Judy Rebick writes, “This year, there really is something to celebrate and it’s not about what we normally think of as the women’s movement. It’s Idle No More.”
She explains, “I’m thinking that Idle No More is perhaps showing us the way forward towards women’s liberation. I know that’s an archaic expression but somehow I think it’s more appropriate to describe what we need now. It came to me during a round dance in the Eaton Centre. It was a powerful expression of collective power, as rallies and demonstrations can be but there was a different feeling. It wasn’t threatening. Everyone in the round dance and everyone watching it was smiling. And when I looked around again, I noticed the vast majority of participants were women. As you know, the founders of Idle No More are women as were most of the local organizers. It seems to me because of that the movement had a different approach, a different feeling. It was just as powerful as any new movement, more powerful because of the place of Indigenous people in Canada and their history but it wasn’t confrontational or angry.”
Rebick points out, “People were standing up not so much fighting back. When you fight back you take on the qualities of the institution against which you are fighting.”
And she argues, “Almost all the barriers to women’s further equality is rooted in the neo-liberal system, including patriarchy and colonialism. All the new movements seem to understand that. More and more we are seeing a comprehension that every issue is connected to every other issue. We cannot have a white middle-class environmental movement. We cannot have a labour movement that ignores issues of sustainability. We cannot have a women’s movement that doesn’t include the job of changing men.”
To read her full column, please go to http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/judes/2013/03/iwd-whats-way-forward.
To find the IWD event in your community, you can enter the name of your community and search at http://www.internationalwomensday.com/esearch.asp?page=7&country=37&town=.