Well, today is day, um, 7 of round four of chemo. And I’m nearly a week into my medical leave from work. So far today i took the dog for a walk, went to a meeting, had a nap, wrote out some Welsh words (more on that later), and continued a letter to my Deborah. Also had a bagel and a bunch of fibrous foods (flax seeds, figs, that kinda thing) and some ice cream for dinner. Read a little bit. It was a long day. It’s cold in the house. My skin is kinda crawly and i’m not feeling so great. Not bad enough to be in bed all day, but not well enough to be at work, either, I think. I could struggle through — I know I feel ever so much better when I’m around people, when we’re social and engaged with each other. But I’m supposed to rest.
Oh! I also wrote a presentation to City Council from our new group: Vancouver Ad Hoc Committee of Women for Women. We’re arguing that council should give Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter a grant to do public education and outreach. Last year they gave it, but put them on notice that it would be the last one unless they changed their mandate and allowed trans-identified males access to the service, and to work there. Of course VRRWS can’t do that, even if they wanted to — it’s a collective of women, organizing for women, to end male violence against women. Pretty near every other women’s service or organization in Vancouver has changed their mandate — there is, as far as I know, only one transition house for battered women that is only for females — and that’s Rape Relief. Anyway, the grant is to fund their public education work, which is, and always has been fully accessible to the public. They have, for nearly 50 years (!) carved out, not only safe space for women to connect with each other, and care for each other, and tell each other our stories; but to take up room in public — public parks, roads, indoor and outdoor spaces, public institutions — and to foreground women’s stories, women’s politics, feminist organizing, feminist dialogue, feminist debate and education — They are bold and tender and act with courage and integrity. They are women working for the liberation from male domination of all women. And for that they are, and have been, punished, threatened, and insulted. For that, the city of vancouver has withdrawn a grant that enabled them to invite the public to hear from women thinkers, activists, writers, agitators, poets, artists.
So some of us have written letters back to the city, and we are making a presentation to the city to tell them just what we think of their punishments. Just what we think of their cowardly campaign to shut women the hell up. We know that women-only space poses a great threat to the powerful. That’s the point. Our freedom, and our share. We’ll get it, eventually. And all of our humanity will be the better for it. you’re frightened of that, of sharing power, of changing the structures that shaped us (they are all we know!), but so what. Face that fear with us. Listen to women. Let us gather as females, to share our lives and stories, to gather our resources, to change the world. We don’t all agree, but that doesn’t mean we don’t need our own space within which to debate. So let us have it. So we can let YOU have it. Tomorrow, 9:30, the meeting begins. February 26th.