Photo by Cindy Cui / Photo Editor 

cw: References to sexual assault

If you were near Hamilton City Hall at around 6 p.m. on Sept. 19, you would have heard throngs of people yelling “revolution!”. If you had taken a closer look, you would have seen Danielle Boissoneau, the coordinator for Take Back The Night, standing behind a microphone on a makeshift stage and prompting each shout from the crowd with an exuberant “joyful!” 

Together, they formed a chorus — a call honouring this year’s Take Back The Night theme: Joyful Revolution Always.

Take Back The Night is an annual event organized in Hamilton by the Sexual Assault Centre (Hamilton), a non-profit organization that supports survivors of sexual assault. Traditionally, Take Back The Night has been an opportunity for women and gender non-conforming folks in the community to speak out against sexual violence and to advocate on behalf of survivors. It has also celebrated with music, performances, art and tables for local organizations that support women and non-binary folks. 

The first instance of Take Back The Night in Hamilton dates back to 1981. This year marks the event’s 38th year in the city and its first year in recent history without a march. 

The Take Back The Night march began as a symbolic protest to the violence that women experienced when walking alone at night. Since then, it has grown into a method of raising awareness of all forms of violence in the community as well as a way to show support for survivors. 

On Sept. 12, however, SACHA released a statement on their blog to announce that they decided not to march this time. The organization cited safety as a main concern, though the matter swiftly became a discussion of not only safety, but also about relationships with the Hamilton city police. 

“On Sept. 4, 2019, the Take Back the Night (TBTN)Committee hosted a ‘TBTN Community Townhall on Safety’ — we wanted to hear right from the community what safety looks like for them … What was interesting was that no one mentioned the police as a place of safety,” wrote a representative from SACHA in their official statement. 

The situation snowballed into a series of meetings. In consideration of the feedback and turnout from previous Take Back The Night events, SACHA attended a meeting with Ward 3 Councillor Nrinder Nann, intending to ask for four street lanes to be closed instead of the one lane that Take Back The Night attendees used in previous marches. They were surprised to find out they were not allowed to follow the usual route used in previous Take Back The Night events. 

In an effort to reach a compromise, an alternate route for the march was proposed. However, this second option required the inclusion of five paid duty officers, an unexpected fee that SACHA was unable to pay. In a prior Take Back The Night event, the city had provided SACHA with funding for three officers. There had been no such offer this year. 

“We took it upon ourselves to revisit the table with the city and the police. We tried to work out an agreement … and then the agreement started to fall into bad faith negotiations, because they started trying to sneak in things at the last minute that were not acceptable,” said Boissoneau. 

In the end, SACHA decided it was best to cancel the march. 

Lisa Colbert of the Woman Abuse Working Group said she had not been sure at first about SACHA’s decision. As she prepared her organization’s table for the event, she admitted that the march was something she enjoyed. However, although the energy might feel different this time, she recognized that to march despite the predicament with the police would be to do the opposite of empowering those who were marching. 

Similarly, Kat Williams of the Workers’ Arts and Heritage Centre said that a successful partnership with the police and all public servants would not be possible while those in power continued not to listen. 

“In order to serve the people who are in the margins, the people who are suffering — those are the people we need to elevate. It’s especially important for the police industry to listen to those people, and I don’t think that has happened at many gatherings recently,” she added, taking care to emphasize that her views do not necessarily represent that of her organization. 

In the same regard, Gachi Issa of the McMaster Womanists expressed support for SACHA’s decision. Taking into account Canada’s history with the police, she believed SACHA did the right thing by prioritizing the needs of the most marginalized communities. 

With this in mind, Issa said that the presence of the police was always something that should be contested. 

“The police had never been safe for the most marginalized communities and have been created and set up in a way to marginalize us further and to kill us. My hesitation is to always critique the involvement of police and police presence,” Issa said. 

For Boissoneau, the change in this year’s Take Back The Night event was a reminder for community members to hold institutions accountable. Institutions like the police and SACHA, she said, must focus on their responsibilities to the people.

When asked whether she believed the cancellation of the march had a profound effect on Take Back The Night this year, Boissoneau stated that it had. She admitted the people were disappointed about not having a march — but this disappointment, at the same time, was causing them to re-evaluate how they defined reclamation. 

