According to me…..

Posts tagged ‘take back the night’

Maybe It’s Time


I’ve been volunteering for the last two years.

I’ve loved every minute.  I’ve grown and learned and it’s been tremendously fulfilling.

I started at a church making meals and feeding folks… I soon realized that this wasn’t what I would ever want to do as a career. I got to a point where I was not learning anything new… of course, I learn something every day, but career-wise. It was a phenomenal stepping stone.. it got me out and meeting humans and being alive again – but it was time.   So I moved on.  I met South Riverdale Community Health Centre – I met Susan B.  I can’t even describe the ways in which I’ve grown and learned since joining this organization.

I have spoken in public – which I NEVER thought I would do.  I’ve even sang. lol  I have learned how to create slideshows, and bulletin boards and worked with groups.  I’ve learned about the issues transgender people face, and women – taking back the night.  I’ve fought for social assistance rates to be raised, and for a transparent method of deciding what these rates aught to be.  I’ve written articles for the newsletter.    To say that I’m busy is an understatement.  But I’ve loved it.  All of it.  I’ve met incredible strong people.

Today I had an interview.  She offered me a job to apply to – I’d be writing.  She offered me training in my preferred field.  And more.

I’m sitting here thinking that maybe it’s time to start doing these things and earning a living at the same time.  Yes, whatever job I get has to mean something to me.  It has to fill my soul…. but I think it’s time to get my act together.  I have a lot of wonderful skills… they’ve shown me this.  I can be useful and fight this fight … but I can do it while earning money.  Suddenly I’m done being a volunteer.  Although, not completely…just as a career. lol  🙂  I love everyone I’ve met and all the things I’ve done.  I just think it’s maybe time to move it or lose it.  Folks have suggested going on ODSP – and while I would totally be a candidate for this, I refuse.  I’m not done.  To my way of thinking it’s like giving up…for me.  Some folks absolutely need it.  I’m not that person.

I see something new on the horizon.  I hope that whatever that is… it allows me to still participate in my first love.

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Take Back the Night


I attended a rally and march.  This isn’t my *usual* kind of march.  This one is about women taking back the night, their streets, their dignity, strength and safety.  It’s against violence, rapes, killing of women – and children.

It started off with many people in attendance at Dundas Square.  There was laughing and dancing and music on stage… speakers, drummers.  All very pleasant.  It was the 30th year for this march.  At eight pm we prepared to march the streets of Toronto.  OUR streets.  The woman on stage announced the beginning of the march by telling the men that we all thanked them…those who had turned out to support the women in their lives.  It was appreciated, but it was time to take to the streets… she said,

“it’s for women and children only… and Men?  WE’VE GOT THIS!”

It was by far the loudest march I’ve been on this year.  It was rather something!!  We had people directing us, but a very small show of police (compared to all year at other marches).  It was a huge crowd and it was loud, angry, strong, confident and did I mention, huge?  The line of people marching, at times, covered three roads.  As we turned a corner to a new street you could look behind and see that the *snake* of people were on the street you were leaving and still turning from the street behind that.

I took a moment and looked at the women around me.  All that strength and love.  I felt the unity, empowering and joining us.  We were as one.  And I felt sad.  I felt sad that these people all felt so safe, but tomorrow when they ventured out of their homes – they would not have 200 or so sisters beside them, protecting them – not even in theory.  I felt sad that women often go against one another.  What would the world be like if we all stood as one, everyday?  Not just on a special occasion?  If we weren’t all suspicious of one another, pitted against one another.  If we realized we are all humans… and as women, loving and strong and very compassionate.  It saddened me because it gave a false sense of security – these women were no safer in their day to day lives… and they won’t be – so long as there isn’t a change that involves everyone.  It took years and years for people to develop these misconceptions and beliefs, it won’t change overnight.


What if one day we all realized that society pits women against one another. … that women are objectified in every magazine, in commercials… pictures of this piece of a woman’s anatomy to sell this product, or that bit of a woman to sell another?   Making women seem to be bits and pieces, rather than a whole… What if we realized that the media tells us to be thin, in words and in pictures… and being as thin as *they* want us, makes us weak.  It makes us physically weak, and unhealthy.  Unable to have children or proper monthly cycles, or confidence or able to fight back against a patriarchal society.  What if we did stop listening to them and fought back?  The backlash would be incredible..they don’t want to give up their perceived power.  What if we realized that a woman is not a sum of their size alone, that we are actually humans.  Does anyone remember that women are meant to have curves as they bring life into the world and their bodies need food as fuel to live and to give life.  Do men have the same opinion of their bodies that women have?  No… men think a beer belly is just wonderful and they parade it around – they are often proud of it, announcing to the world at large that it’s *all bought and paid for*, but as soon as a woman does this… people make comments, they snicker under their breath.  It’s a form of control and it affects us all.  Women aren’t the only ones that lose when they believe they must be thin to be loved.

Do women know that at one time women were considered very attractive when they were curvy?  Rubenesque… like the artist (Peter Paul Rubens) that painted women as they were meant to be, and they were very popular!

 

Peter Paul Rubens

Peter Paul Rubens

Do people realize or know that at one time women were the head of each household?  That they were revered?  Adored?  That women ran the house while men hunted and gathered? Women were considered goddesses… and loved.  Held high, with love.  Appreciated for their real worth and for being the bringers of life – as gods do.

We touched many lives on that night of the march… but did we touch enough?  Did others look around and see the strength, the courage to tell a story, to fight, to live a life even though you were victimized?  To be survivors?  To invite other women to fight beside them, as friends, as someone worthy of a dignified, healthy life?

