In 2010, many people ask the question: “Feminism? Isn’t that dead? We don’t need feminism anymore.” To that, RebELLEs responds, “heck yes we do! Wake up and dream, dream big sistahs!”
Today in Canada, where womyn’s rights are under attack, where funding to feminist and womyn’s organizations has been cut, where indigenous people are still not respected, immigrant and refugee womyn are not valued, where womyn still do not have full control over our bodies or reproduction, where womyn and girls are hypersexualized and face obscene amounts of violence, where the environment is threatened to the point where humanity itself is in peril, where the only national feminist umbrella group, the National Action Committee (NAC), has dissolved, and when womyn are still being oppressed and exploited because we are womyn, yes, we certainly do need feminism. The RebELLEs movement is a very diverse and feisty new pan Canadian feminist network and young womyn are the next generation of feminists who are going to fight–with love and with rage. As young womyn we need to learn from and work with our elders while also forming our own feminist analysis and priorities for action.
The second RebELLEs gathering, to be held in Winnipeg on May 20-23, 2011, is the ideal time to converge and infuse our society with a new wave of feminist thought and action. It is a time to strengthen our movement by creating demands for change–changes we want to see in our relationships, communities, government and society. We will envision a better world. This is our revolution. It is now.
Because of the current right-wing political climate–slashing of funds to womyn’s groups and advocacy–Winnipeg’s FEM REV that is convening the gathering, is calling on our sisters for financial and organizational support and involvement in the organization and mobilization for the 2011 Gathering. We are a grassroots collective of young feminists being creative, innovative, resourceful, and thrifty in order to propel our movement. Unlike the 2008 Gathering, the funding will likely come from how we do things best here in the prairies: fundraising socials, garage sales, and calling on the community for support, connections, and hook-ups. We’re creating alternative ways of organizing, gathering, and fighting for justice; we’re denouncing the myth that we live in a post-patriarchy and post-feminist society; we’re building on–and being supported by–the strong feminist networks that exists across Canada and Québec; we’re boosting the momentum from the last Gathering and we’re revving the RebELLEs movement, bringing in more young feminists and teaching young womyn the meaning of, and need for feminist action. Join us! We are the young RebELLEs who have answered a feminist call and we are proud to call ourselves feminists.
Sarah.k Granke and Lissie Rappaport, FemRev/Organizing Committee of the 2nd Pan-Canadian RebELLEs Gathering
This article appeared in the November/December 2010 issue of Canadian Dimension (The New Feminism).