What I’m Thinking About on International Women’s Day

There’s a lot of scary stuff going on in the world. The destruction of the environment, the alarming number of #MeToo stories, and corporate corruption at the federal level of government are only a few of the things to worry about.

On International Women’s Day, March 8, 2019, we need to be celebrating our progress and acknowledging how much work there is still to do. White feminism is rampant, we must push ourselves and each other to think critically about intersecting systems of power and oppression that target people differently. We must also acknowledge that people of many genders experience gender-based discrimination, and gender advocacy must be conscious of the gender spectrum.

In Canada, we must fight for and with Indigenous women and protect trans women of colour. We must fight for reproductive rights in our country and beyond. We must acknowledge our varying degrees of privilege, and commit to leveraging the privileges we have to support and stand in solidarity with those who have been erased, misrepresented, and abused by institutions like the government.

So much of my understanding of these issues have come from female professors, friends, and advocates online who take the time to engage in conversation and educate others. There’s still so much to learn, and this generosity of knowledge is precious. Anyone who is willing to engage and listen with an open heart is taking a step in the right direction.

We must all make more effort, myself included, to do more and be better allies. The first step is to listen, and to take responsibility for our own education. If oppressed folks want to educate and explain, that’s great. But the onus should not be on the oppressed to explain to those who benefit from that oppression (directly or indirectly) why and how they are oppressed.

Let’s listen to women. Let’s believe women. Let’s support women. And most of all, let us hold each other accountable to do and be better.

Some women- and advocacy-centric spots on campus:

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2 Responses

  1. Erin Kinrade says:

    I think you meant to say “While” instead of “White”

    • Erin says:

      I actually did mean “white.” I was referring to a trend where white women who identify as feminists tend to fail to consider the diverse experiences of women of different races, religions, sexual orientations, etc. What I’m advocating for is intersectionality in feminism. Intersectionality is a term coined by Kimberle Crenshaw and is grounded in the understanding that black women face sexism AND systemic racism, which makes their experience distinct from white women. I can see why you thought it was a typo, thanks for your comment!

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