Wear it proud!

May 20, 2006 at 4:19 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

For those who have been asking where to find one. Some places make them local – here in the Atlantic provinces I’ve seen at least three Crisis Centres who make their own for fundraising. If you can’t find one locally, check out the Feminist Majority Online Store.


For another version check out the National Organization for Women’s (NOW) cool shirt.

Artemis

Carnival of Feminists

May 18, 2006 at 11:20 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The 15th Carnival of Feminists is now up at Self Portrait As.

-Artemis

Are you a feminist?

May 14, 2006 at 9:28 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 12 Comments

This weekend I went to a pretty cool forum on HIV/AIDS for youth. There were some great speakers, great discussion, and interesting insights.

One of the most interesting was how easy it was to forget about sexism.
Not for me to forget – but others to forget.

This after lengthy discussions on gender as a social determinant of health – the obstacles for women internationally to sexual health protection and products, the stigma involved, etc. Yet, somehow sexism continued to be forgotten throughout the weekend.

The best example of this came from a great speaker, a woman who spoke about her experience with the Malaika Project – an international volunteer project to help those in Tanzania. She had spent six months in Tanzania working and educating, and was struck by the prevalence of AIDS. As one person said to her – “If you come back to this village in a year, it will be gone.”

What she spoke primarily about was the inequality for women.
How one married woman, with three children – knowing her husband was promiscuous and had HIV – told her she doesn’t use condoms because her husband doesn’t like them. That if she goes against them she will be beaten, thrown out of her home, tossed on the street, and left for nothing. This is what society is. This is the option women there have. This was one woman, but she could’ve been any woman there.

After a half hour of sharing stories of the inequality for women there – after verbally saying we need to fight this inequality, she finished by saying “I’m not being feminist”.

Huh?
It was like a slap in the face.
My friend and I stared at eachother in stunned silence as the woman continued to speak. As my friend later put it, she felt as if everything this woman had just said had been diminished. Disregarded. All because of that one sentence “I’m not being feminist.”

Everything she just said had been feminist.
This, in a place where we had just had a forum on inclusivity, on prejudice.

My friend spoke up during the question period.
“Your talk was incredibly inspiring and I’m so glad you spoke about this. However, I’m troubled by one thing you said near the end, and I want you to understand that I don’t mean to be harsh, and I hope everyone here bears with me for a minute. It might seem unrelated to everything we’ve been discussing this weekend, but I don’t think it is.

You said ‘I’m not being feminist’. Now, I know that there are at least three women in this room who consider themselves feminist. I wondered why you said that? Everything you just talked about is feminist. Feminism means fighting against inequality for women, against gender stereotyping – it means different things to different people, and a feminist can be a man, woman, transgendered person, straight, gay, bi, pink, blue, yellow, whatever…”

She put it well. Another woman spoke up afterwards as well. The speaker herself, apologized and commented that she was speaking in terms of the stereotype of feminism – braburners etc she said. Again, we had just had a workshop on getting rid of our stereotypes in which she took part.

It struck me afterwards that several people were discussing feminism. How their moms were pretty feminist, but they would never call themselves a feminist. It’s a bad word. It has a negative connotation. They wouldn’t want to be associated with it.

Shocking, in such an open space. Or a supposedly open space.

The thing about feminism – we can’t reclaim it, we can’t rid ourselves of these negative stereotypes, if we don’t try. If we don’t actually give our activism, give our fight against sexism, patriarchy, inequality – a name. We have to name it in order to reclaim it. Or its always going to be there.

I think a lot of people missed the point. But maybe in my friend stating “I know there are at least three women in here who are feminist.” and talking about it, was a start. It got people talking.

I think I’ll start wearing my “This is What a Feminist Looks Like” shirt again.

– Artemis.

Roots

May 7, 2006 at 11:46 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Lately I am at such odds.
I thought it was a passing phase perhaps, one that went away with the month of March. But I’m finding now that its still here, a restlessness that doesn’t seem to want to leave me.

Restless. To find something new, to find a sense of where I am to be, who I am to be, to plant roots but leave at the same time.

I am homesick.

I am living in this wonderful place I have come to call home, but I am intensely, bitterly homesick. I want to go home. To the place I grew up in. To my family. Friends. To the connectedness of history.

I can only develop so much history here. No one knows me. Knows my history. That is all in another place.

I miss it.


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