This morning, I posted questions JoAnn asked about what we do next. What do we do now that the March is over? More than five million women around the world marched for women’s rights. We marched for cold, hard legal rights. We marched for better treatment in our workplaces and in our communities. We marched for women of colour and LGBTQ women and disabled women; we marched for all women.
So what now?
Well, I have an idea.
Beyond the sheer numbers of women who showed up, the most moving part of the March was during the rally when women stepped up to the mic and shared their stories.
I’d like to have a regular open mic-style event where women share their stories that centre around a particular theme. It can be spoken word poetry, music, some other form of artistic expression, or just talking.
Some of the most valuable conversations I’ve had with men – allies or not – are the ones where I share that, yes, whenever I go for a walk, I am constantly thinking about escape plans; that every incident of street harassment is frightening; oh, and here are the things I have to deal with in the workplace that you likely never have to think about. There’s also so much to share around reproductive rights – access to care, how difficult the decision is, what our feelings are.
I think these events could serve to enlighten people of our struggles (for instance, whilst I do what I can to advocate for women of colour, I am not a woman of colour, so I’m out of my depth in that regard) and also serve to bring more women together in solidarity.
Maybe, if we’re going to take to a microphone to bare our souls in some way, we also ask for a small monetary donation as an admission fee and whomever got up to the mic that night gets a vote as to which charity it benefits. Some obvious ones that immediately come to mind are YWCA Niagara Region, Gillian’s Place, Women’s Place of South Niagara, or Westview Centre4women.
So, what do you say? Who’s with me?
(For the record, there is more to be done that this, and I’m happy to use this blog – or let you use this blog – to rally people around. Feminism is a big movement that needs to find a way to include everyone whilst also being focused enough to actually accomplish something. So, what have you got? Throw your ideas this way.)