Sunday, 11 December 2011

Women Do Something (Continuing the conversation)

A couple of weeks ago I attended an event called Women Say Something and, naturally because I tell you guys almost everything, I blogged about it.  Thanks to that first event and the wonders of Facebook I am now hooked in to some super cool active women, the kind of women who get off their arses and make an event like this happen.  It seemed natural that I would go to the follow up event, after all it was free and I am broke, it's about feminist issues and I'm a feminist.  Best of all the event was attended by the fabulous Kimberly Dark.

Kimberly is a sociologist and a story teller.  She uses humour, irony and anecdote to open our eyes to the strange and interesting diversity of thought and perspective in our world.  I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to attend and to enjoy her work.

Me under the star with the star of the show, Kimberly Dark.

Lots of very interesting topics were raised and discussed by the group.  Many would be worthy of exploration and commentary.  The thing that resonated with me most intensely was the need to hold to our beliefs and represent our points of view every day in as many situations as we encounter.  One articulate young woman pointed out that thirty or forty years ago there was a huge gap in equality, it was blatant and gaping.  It was easy to see the cause, to know what was needed in the fight for Women's Liberation, for the Women's Movement, for Feminism.  So many things have changed and so many barriers have been broken down that it is more difficult than it was back then to simplistically categorize the target.  Yet inequity still exists in every arena.  As the young woman put it, "there are many small gaps rather than one large one".

I can't remember a time in my life when I did not believe that we influence the world one person at a time.  Mostly, on a day to day basis, I just try to make people smile in the hopes that they too will make someone else smile.  Long before that disgusting schmaltzy movie "Pay It Forward" claimed the high ground I believed in the difference small interactions can make.  As a lesbian I have always been "Out and Proud" in virtually every situation I have lived through.  This is how you combat homophobia.  You keep showing people that gay people are just normal everyday people like them, they/we are their friends, co-workers, family etc.  I don't think anyone has ever said this better than Hilary Clinton did recently at the Human Rights Day in Geneva, here courtesy of the Huffington Post is a transcript of her brilliant speech..  I digress...

Feminist is (as Girlwiththecane said in a comment on the last blog) still a dirty word..  But I don't really care what we call it (though it would be convenient to have a title that symbolically represented basically the same thing to everyone) but I do care about women and equality.  I believe we need to not shirk the day to day responsibility of having the courage of our convictions.  The courage to clearly state what we believe and why it matters to us.  I believe that we need to be Out and Proud as women and as feminists (regardless of the title).  We are 51% of the population, the world over, and we own less than 1% of the world's property.
Courtesy of Girl's Guide to Taking Over The World

This fight has not been won.  
This struggle is not over.  
This complacency is killing us.  

Every day in every interaction, we, the ordinary people not just the high profile organizers and activists, WE need to take this debate to our friends, our co-workers, and our families...

Stand up and be counted or stand down and be trodden on.

(As an aside some of the women were kicking on for a drink at my old stomping ground The Imperial but unfortunately I was starting to get that urge to be horizontal so I gave it a miss... maybe next time!)


  1. I love, LOVE, L-O-V-E this post! Since I have begun working again, I have teaching my 11 year old daughter about the history of our (the world's) culture of inequality toward women. I work in a male-dominated field; I've yet to meet another woman who does what I do. Everyday I am faced with an opportunity to bring to light that these men don't even realized they've discounted me based on my gender & appearance, and everyday I show them what I can do. It's most pleasing to me to see SOMETHING accomplished- but there is such a long way to go, it's like nothing was accomplished at all (I still get paid about 1/3 of what the men in my field make). Anyway- Love the post- so happy you went!

  2. this is a thought-provoking blog posting, and goes to show there is much work yet to be done. I think we have taken a huge step backwards with all of the ho-ing up of young women in skimpy outfits and stillettos day and night. We seem to have been reduced willingly to "bitches and hos", no thanks to the gangsta culture of misogynistic attitudes. Not OK. We are more than silly girls, and should never be reduced to less than equals.

    I appreciate your blog, and your continued effort to discuss the controversial stuff (which, is weird, because homosexuality shouldn't be controversial at all- we all just want to be who we are, without judgment or scorn).

    More power to you, Displaced, dear Fibro Sister!

  3. and on a much lighter note- great picture. You have beautiful hair.... ;-)