Years ago I started a LiveJournal because I liked reading other people’s LiveJournals, and I had some things to complain about.

It turned into a blog about having a baby and maternity leave, and dealing with a bit of kid growing up stuff. It became a place where I shared and ranted and hopefully made people laugh or think. Not that many people, mind you.

But it did help me find friends – some of whom I’ve met in person. Mostly it’s been good for me, and it’s a storage vault where my kid can come and read the letters I wrote before they were born, and when they were too little to talk.

Lately I’ve barely been writing anything here at all, but the past few days, weeks, however long it’s been have been fuelling a fire. Writing in my private journal has helped, let’s give here a go.

After bills attacking LGTBQIA rights in multiple states, bills attacking critical race theory – which most normal people would call ‘teaching history’ – this leaked draft on Roe v Wade, the convoy in my hometown made up of some people who are just broke and tired and some people who are racist assholes, the nasty sales pitches going on in the Conservative Party leadership… All of these things, and then last week there was a Supreme Court decision that says someone can go out and get super intoxicated and rape someone or kill them and bear no responsibility. And then a bunch of girls were dress-coded at their French Catholic high school.

Anecdotally, male teachers were sent in to tell these girls to bend over and touch their toes and at least 50 to 60 girls were then sent to the office and had their phones confiscated. On a 30C day in a school with no air conditioning. Other students walked out and protested, the police were called and there is video of at least two teenagers being arrested.

The board put out a notice saying that those two were students of a different board – which is a choice. They were still teenagers who had been standing on the sidewalk, wanting to join the protest over administrative over-reach and sexism, when they were slammed into the side of a police car.

After that I felt all of the mom rage in me bubbling up.

All of the attacks on women, telling us how unimportant we are – merely incubators for something that could turn out to be a man – how unimportant our children are unless the conform to standard, all of the beauty being drained out of the world..

All of the rights that have been fought for over generations being stripped away.

I want to go and sit on the steps of Parliament Hill with all the other angry women and demonstrate that no, this will not happen here. Not to us and not to our children.

I want to remind every “fiscal conservative” that they are actively destroying lives when they vote for the party even if they aren’t voting on those issues. Because their vote still counts towards those issues.

I want millions of non-voters to start engaging because eventually these things will affect you or someone you love.

All of the things that failed at the start of the pandemic – when health care got overwhelmed, and schools were forced to closed again and again, why women had to quit their jobs and long-term care homes suffered such massive losses – all of that is because of decades of government cuts. All of it.

We need to do better for each other. We live in communities. We share schools and hospitals and workplaces. We visit the same stores. You should look around you and see other human beings.

This grand Canadian vision – what we always saw about ourselves, and what we want to show to the world – is that we are a good country that takes care of it’s people. That’s a farce.

Right now, when I drive by a car flying a Canadian flag I wince. I have a maple leaf tattooed on my body, I love this country, I’m proud to have been born here – but only proud so far as we’re ready to admit our mistakes and make amends. Only so far as we are willing to change and grow.

I want to sit on the steps of Parliament and tell every passing politician that I refuse to accept the games, the PR, the circular answers. That politics is not just about getting re-elected.

Further reading:

This interview with a former Texas child welfare worker

This short thread from Fae Johnstone

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