“A lot of people are like, we must march to be able to be powerful. I don’t necessarily think that that’s true. I think that people have the ability to reclaim their autonomy … There’s so many different ways to do it. Marching is only one of those ways,” said Boissoneau. 

Jessica Bonilla-Damptey, SACHA’s director, did not agree that there was a palpable difference. She acknowledged that the march had always been a big component of Take Back The Night but that despite its absence, joy was the dominant feeling in this year’s event.

“I am seeing lots of folks — folks from everywhere, all different nationalities, all different walks of life, all different languages. Everyone is smiling, everybody’s participating. Everybody’s around the tables, looking at what kind of resources are available in our community and everybody’s celebrating … I see joy and I hear joy around me,” she explained. 

For Bonilla-Damptey, the priority was to embody this year’s theme of joyful revolution. The importance was in the community coming together to celebrate each other and show support for survivors, regardless of the role that the police played in the event-planning process and regardless of what might have been different this year. 

Issa felt that the same sentiment was applicable to the idea of community care. 

“We are safe because of each other. Not because of police or because of security. We make each other safe. In order to get to a revolution, we have to be able to sustain each other and to find joy within each other,” she said. 

On Sept. 19, there were no buses waiting to accommodate people who could not march alongside the assemblage and, as the sun set over Hamilton City hall, there was no crowd following SACHA’s usual route. 

There was, however, music and spoken word. There were tables that belonged to groups that supported women-identifying and non-binary folks. There were t-shirts and there were signs that said We Believe You and Empower Others. 

Despite the aftermath of SACHA’s nuanced relationship with the police, Bonilla-Damptey stressed that one facet left unchanged in this year’s Take Back The Night was its ability to facilitate connections within the community. 

Attendees lined up for food. They took buttons and pens as they stopped at each table to speak to the person running it. They gathered to hear the story of Lucy, an elderly survivor for whom the crowd chanted, “We believe Lucy!” 

People tend to believe, according to Boissoneau, that revolution began at an individual level. She argued, however, that when individuals get together and collectively reclaim their space, as hundreds of people did on Take Back The Night — that was revolution.

 

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Graphic by Sabrina Lin

As the semester quickly comes to an end during the busiest time of the year, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the piles of coffee stained study notes and to do lists. Between exams, holiday shopping and all the other things on your plate, it’s important to carve out some time to enjoy yourself. As Hamilton transforms into a winter wonderland, now is the perfect time to check out all the fun events happening across the city.

Close to home

Holiday Market at McMaster

The Phoenix Bar and Grill will be hosting the first ever Holiday Market on campus. The patio will be decked out in twinkling lights and local vendors. Complete your holiday shopping while sipping on hot drinks and snacking on festive treats, or get creative at the crafts stations to make your own festive arts. No holiday market is complete without a photo with McMaster’s very own Santa. Entry to the market is free but make sure to bring cash for shopping at the vendors!

Craftadian Christmas Market

Looking for a lovely homemade gift that you don’t have to make yourself? Check out the Craftadian Christmas Market on Dec. 1 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at McMaster Innovation Park. Over 80 local makers will be there selling unique and beautiful gift ideas, from a toy for your baby cousin to a scarf for your Secret Santa pick.

Winter Wander in Westdale

Head down to Westdale on Dec. 7 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. for some wintry fun. There will be live music and entertainment, a vendor market at the Westdale Public Library, horse and carriage rides and late night shopping.

Locke Street

Into the Abyss December Shopshows

Record store Into the Abyss is putting on two of its intimate in-shop shows during December. Head down to the store on Dec. 1 at 7 p.m. to see Toronto singer-songwriter Adrian Underhill, Montreal pop duo, Best Fern and Hamilton singer-songwriter, Gareth Inkster. On Dec. 13 at 7 p.m., the set list includes Toronto songwriter and poet Steven Lambke and duo Construction and Destruction will perform in celebration of their joint EP. Hamilton’s own Wish Coin will also be performing.

Downtown

Feminist Trivia Night

Looking for some feminist fun that supports a good cause? On Dec. 3 at 7 p.m., take a night off studying and attend Broad Conversations’ Feminist Trivia Night hosted at Toast Wine Bar. Admission is PWYC with 100 per cent of the proceeds being donated to Sexual Assault Centre (Hamilton Area). Open to everyone, this is a great chance to unwind with your friends and win some cool team prizes!

