This week’s Feminist Who Totally Rocks is Crystal Gartside. Crystal works a policy analyst for the Manitoba Women’s Advisory Council. The Manitoba Women’s Advisory Council, “works within the Manitoba Status of Women Division to represent the issues and concerns of Manitoba women. The council focuses on issues that have a social, legal or economic impact on the lives of women and their families”. Crystal has been working hard towards an inclusive environment wherein women from all walks of life are made a priority in policy formation.
1.What was it that inspired you to become a feminist?
I had always had a strong emotional reaction to injustice and inequality. My family and our histories opened me to the oppression and marginalization of women and Indigenous people, but also affirmed my strength and ability to make a difference. When I went to university and discovered feminism through women’s studies courses, I felt an instant affinity; here was a way to really understand injustice – how it works, who benefits and how to make change! It was a framework for understanding all kinds of oppression – gendered, colonial, class – that worked for me, gave me a path to walk, and a way to funnel my strong emotional reactions into something useful, while working with others who felt the same way.