I’ve been drinking black coffee today and listening to Emilie Autumn. This means two things; that I’m in the frame of mind to kick ass and that I’m really getting into the EA’s musical repertoire. Specifically, her track Fight Like A Girl. It’s a pleasure and not an entirely guilty one. The two came about because as I was waiting for coffee at the local grind house, I let my eyes flick over the daily commuter pages and saw that at this time of year shelters and safe houses are FULL of women who are escaping abusive domestic situations, some with their children, some alone.
And then Fight Like A Girl came onto my iPod on shuffle.
For those of your who aren’t au fait with my modern style of fortune telling, I use my iPod as I like to think of as an oracle. The idea is when kismet-soaked moments lead you to an epiphany, that you’re a little more receptive. So I decided to get personal and mention why this struck such a note with me and why I feel the need to bring it up, talk about it, and push to protect.
My mother married young the first time around. She got involved with a charming fellow, and married him. She didn’t see his colours for what they were until after I’d been born. Now, she’d had to deal with quite a bit of unacceptable behaviour from him but after the advent of my birth she realized she had to get out of that situation. It escalated, and after my mother asserted her authority, she took me, as much as she could carry, and got out of there. I was an infant and have no recollection of this and it was only after I was an adult that these skeletons came out of the closet.
My mother and I were both lucky we had family and that they were relieved and happy to have us come to them and get out of that predicament. I thank my lucky stars my mom was strong enough to come to her senses and do what was safest for us both. Reading that article was a bit of a trigger, hitting close to home, as it were. It’s a stark reminder that there are many women who do NOT have the luxury of that option, and either stay in unhealthy situations or else leave and risk becoming victims and statistics if they don’t get the help and support they need when they are that vulnerable.
I write this because we’ve been selling our Sweet Soul Burlesque/Keefer calendar at various locations around Vancouver and online. This is a transparent attempt on my part to sell you more. Not out of vanity, but because ALL proceeds from calendars sold go to the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre which offers that very support and is in danger of being overcrowded, forcing these women to seek out alternate options. I want to help. I want to sleep knowing that if all those years ago my mother went that route that we’d not be turned away, if we needed somewhere to go.
The saddest thing is right after I saw this article, on the following page was a piece picking apart the behaviour of young female celebrities. I was scandalized, not because of twerking or late night drinking these women were written up for but the blatant attack on their morals and sense of self immediately after the hullabaloo about ‘how we need to take care of women in need’ and ‘women who fall through the cracks’. The system is fundamentally flawed to demonize women if they act in a non-ladylike fashion, and pat them on the head and say ‘there, there’ when they DO fall.
It pisses me off.
Hollywood has a long laundry list of grievances against women that don’t conform. Usually women get tarred with just ‘slut’ but usually after she ages and becomes, as Tina Fey points out, unfuckable, she is just crazy. Frances Farmer is a perfect example of one of the actresses left out to dry and wither in an insane asylum. Calling someone a derogatory term, whether it be sexual or mental health is such a easy way to write off someone’s credibility and play the bully. But I’ve hope we can not just throw filler into the cracks of the system. I’m hoping we can actually change the fucking foundation altogether.
Renovations are upon us, kids.
Let’s make sure there’s no more ‘falling through cracks’ because we don’t create the cracks in the first place.
If you want to help you can always make a donation to the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre or buy one of the calendars.
Little Miss Risk