Gore Park Ferris Wheel

The Christmas Ferris wheel in Gore Park will be up through the entirety of exam season, from Dec. 7 to Dec. 23. Taking a free ride on the Ferris wheel makes the perfect downtown study break, providing both a layback outing and a spectacular view of downtown Hamilton. Stop by Redchurch Café and Gallery for a warm drink and stroll through their latest exhibit.

Hamilton Downtown Christmas Market

Head down to Gore Park between Dec. 7 and Dec. 9 for the annual Christmas market. On the opening Friday, the market will kick off with the Christmas tree lighting at 5 p.m. and there will also be free live music from the Troy Harmer band. Throughout the rest of the weekend, check out local vendors such as Red Church Café, Toast Wine Bar, Collective Arts, Hamont Doodles and Hamilton Hobos. In addition, there will be a fully licensed mulled wine and hot cider bar, DJs playing throughout the weekend, a mistletoe kissing station and much more. The best part is that entrance to the market is free.

Crystal Mala Bracelet Workshop

On Dec. 8 at 2 p.m., check out this workshop for a chance to create your own semi-precious stone or crystal bracelet to aide in mindfulness and personal growth. The history of this process, how to care for your bracelet and the stone options will be explained in a booklet given at the workshop. In addition to making the bracelets, the workshop will begin with a guided mediation. The workshop cost $15 for the bracelet and a hand sewn bag to store it in. If you want to make more than one bracelet, additional bracelets cost $8. If you’re thinking this would make a perfect gift for someone, you can get your bracelet gift wrapped for $4.

Polyester Queersmas Party

On Dec. 15 from 9 p.m to 2:30 a.m. Polyester will be hosting a drag show and dance party at This Ain’t Hollywood as part of their monthly events in Hamilton. The show will feature drag performances by Beautiful Baby Bel Bel. A mix of pop, house, remixes and beloved Christmas jams will be included in DJ sets by Rosé and Mia. Polyester hosts positive and safe party environments that are open to everyone. Cover is $10.

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Photos By Kyle West

Since February of this year, local media artist, Vanessa Crosbie Ramsay, has devoted hours to hand-knitting and wrapping into a ball 9000 feet of Internet cable. This knitting and wrapping culminated when the 40 feet long by 12 feet wide structure was positioned outside last Thursday for Supercrawl, along with two giant, pink knitting needles.

The piece, entitled male-dominated, speaks to the underrepresentation of women in science,technology, engineering and math fields. The idea was sparked by friends of hers who had started a technology business and employed no women or people of colour. Aware that this problem is systemic, she wanted to create a piece that commented on it in an unexpected way.

“These types of companies hire less women and… when they have women that are hired, they're [in] pretty misogynist spaces a lot of the time. [M]y work in general grows out of feminist issues and this… is just a small way to contribute to bringing attention to an issue like that,” she explained.

In creating the piece, Ramsay considered what is historically ‘women’s work’. The cables wrapped together into a semblance of a yarn ball calls to mind a past where the majority of women did work as homemakers.

However, contrasted with the technological tint of the cables, she brings onlookers back to the present, reminding them that in 2018, a lot of women are getting degrees and holding jobs outside of the home. While women might still knit, as Ramsay did to create the piece, it isn’t necessarily all that women do.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bm6BFX0nFv1/?utm_source=ig_web_button_share_sheet

Ramsay herself is a good example of this. She attended York University, where she obtained a bachelor’s degree in fine arts with a minor in English. She juggles multiple roles as an arts educator, a media artist, a visual artist, a filmmaker and more.

She works in a space where women historically have been shut out from. Earlier this year, when Ramsay won a City of Hamilton Media Arts Award, she felt it was important to use her speech to talk about the disappointing representation of women in art.

“[W]e need to give more opportunities for women. I know the art gallery is working on it. Hopefully the trickledown is that all…organizations are working on it, having more women, having more diverse representation of all different types of people, rather than just white dudes. There's some amazing women artists, even just in the city and we need to do more to celebrate that.”

Ramsay’s focus on intersectional feminism has defined the trajectory of her career. Following her graduation from York, she worked in television editing, but wasn’t happy with the portrayal of women in shows. Since 2010, she has been working in visual art, allowing her to express herself and her views. She currently has a feminist art collective named the DAV(e) Collective with two other professional artists.