Wouldn’t it be incredible if we never needed a 31st year of this march?

Take Back The Night!


Take Back The Night Website: http://tbtn30.weebly.com/


“30 Years of Struggle, Resistance, Liberation”

The Toronto Rape Crisis Centre / Multicultural Women Against Rape is pleased to announce its 30th Annual Take Back the Night event happening on Friday October 22, 2010 at Yonge-Dundas Square in the downtown Toronto community.

This year’s theme is:
“30 years of Struggle, Resistance, Liberation”

Take Back the Night is about bringing visibility and exposure to the impact of sexual violence in women’s lives. We want to highlight every woman’s experience of survivorship from the personal to political impacts in our every day lives. It is a space created to ensure women and children can take up space and have our voices heard.

Sadly, we have been marching and protesting for 30 years. And although violence against women has been brought into mainstream awareness, it still persists in the lives of women, trans people and children every day.

The Toronto Rape Crisis Centre / Multicultural Women Against Rape has continued to fight the rape culture we live in while providing support to survivors who continue to experience violence. While some laws have been enacted and sexual assaults are taken more seriously in certain contexts, violence has actually become stronger in our culture and implicit violence has become more pervasive.

“Forms of institutional violence like police not believing women, the system of evidence collection in sexual assault cases, raids in our shelters for non-status women, all maintain a culture of violence” says deb singh, Counselor and Activist at the TRCC/MWAR. “We need to see that things haven’t got better, more women are being sexually assaulted and are being silenced every day”.

We demand our rights to safety, and lives free of the fear and perpetration of violence. We demand Aboriginal rights, equal status for all women, safe affordable housing, rights for sex trade workers, de-criminalized prostitution, safe shelters, health care, child care, education, employment, the raising of social assistance rates by 40%, immigration status for all, and the raising the minimum wage now. Without access to a safe place to live, an adequate income, child care and other community resources, women are being left to face violent situations. We, as survivors, demand lives free of sexual violence, murder, living in poverty, police injustice and any violence that is directed towards women and children.

“The TBTN march is an event organized by feminist grassroots, anti-violence & anti-oppression activist groups all around the world with a focus on safety for women and children” says Grissel Orellana, TRCC/MWAR Outreach & Community Development worker.

***UPDATE***

TBTN SCHEDULE:

Community Fair
4:00 – 8:00 pm
Community organizations will provide information tables and resources to share with the public.

Take Back The Night Website: http://tbtn30.weebly.com/

“30 Years of Struggle, Resistance, Liberation”

The Toronto Rape Crisis Centre / Multicultural Women Against Rape is pleased to announce its 30th Annual Take Back the Night event happening on Friday October 22, 2010 at Yonge-Dundas Square in the downtown Toronto community.

This year’s theme is:
“30 years of Struggle, Resistance, Liberation”

Take Back the Night is about bringing visibility and exposure to the impact of sexual violence in women’s lives. We want to highlight every woman’s experience of survivorship from the personal to political impacts in our every day lives. It is a space created to ensure women and children can take up space and have our voices heard.

Sadly, we have been marching and protesting for 30 years. And although violence against women has been brought into mainstream awareness, it still persists in the lives of women, trans people and children every day.

The Toronto Rape Crisis Centre / Multicultural Women Against Rape has continued to fight the rape culture we live in while providing support to survivors who continue to experience violence. While some laws have been enacted and sexual assaults are taken more seriously in certain contexts, violence has actually become stronger in our culture and implicit violence has become more pervasive.

“Forms of institutional violence like police not believing women, the system of evidence collection in sexual assault cases, raids in our shelters for non-status women, all maintain a culture of violence” says deb singh, Counselor and Activist at the TRCC/MWAR. “We need to see that things haven’t got better, more women are being sexually assaulted and are being silenced every day”.

We demand our rights to safety, and lives free of the fear and perpetration of violence. We demand Aboriginal rights, equal status for all women, safe affordable housing, rights for sex trade workers, de-criminalized prostitution, safe shelters, health care, child care, education, employment, the raising of social assistance rates by 40%, immigration status for all, and the raising the minimum wage now. Without access to a safe place to live, an adequate income, child care and other community resources, women are being left to face violent situations. We, as survivors, demand lives free of sexual violence, murder, living in poverty, police injustice and any violence that is directed towards women and children.

“The TBTN march is an event organized by feminist grassroots, anti-violence & anti-oppression activist groups all around the world with a focus on safety for women and children” says Grissel Orellana, TRCC/MWAR Outreach & Community Development worker.

***UPDATE***

TBTN SCHEDULE:

Community Fair
4:00 – 8:00 pm
Community organizations will provide information tables and resources to share with the public.
——————————————————————————–

Town Cry
4:00 – 8:00 pm

The Town Cry will include discussion, solidarity greetings, and voices from the community. Hosted by PAVE (Parkdale Anti-Violence Education Working Group).
——————————————————————————–

Rally
4:00 – 8:00 pm
Speakers, performances and other presentations will take place on the Yonge-Dundas Square stage.

——————————————————————————–

March
8:00 – 9:30 pm
It will start and end at Yonge-Dundas Square.   Marshalls will provide security and guide marchers on the undisclosed route.   The March is for women and children only.

——————————————————————————–

After Party
9:30 – 11:00 pm

with DJ JOLA & DJ ZAHRA Yonge-Dundas Square

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