So what’s it like to be an activist from afar? In short, it’s not easy. It does, however, bring into relief some of the reasons why I helped to create Antigone Magazine. Expressing oneself politically is a right and a privilege AND a responsibility. I remain convinced now more than ever as Canada enters what is sure to be a trying five years under a conservative government that we are responsible for expressing ourselves, and expressing ourselves truthfully. Thus, the need for community-building exercises to leverage the voices that are underrepresented, unspoken for, and silent is even more pressing. I helped start Antigone to teach young women to express themselves politically and to act on their beliefs, and to help other women doing so. It’s often said that the only way the house of commons will become something more than the cockfights it currently hosts is if women start running the show: I agree.
I happen to be one of 2 female trustees on a school board of 7. This translates into 28% female elected representation on our board which is significantly higher than the national rate of female representation in municipal, provincial, territorial and federally elected seats which sits at about 21%**… though maybe the participation rate will be higher after this most recent election.
At any rate, even though there’s 28% female representation in that room, sometimes being 2 out of 7 feels a bit outnumbered. Especially given that a lot of the Administrators that are in these meetings are also men.
Now I know that some women watch hockey. I definitely KNOW in my heart that when everyone in the room starts talking about hockey except for the only women present, that they aren’t purposefully trying to exclude us. People talk about things they know, things they have in common, they use these topics to build relationships. I do it too, if I know someone has a boat, I talk to them about it because thats what we have in common. BUT….