I would like to see more friendly, inclusive, welcoming environments for women so [that] when they get jobs...they [would] want to stay in them. And the same in art. We just need more representation in all of these fields and safer [and] more inclusive spaces for women in general,” she explained.

There’s a definite need for more welcoming spaces in the art world where thoughtful artists like Ramsay can exist in. Unfortunately, her experiences as a woman in the art world run parallel to the experiences of women working in several different fields, including STEM.

Some days Ramsay is optimistic and some days she is not. She is encouraged by the progress that is being made towards creating better environments for women, but sees how slow this progress can be. There’s no doubt that her expansive piece and all the work that she has done is helping carve out the space she strives for.

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I breathed a sigh of relief Sunday night. Leonardo DiCaprio has officially received his Oscar. You may have seen the deluge of memes, gifs, and video compilations all protesting his lack of Academy recognition. I have never seen the Internet collectively want something so badly. “Please God,” I said, eyes skyward, “let this be the last I hear about how mean the Academy has been to little Leo.”

Don’t get me wrong, I think DiCaprio is a brilliant actor, but in a year that the Oscars have been boycotted for being unapologetically and overwhelmingly white, all the fanfare surrounding one white dude left a bad taste in my mouth. Now that we can all sleep soundly knowing Leo has finally made his parents proud, the time has come to stop praising white guys for things that the rest of us do without fanfare. Here to help is my list of five places to start:

opinions_praise2

1) Winning awards

Yeah, we get it. White guys are good at being awarded stuff. When almost everyone winning an award looks pretty much the same, why are we still excited over a predictable result? Things may be looking up; I take solace in the fact that the proposed scholarship intended for white heterosexual people at the University of Western and the University of Windsor was struck down by the Ontario Superior Court last week. Progress.

2) Stay at home dads

Or for that matter, Dads who help with parenting at all. You do not get brownie points for doing things that women have been obliged to do for centuries. Frankly, I don’t care if you are overcoming gender stigma to be an effective parent, because you are not the only one doing so (see also: single mothers). Dads who change diapers are not heroes for dealing with the same crap we do.

3) Embracing their dad bods

Look, I am all for body positivity. Regardless of who you are, you deserve to feel happy in your skin. However, I am pissed that when people of color and women accept (or even dare to celebrate) their appearances it is considered egotistical and vain, while when white dads do it, it is amusing and charming. Congratulations on inviting yourselves to the feminist body positivity party, just don’t expect me to be ecstatic when you are praised for arriving late and partying harder than we do.

opinions_praise3

4) Not being sexist/racist/etc.

I’m looking at you Matt McGorry. If this list were in any meaningful order, this would be number one. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen men praised for simply not being the-biggest-douche-to-ever-douche. I absolutely refuse to praise you for not using that racist word, I won’t give you kudos for not committing sexual assault, you are not my personal Jesus for using someone’s correct pronouns. Recognizing your privilege and working to overcome it makes you a half-decent human being. Welcome to the club.

5) Teaching us stuff

I’m really happy that you read that article or saw that documentary, but please stop trying to teach people how they are oppressed. As someone who has had firsthand experience with sexism, I’m not going to be impressed when you try and tell me about the intricacies of the wage gap. This by the way is not a dude-exclusive problem; white feminists have a long history of lecturing down to, or “teaching” people of color about racism. Rule of thumb: teach those who need to hear it most, i.e. other people with your privileges who refuse to recognize there is a problem. I promise you will get significantly less praise than you do preaching to the choir, but instead you will potentially make a difference.

In the end, making that difference is exactly what this comes down to. Would you rather enact change by addressing your own privilege? Or be angry at this article for stereotyping all white men? It is difficult to reject what you have been told your entire life — that you have earned every one of your victories without an unearned advantage. If you do manage to do the right thing, just know I’m not lining up to thank you for your decency.

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“I’m not a feminist.”

I was shocked to hear the words leave her mouth; I almost didn’t even believe it.

“I can’t tell, are you joking right now?” I asked.

“No. That’s just never a word I would use to describe myself.”

Hearing my mom tell me she didn’t relate to the term “feminist” was a blow to my whole understanding of society. For my entire life she has been the driving force that has taught me that women deserve equal rights when compared to their male counterparts and that I should always take care of myself and never rely on a man — or anyone else for that matter. And she is the one that is always the most disturbed and angry when she finds out I’ve faced sexism in the workplace. Yet for some reason, she wouldn’t call herself a feminist.

