The personal IS political

Polly, at Marginal Notes, has a very personal and very political story about rape posted.  It is a sad commentary on our country that one in two Canadian women is assaulted in her lifetime and that one in four Canadian girls is sexually mistreated before the age of 16.  Isn’t it time that Canada make this violence end, that all who call themselves progressive come together to stop this mistreatment?  Isn’t it time for what Polly calls a more radical politics?

The time has come for a more radical politics. I believe a storm is brewing particularly among the women of Canada. We must begin to talk about the highly political personal on our blogs, in our living rooms, on our campuses, and in our workplaces. (Notice how what it is to be “professional” serves to silence the private.) We now have confirmation of what we knew deep down: formal equality for women still leaves us vulnerable. We need a cultural revolution.

Ask yourselves, why we are told that personal blogs don’t fit in with a political community? Ask yourselves why men in our lives are questioning how personal we get on our blogs?

Our potential power is terrifying.


6 thoughts on “The personal IS political

  1. “It is a sad commentary on our country that one in two Canadian women is assaulted in her lifetime and that one in four Canadian girls is sexually mistreated before the age of 16.”

    These statistics defy common sense. That’s because they’re bullshit.

    It’s a disservice to the victims of assault and rape to pretend that such acts occur more frequently than rainy days in Vancouver or, worse still, to fabricate such statistics for political purposes.

  2. Yes, I think we need do something and something strong. Clearly, (looking at the above comment) there are too many people unwilling to remove their heads from the sand.

  3. I think we do have to do something. The climate of sexism and ignorance is becoming unacceptable. Does anyone else feel that they are not in a self-identified “progressive” community, but suddenly back to the Victorian ages?

  4. Eventhough,women throughout the world need to come together to stand against the inequities of the lives of all women, women must acknowledge that the personal is political; as women, we must not exclude other women’s stories, we need to take into account their pain and their experiences before we are able to change the inequities between men and women.

    How are we suppose to change something when we are unable to see the unfairness of the women standing next to us? as women,I believe we must ask ourselves why we choose to alter our appearance, changing our brunette hair to blonde, and our blue eyes to blue. We need to support the cause that we are beautiful just as we are. We need to ask ourselves, why is it that women feel the need to submit to men for their attention? Why are we willing to oppress other women in order to be accepted by a man?

    Until women learn to love themselves truly, and accept their self worth as they are, as women we will not truly believe in the cause of equality and begin to change the inequities within our lives.

    It does not matter what skin color, or eye color, what class a person is, as long as we bleed, have a beating heart, we are human being that deserve equality, and therefore the right to succeed.

  5. On Comment by O’Brien — November 12, 2006:

    Your comment is very valuable to me. It has been very hard for me to go through the journey of learning to love myself and I still do have some setbacks but I’m getting there. I went through extreme emotional, physical and sexual abuse (first time I ever publish this…I’m scared, but, I think the positives of doing this outweigh the negatives). Not only did I feel insignificant because of the abuse, I was also taught (by society) that I was less because I’m a woman; this added more pain in my life. That being said, I also considered myself guilty of contributing to the oppression of women by following society’s ‘rules’ for being perfect but NOT ANYMORE. Like you said, we alter our appearance – I know I did, like, dying my hair blonde to feel pretty because I never did even though everybody would tell me that I was beautiful. When I finally came to terms with the fact that my body and face are in fact symmetrical and have some ‘exotic’ features that we as humans perceive and call “Beauty”, (sorry for being technical but that’s all it means to me) it never helped in any way positively. It’s been actually more detrimental as far as what’s important to me. Yes, it attracts more men and attention in general but, that’s not the kind of attention that truly makes my heart beat faster, feel warmth, love, understanding, acceptance, respect, validation, etc… These are the things I seek for but I never had because I hated myself and like I said, my history of abuse and society’s view of women contributed to this. About almost a year ago, a major “accident” happened in my life that made me understand I needed help and support to overcome my pain, and that horrible feeling of really believing your less, stupid, not a good person (in my mind, I was bad because if I had been good nobody would’ve treated me bad), and the worse feeling of them all: NOT FEELING LIKE YOU’RE A HUMAN BEING. Therapy, support from family members, and my drive to overcome these obstacles were the answer. I now live a happy life – still go through pain at times but, only time will help with that. Every day IS a better day as I recover and gain new perspectives on the way I look at life. I’m finally learning to love myself…and my soul.

    Diana Chance

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