At the heart of BRBdoingstuff, we’re women who seek to gain understanding about the world around us through engagement. We explore, learn, try and adventure. Our usual topics include ill-advised feats of athleticism, adventures in remote places and wild outdoor happenings, but today’s post is a little different.
I’m not going to bore you with a political rant, but will share that I’m deeply distraught about the future of our planet. How we treat the natural world is a matter of ethics, as is how we treat minorities and those with less privilege, and I fear we’re failing the human experiment at both capacities in a spectacular fashion. After all, growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell – Edward Abbey.
I think we should march
For the moment I’ll put my environmental diatribe on ice and focus on human rights, in particular women’s rights and the Women’s March on Washington. After waking up shell-shocked the morning after Trump’s inauguration, I received a flood of texts from my VIW (Very Important Women!) about hitting the streets to protest.
A girlfriend in Den Haag sent a video of chanting women taking the streets, Mom provided on-the-ground updates from Halifax, and my sister was at ground zero in Washington marching alongside colleagues from Paladin, her startup that champions justice and human rights by pairing pro-bono legal services with clients who need them the most.
To do good, you actually have to do something – Yvon Chouinard
So, I made a sign, drove to the closest march and took to the streets.
My experience protesting on behalf of women is as old as I am. Mom and Dad took us as kids to pro-choice rallies, and I’ve had a heart for equality, justice and reproductive rights ever since. Shoutout to my fucking rad family!
But, privileged white girl, why the shit do you care about women’s rights? You have access to many things others don’t including a great education, supportive family, and loads of travel and professional opportunities!
Well, I know how it feels when rights are violated.
When I was 13 a stranger threatened my life with a knife. I freed myself and called the police. The guy had a history of similar threats to other young women, but was underage and never tried. I was given a restraining order and told that’s all the authorities could do.
In my late teens I was sexually assaulted on a plane. Police were called and the guy was hauled off the flight in handcuffs. It turned into a he-said-she-said situation and I was granted a restraining order and he walked free.
To ice the cake, I’ve also experienced multiple sexual harassment issues at work that managers and HR didn’t take seriously.
After these experiences I was left alone to manage the psychological fallout including feelings of confusion, fear, anger and guilt. I spent a lot of time wondering what the fuck happened, and figuring out if I was somehow responsible.
So, you can imagine the sinking feeling in my heart when a man who brags about sexual assault and grabbing pussies becomes the president of the most powerful country in the world.
Off we go
For the record I didn’t march to protest a particular political party, but rather to protect the rights we’ve fought so hard to gain. We still have a long way to go and won’t be quiet until we’re there.
Translation: this shit matters and a lot of people are pissed about it.
Thousands of women, men and children lined the streets of Victoria with all kinds of crosses to bear from sexual orientation to equal pay and freedom from violence. They proudly displayed their signs and joined a choir of chants decrying misogyny and spreading hope.
My favorite moment was when the Raging Grannies, a group of hell-raising Canadian biddies, took to the stage with a song! I need to wait a few more years, but I will make a fabulous addition to the group.
My signs were perhaps more negative than most, however they were personal to me and I couldn’t hide my anger. I’m a fierce advocate of women’s reproductive rights, especially access to safe and legal abortion. Her body, her choice. Non-negotiable.
Walking together was equal parts beautiful and powerful, but although protests are energizing, I wish we lived in a world where we didn’t need them. But, we’re not there yet. And until we are, you can find me marching.
BRB just doing stuff for a bit k?