Nothing like setting it out in dollars and cents.
This December 6th, and every December 6th we remember the lives of the 14 women who died at the hands of Marc Lepine, in the name of “fighting feminism”
The root causes of gender-based violence lie in the ways patriarchy manifests in our society — through our divisions of labour, our economic system, through rape culture and the ways we interact with each other daily.
December 6th is much more than a single incident. On this, and every other day of the year, we remember the lives of women who have been lost to discrimination, physical and emotional abuse, to racism, immigration raids, to hunger and poverty, to sexual violence and murder. We remember the struggle of women and trans people as we continue to seek for determination, for justice in the workplace and safety on the streets. Every day of the year, we remember women in prisons, away from their families and friends. Every day of the year, we honour the more than 500 missing and murdered Aboriginal women in Canada. Every day of the year, we honour the lives of sex workers. We continue to honour the lives of women who continue to endure the violence by the state.
In the face of this violence, the role of people-power is especially important. Events such as Take Back the Night marches and December 6th rallies demonstrate important resilience and demand the eradication of gender-based violence.
An end to violence against women and trans people signifies an end to patriarchy, sexism, homophobia, racism, classist policies. It signifies justice and self-determination for all.
[Graphic art made by our 2012 Intern Maria Pineros]
The Public Studio
But as cathartic and entertaining as it might be, skewering trolls and attacking jerks is never going to change their minds. Putting people on the defensive only hardens their positions.
When it comes to actually changing minds, I think we’re stuck with love.
Recognizing the humanity of people who do awful things is one of the core challenges of being human. (We have enough trouble recognizing it even in people who are like us.) But it’s the only way out. Even when the worst trolls are beyond visible redemption, the way we handle them is visible to so many others who are still capable of feeling empathy or recognizing pain or changing their minds.
From Erin Kissane (@kissane on the Tweetr), one of the best displays of generosity of spirit I’ve read in the past few months.
Worth striving for, even if we fall short.