My parents, like many other students’, grew up in Canada in the ‘60s and the ‘70s. While they are both racialized individuals and these decades of their youth made headway for movements in civil rights, their greater understanding of things like gender and women’s rights, on the other hand, is slightly tainted with memories of what would have then been considered extremist activism.

Second-wave feminism was sweeping the nation at the time, and if youth were not actively involved in the movement (for a variety of reasons), they were often taught that this was something negative and over the top. Especially for people that were already being treated as pariahs for their skin colour, going into the street and talking about abortion and marital rape just brought up more opportunities for people to mock and abuse them.

The pivotal moments in my parents’ youth were restrained for various socio-political reasons. And because of these reasons, they now struggle with grasping the meaning of these terms in our modern society.

The actual semantics of the word “feminist” have gotten a horrible reputation over the years. And contrary to many a belief, some sampling in a Beyoncé song isn’t going to change everyone’s minds. Often I feel that my mission as a feminist is to overthrow the opinions of the people closest to me in age range, because they “are the future” and we should be focusing our time on them. But the harder mission may be to work with the people who raised me, and to educate people that I feel already know what’s going on, but don’t quite have the history to know what it means in our day and age.

The pivotal moments in my parents’ youth were restrained for various socio-political reasons. And because of these reasons, they now struggle with grasping the meaning of these terms in our modern society.  

When trying to create a society that is truly intersectional, I often forget the important role that age plays. While there are many older citizens who do not stand up in arms in our present-day activism simply because they’re assholes, there are also many who weren’t raised to have the same knowledge and understanding that is being promoted to us today.

When we’re looking to talk to people and to promote diverse causes, it’s important to remember that age is also a point of privilege and the terms and ideas we’re bringing up may take more effort to understand. My mom is a feminist, but she refuses to call herself one because of the time she grew up in. Here’s to hoping our current efforts towards education in feminist activism can start to turn back time.

Photo Credit: Diana Davies

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By: Lauren Beals

The newly formed DeGroote Women’s Professional Network wants to tap into the potential of bringing like-minded women together to work towards a common goal.

A collective of female leaders in the McMaster and DeGroote communities, the network is committed to bringing together passionate students, alumni, academics and local corporate partners to advance women in business and society.

Evolved from a breakfast series on women in business, the network was formally launched on Jan. 19 to a crowd of 200 attendees at the Burlington Ron Joyce Center.

Linda Morgan, President of the Clic Effect Inc., offered an exciting perspective on change management in a keynote address that included a four-step framework for change assessment and plenty of audience participation.

“It was a lot of fun,” said event coordinator and DeGroote School of Business Advancement Officer Kristine Leadbetter. “She looked at the different takes of people in the workplace and how they adapt to change. She also had the surprise element of dancing to demonstrate how when people are moving it is impossible to determine where they will go next and that unless you have a clear set of objectives you can lose focus from your ultimate goal.”

On a larger scale, the network hopes to tackle broader issues faced by women in professional settings through education and mentorship, laying to rest the storied “old boys’ club” of the corporate world. Encouraging woman to pursue leadership positions and nurturing ambition are also high priorities.

“[The network] is opening up the doors to have those conversations without needing a meeting with someone per say, that will hopefully encourage all woman to go for whatever it is that they want to do,” said Leadbetter.

On a larger scale, the network hopes to tackle broader issues faced by women in professional settings through education and mentorship. 

More often than men, women must juggle to prioritize education, work and family, a balance Leadbetter is confident mentorship will help create. “Being a part of the network means finding like-minded women. Whether you are in the time of your life when priorities are close to home or are solely focused on your career it is great to talk to women who are going through the same situation and see if they have solutions, tips or advice. Even just running ideas off of someone outside your core group of friends can be helpful.”

Leadbetter was also quick to specify that despite the network’s name, the events are not offered exclusively to women. “We do have men that attend our events which is totally fine. It is great to have men that support our initiative, it is a very important part of it actually.”

In addition to the launch event, a wide range of opportunities to become involved are currently available, including a “Knowledge@DeGroote” lecture series with industry leaders and cocktail networking evenings. Students are offered free event registration and are encouraged to attend not only for employment connections but also for career advice and exposure to seasoned perspectives. They can also connect with the network through social media and professionally online through LinkedIn.

