A Feminist Rant We All Can Agree With

By Rebecca L. Montgomery

Today I flipped through one of my old notebooks from 4th year university and found a page where I had quickly jot down something I had eavesdropped one evening at the bus stop... 

"No mom, I wouldn't walk anywhere without Tyler anyway." A girl spoke into the phone, walking by me. It was already dark out on campus and she was walking alone. 

It was around the time of the heavily publicized sexual assaults at UBC. Multiple women had been groped by a mystery man on campus at night. 

I remember thinking of the absurdity of having to have a boy with you in order to go somewhere at night. I felt like the girl on the phone, lying to her mother, would agree with me. 

MUST. WRITE. THIS. DOWN. MUST. REMEMBER!

(My thoughts at the time.)

And in come flooding more memories from university.

I remember a bunch of boys in my class explaining to me why feminism doesn't work... trying to feed me sentences I knew they had directly heard from one of our professors. Even though they've never read Judith Butler. Even though they haven't even considered that I had just finished a book about how genital mutilation of girls still happens and how there are still places in the world where girls aren't being educated because of their sex. EVEN THOUGH I had mentioned in my most recent class presentation that women only had the right to vote in Quebec in 1940. Or how I had read that morning that Indigenous women are going missing and being murdered at a much higher rate than other women in Canada - a rate so high it constitutes nothing less than a national human crisis. That when Stephan Harper was asked about this, he said, "it isn't really high on our radar." Dec. 14th, 2014. 

It made me recall how we were told as students at UBC that because of the sexual assaults women should now, especially, not go outside at night alone. That we shouldn't study in the library at late hours alone, that we should use our whistles in emergencies... even though we're told that we're more likely to be raped by someone we know. 

I wonder how much it cost UBC to make and distribute the whistles. I wonder if it would have been the same cost as holding free and mandatory, attendance taken, workshops about giving and receiving consent. 

PS - I wonder what idiot decided to make them pink in an obvious attempt to market to women, making women feel targeted yet again without a viable means of protection AND leaving out men who have been survivors of sexual assault.