Up And Sing”
some guy tried to rub up against me
in a crowded subway car
some guy tried to feed me some stupid line
in some stupid bar
I see the same shit everyday
the landscape looks so bleak
I think I’ll take the first one of you’s home
that does something unique
some chick says
thank you for saying all the things I never do
the thanks I get is to take all the shit for you
it’s nice that you listen
it’d be nicer if you joined in
as long as you play their game girl
you’re never going to win
today I just want someone to entertain me
I’m tired of being so fierce
I’m tired of being so friendly
you don’t have to be a supermodel
to do the animal thing
you don’t have to be a supergenius
to open your face up and sing
somebody do something
I know I can’t be the only
whatever I am in the room
so why am I so lonely?
why am I so tired?
I need company
I need backup
I need to be inspired