However, for women in business the path to equality is still paved with many obstacles.

“We still have a way to go … a lot of initiatives right now are showing that there is change, but also that change is still needed,” said Leadbetter.

Photo Credit: Mike Lalich

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Cassandra Jeffery
The Silhouette

Ladies, it’s about time we have a serious conversation about gender equality.

There’s a certain issue that I’ve been trying to rack my brain around for quite some time now, and the finger to blame is on us women. Well, the first finger anyways. I’m sure as women we’ve all felt the bitter sting of sexist oppression in one form or another at some point in our lives. And even in the name of progression, unfortunately, I’m sure we will continue to feel the wrath of sexism for decades to come. As much as I dislike the way that society makes me feel as a woman, I absolutely hate the way other women in society can make me feel. As women, we can be the worst perpetrators of sexism and frankly, I’m already fighting one class of gender difference, I don’t have the energy to defend myself from girl-girl sexism.

I can guarantee we’ve all experienced and took part in a form of woman shaming. Now, I’m not going to pretend I’m a saint because though I have been the shamed, I admit I have also been the shamer on various occasions. Only now that I’ve received a certain level of education in women’s rights and a little more experience with age, can I say that I try to be a good feminist and stay away from shaming other women. Just think back to all of the times you commented on a woman’s weight (friend or not). How many times have you referred to a woman’s attire or sex life (presumed or not) with words like ‘slut’ or ‘whore’? When’s the last time you judged a woman based solely on what she looks like? Or, on the flip side, when’s the last time you referred to yourself as a slut because in your mind, because you think you’ve slept with one too many people? Not only is there woman-woman shaming, but we shame ourselves as well. And of course, we understand women’s identity primarily with how we understand society. Society implies women are to act a certain way, especially within the realm of sexuality, so we subconsciously follow suit. For example, how many times have you heard this scenario:

Girl discussing a date—“I went on a date last night with (add random name here) and we ended up sleeping together. But I completely wanted to and they’re only the 5th person I’ve ever been with so at least I’m nowhere near the double digits yet. I’m not like (add other, most likely woman’s, name here). She’s been with 15 people. I’m not that slutty.”

There are so many things wrong with a statement like this I don’t know where to being. First up, why do we always feel the need to justify to ourselves and to others why we were intimate with someone? In my opinion, your sexuality is exactly that: yours! If you’re comfortable, happy and consenting then why does it matter if your “number” is 2, 5 or 35? What might feel right for one woman in terms of sexuality may be completely different for another so let’s please lay off the slut shamming. We don’t allow and appreciate when men refer to us as “sluts” so why is okay for us to shame another woman for her personal sex life?

Women need to start becoming more encouraging to one another. As I’ve said earlier, we’re already facing oppression in society and we need that support and reassurance from other women in order to make solid progress. It’s about time we started to compliment and acknowledge the accomplishments (whether large or small) that other women make. I’m tired of hearing women say “well, she only got that promotion because of [insert angry accusation here].”

Enough.

One of the biggest issues I have with women is the constant weight-shamming culture that continues to exist despite our efforts to promote the ideology of beauty at whatever size. We’ve become big on this idea that curves are sexy but it seems there is a certain ratio quota to meet “curviness.” In a blog post by bellejarblog entitled “10 signs that feminism may not be for you,” the author writes, “you think that there might be a type of body-shaming that is acceptable.” Never in any case is it okay to shame another woman based on her body. We have to remember that we all have bodily autonomy. We choose how to maintain our bodies and it isn’t for anyone else to judge based on our choices. We can push both extremes of the situation; of course you would be concerned if a friend suffered from an eating disorder. It is unhealthy to either be much too thin or obese however we are still not in the right to judge based on such cases.

 

Here’s where the support part comes in. Be a good friend, listen and offer support, but never judgment. Bodily autonomy applies to self-maintenance as well. A women’s choice to grow or shave her body hair is exactly that, a choice. We can choose to have plastic surgery and we can certainly choose whether or not we have children. We must respect the choices of other women despite our own beliefs and opinions. It is her body and her choices, no one else’s. Shaming a woman for her choices only reiterates the gender hierarchy already implicated in society. So I’d say it’s about time we start supporting and encouraging the very people who make up our feminist movement.

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