March 2017 Editor's Fix
A few months ago I was having lunch at the Blue Toque Diner, and Tanya Malcolm was our server. She immediately came up to me and asked if I would consider Feminism as a theme for March. “If you were ready for the Diversity issue, you are ready for Feminism,” she added, probably sensing my hesitation. You see, when it comes to Feminism there was a period of time I played it “safe.”
I left that lunch, having not made a commitment but it was an idea that occupied my mind every day that followed. I thought back to my youth, when I fought hard against any bias towards me or any other girl I knew. I had equally as many guy friends as girls. Running for class president against popular boys in our school seemed normal. It was all the same to me, until a poignant conversation with my Grade 9 English teacher, Mr. Vallance. I am not sure how it began, but I distinctly remember him telling me that there would sooner be a black president than a female president. Prior to that, I had never really thought about how or why women and men were treated differently in the world (or black people and white people, for that matter). To me, it just didn’t make sense so I just carried on believing what I thought should be right. If there were any lines, to me they were very blurred.
I wondered when and why my behaviour changed, and realized that during university and my brief stint in the corporate world I pushed down my inner Mary Tyler Moore and “played it safe”… because it was easier. And maybe it was, but it did not make me happy. Before too long the mountains called and it was an easy choice to come home. I could not be more grateful for this shift as it led me back to myself, which has led to all that I am grateful for today
But I will never allow myself to forget that the lapse took place.
Like the rest of the world, I watched as Hillary and Trump fought for the throne. I believed so confidently that my daughters would grow up with a female president of the United States, and was excited for what that might mean for them. I thought back to that conversation with Mr. Vallance, and while I agreed he was right, thought well… we weren’t too far behind. I couldn’t have been more wrong. My heart broke, not for me but for my girls. And for anyone that falls under the “other” category. And for so so so many other reasons. And it has not stopped breaking, ever since.
So, yes. This is the Feminist Issue. And it couldn’t have been better timing. What our writers have brought to the surface has truly moved us, and we hope it moves you, too.
Thanks, Tanya. I needed that.
Feminism: the advocacy of women’s rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes.