Toronto Feminists

Posts Tagged ‘meetup

International Women’s Day

I want to see those pictures, Nicole!

As a matter of fact, I don’t even know if words can express IWD. Of course, having procrastinated so long to write about it, I’m almost sure that I can’t express it.

Let’s see what I can tell you, though. It was a ridiculously snowy day (alas, that meant only a couple of us were there from our group) and they put it to a vote whether we ought to march but it everybody who was there – and oh, my god, there were a lot more than I ever would have dreamed and I wonder how many there would have been on a warm, sunny day – was rarin’ to go! People came out to the sidewalk from restaurants to see us and cheer as we chanted, marched, tooted our whistes, danced and used our signs and banners as windshields until they became sails moving us around.

I just wanted to say that if you can, when it comes around again, you really should go. I’ve never gone to anything like the rally and it’s amazing to hear really good speakers and hear about some of the local sub-issues that fall under the heading of feminism. The fair was great and there were a lot of organizations that have amazing projects going on (which our group may very well tag into). And well, marching makes you feel good. Involved. In solidarity. Raising your voice. It’s simple but it’s really important.

-Tara

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March 16, 2008 at 6:24 pm

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Dec 6 in Toronto

Thursday December 6th was Remembrance & Action Against Violence Against Women, stemming from the massacre of 14 women in Montreal’s Ecole Polytechnique. Tara and I (and any of you) were unlucky in finding each other but it was my first attendance of a Dec 6 memorial so I was glad I was able to show support.

Women Won’t Forget December 6th held the memorial part at 6 pm, at the Philosopher’s Walk behind the Royal Ontario Museum – a serene atmosphere even within the heart of the city. 14 trees have been planted there in memory of the victims. Alicia Ross’ mother spoke, as well as a couple of women wishing to represent aboriginal people of Canada, North America, and the world. A few feminist men held up simple, spray-painted signs saying things like “Aboriginal Women R Missed” and “500 Missing,” referring to the 500 missing aboriginal women in Canada alone. Another young feminist also sang us some of her own songs, one that she had composed herself.

(On the comic relief side of things, it just so happened not intentionally that a couple of people’s candles lit their protective white cone paper wind-protectors on fire, oops!)

A line-up of women read various Canadian cases of women that have been sexually assaulted or murdered, both past and present, we took a moment of silence to remember & respect, and finally we placed a rose on the large rock as a symbol of our hope for change – sooner rather than later.

After the memorial there was also the option to head down to the Toronto Women’s Bookstore (TWB) at 7 pm. There were a few performances by talented young feminists, including feminist rap! This event was very much to learn about the Metropolitan Action Committee on Violence Against Women and Children (METRAC). They had a few pamphlets for sale from 10 cents to t-shirts.

I particularly liked a tee showing a woman sitting in a chair the opposite way you would sit down, with her legs on either side of the back, saying “No demand, no supply…..who profits from women’s bodies?”

Dec 6 was for the most part a quiet, memorial evening in Toronto (okay, except for those rappers and singers). It’s comforting to know that there are other women and men in our city who are passionate about equality. Slow but steady……

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December 8, 2007 at 6:12 pm

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Post-meetup: Femblogs vol. 1

So, a meetup is partly about the content, or the subject we go to dig into, and then again, it’s partly about the people that turn out, and how you get along, and awesome conversations and experiences and stuff. Going into this event, I was wondering what everybody’d have to say on the subject, whether Nichole and I would be sort of pushing this idea of blogging on people who really needed to be sold on it. Which I guess, isn’t all that sensible now that I think about it. If you’re going to the bother to attend an event, you probably have a certain amount of curiosity and drive. Anyhow, it was really interesting how, the ‘blog tutorial’ that we were there for got cushioned with heaps of our own general interest in feminism and stuff, and relating on on these things we have in common.

The business that we covered was twofold, talking through our ideas about how we use the internet for finding/disseminating the feminist goods, and talking specifically about using this blog. Nichole basically walked us through creating a post, on her laptop. It was the kind of hands-on learning that’s irreplaceable – especially given our starting place – predominantly 30somethings, not really as natural at techy stuff as those darn kids. The demo totally let us generate questions that arose naturally out of curiosity about ‘What happens if…’ and ‘What if i wanted to…’.

We also just revelled in a feminism free-for-all while we were at it, and it kind of reinforced the fact that we’ll all have things we passionately want to express about our development as politically aware women. Obviously we’ve got tons of source material within ourselves, and lots to engage each other with. It was like we were just having so much fun digging into these topics, and I know that’ll spill over onto our blog, which I really look forward to. That expression, and having a forum for it, is really empowering. Not to mention, the strength and independence that grows every time we cut another notch on our skill belt (like the women learning to type in ‘Age of Arousal’!)

I should add that, initially, I wasn’t sure why we were calling this vol. 1. Now, I think there might be good cause to revisit this in a few months. We’re newbs. We’ll want to talk about how it’s going and share our experiences by then, I bet. If there are more people who want to jump in as new contributors after we’ve been working on it a few months, they’ll probably benefit from the same kind of walk-through. Maybe someone who was a learner this time can be the teacher next time;) It doesn’t necessarily have to fall to Nichole – who did a very awesome job and thanks, N, by the way.

-Tara

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December 1, 2007 at 5:30 am

Reflections: Age of Arousal

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Some of us got together at the Factory Theatre to catch Age of Arousal, and I think the general consensus was that it was pretty awesome. By playwright Linda Griffiths, it’s a recent play set in the Victorian era, and very generally it’s about choosing between one’s principles and sexual relationships.

I’m going to admit to my philistine streak here and confess that during the play I sort of catalogued the issues they ploughed through – desire vs. principles, learning skills to be independent, the payoff of hard-edged activism, internal backbiting, creating dignity for women’s ways of being and doing, free love-ism vs. no-sex-please feminism – and I thought ok, so what? Preaching to the converted, right? They didn’t pose any new questions or answer any old ones. But I really enjoyed the play, and I think that’s because I related to it – because none of this was news. It’s just nice to see things put in a human context, and whereas when you face it in your life, you have a position in the issues, at the theatre, you’re permitted to get right into the minds of all the players.

On that note, I have a question for the rest of you who went to see it: Why did Rhoda resist letting the sisters into the school, when she was the one who pushed them to come and check it out?

-Tara

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November 20, 2007 at 3:49 am

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