On Saturday, March 3rd I participated in my first ever rally & march in honour of International Women’s Day. It was an incredible way to spend my morning and afternoon. The rally took place at the OISE Auditorium, and the march took us down to Nathan Phillips Square where we joined in solidarity with the rally being held for Tina Fontaine, the 15 year Aboriginal girl who was murdered in 2014.
My favourite part of the rally at OISE was when Susanne Nyaga, the first black woman to be Student Union President at Ryerson in 50 years, took the stage and talked about intersectionality and inclusion. Her speech was amazing. At one point she called attention to the select few women in the crowd wearing pink pussy hats, who for some reason thought they were going to applauded, and told them directly that those hats are the opposite of intersectional. One woman initially stood up to cheer for herself, but then immediately sat back down when she realized what was happening. However, she kept her hat on, so I don’t think she was really listening. There were a few other TERF-y signs on the march like “Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Bleeding” and some with pictures of uteri. Not all women have vaginas, not all women get their periods, and not all women have the same reproductive organs.
When we made our signs, we wanted to make sure they were inclusive, so we made them sister-signs; The Future Is Female and The Future Is Intersectional. We also added hashtags to the back; #BelieveWomen and #MeToo. If you scroll through the #IWDToronto feed on Twitter, you can see me in a couple of photos!
Here are a few of my favourite signs from the day!
I’m already looking forward to next year’s event and I hope to attend more rallies and marches throughout the year.
Thanks for reading!