Within the global pandemic of violence against women, I thought the physical and emotion abuse I was experiencing was insignificant, that it was controllable, escapable, excusable, and therefore incredibly worthy of shame. After all, I lived in a country where women were equal. If I was experiencing gender-based violence, it was most definitely my fault.
We all grow up with myths. This one belongs to North America.
The violence that is happening against women in Canada, particularly women of color, Aboriginal women, and women with different abilities, is systemic cultural oppression at its very best. This is elite, purple-robed, capitalist, patriarchy that has found a way to curtain itself in the guise of freedom by embedding an equality narrative into its anthem, into its books, into its television shows. It is a myth that is retold through the custody battles of single mothers, the testaments of rape victims, and the trials of abuse survivors.
But I have faith that myths are meant to evolve, that my community will let go of static illusion when presented with reality, and that our histories will one day become stories of power, not of survival.
Freedom for women in my community will not come from the voices of the same legislative and educational systems that have repressed us. But freedom IS coming. I see it unfold from the creations of female artists who carry with them the reality of their struggles. I see it bleed into forums like World Pulse that allow us to participate in democratic citizenship, and engage us in global story-telling. I see it in my own creative empowerment work with women who are eager to share their stories of injustice. The demystification, re-mythification, (r)evolution is here and it is finally beginning to be fuelled by our voices.
Take action! This post was submitted in response to Voices of Our Future Application: Challenges and Solutions to Creating Change.