Archive for November 2008
These workshops that Toujours Rebelles provided really seem to fire us up. We talked for 3 hours again and only stopped because we had to!
In a nutshell, we rhymed off every oppression issue that we feel touches on our lives -fleshed them out, drew connections, relayed and imagined powerful responses.
Daniela commented that the broad scope was different from the more specific issues we usually tackle in our discussions. It is valuable to look at the bigger picture now and then. It reinforces our passion for feminism and solidarity and belief that it’s NEEDED.
I see the Canadian Context bit as being a bit wiggly. I mean, looking at the issues on that level hasn’t yet added a lot to my understanding or feeling for feminism. Yet, the surge of excitement imagining these issues taken up on a large scale – if we can expand our conversations, our ideas and support for one another across a freakin’ huge country – is where I see an immense value. In the last month, I haven’t seen much evidence of this coming together in the aftermath of the Toujours/Waves gathering but the fact that young women felt strongly enough about it to get themselves to it and the feeling that WAS present there really have me believing it’s possible.
Last night, we got together to play out a workshop designed and distributed by the people who brought you “Waves of Resistance” (see previous post). It was meant for girls with little or no experience or even interest in feminism and the great company that we had all were quite a bit more knowledgeable and engaged in feminism than it was really designed for. That was SO not holding us back though. It inspired us to build on the material, think critically about it, make it apply at the level we operate on and reimagine how it could be written.
Let’s say that we weren’t treading new ground but we were working important ideas that need to be exercised regularly. We talked a lot about ‘living it’ – being feminist as part of how you are, how you think/dress/walk, that our life choices are shaped to agree with our feminism. I don’t think one has a revelatory moment and just STARTS living it, nor are there wonderfeminists who are born that way. You have to take these ideas and start repeating them. Try them on for size. Adjust them to fit. Engage in discussions where you have to defend the ideas. Enter the fray and speak up. Every time you use an idea, it becomes more a part of you.
So what if our discussions aren’t always groundbreaking? I like to think that they were an important exercise that makes our feminism a little stronger.