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Richmond IndyMedia Live! Every Tuesday, 12:30 - 1PM on 97.3 WRIR LP-FM, and streaming online from wrir.org!

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March 8 Women's Day Discussion and March 10 Appreciation for Abortion Providers Day

Because I am a woman.
Because feminism is why I wake up in the morning.
Because feminism is the best thing that ever happened to me.
Because I have a lot of questions and concerns about feminism and its history.
Because I wanted to be in a room full of other women on International Women’s day.

These are just some of the reasons the 29 people who attended yesterday’s feminism discussion at Queer Paradise gave about why they showed up to such an event. It was a diverse crowd, spanning generations, gender identities, and even the globe.... Follow the link below to get the full scoop on Women's Day in Richmond.

Yesterday in Brazil, 35,000 women marched in part to celebrate Women’s Day. Women in India put out the call for a Global Women’s Strike. Women and their allies came together to share and struggle together across the US. Maybe this time next year, Richmond can pull off a bigger and better Women’s Day on March 8 here in our hometown.

Tomorrow, March 10, is the U.S’s National Day of Appreciation for Abortion Providers, a date created in 1996 commemorating the death of Dr. David Gun, the first abortion doctor assassinated by anti-abortion terrorists. Perhaps next year we can unite March 8 and March 10, tying together these crucial remembrances and creating even more time together. Yesterday's post-discussion performance served this purpose terrifically, as it was a benefit for the Richmond Reproductive Freedom Project. Hopefully, we can get together and work together long before next year comes around.

Because I am a woman.
Because feminism is why I wake up in the morning.
Because feminism is the best thing that ever happened to me.
Because I have a lot of questions and concerns about feminism and its history.
Because I wanted to be in a room full of other women on International Women’s day.

These are just some of the reasons the 29 people who attended yesterday’s feminism discussion at Queer Paradise gave about why they showed up to such an event. It was a diverse crowd, spanning generations, gender identities, and even the globe.

One woman, a native of India, came to hear what the Western perspective on feminism is. Several older feminists attended to see what younger feminists and takes on feminism look like, while also importantly being able to share their own knowledge of feminism’s history, contributions and conflicts. Six men attended, with a few making some terrific points during the discussion, they spent most of the night attentively listening. The LBGTQ community turned out with high interest and very compelling perspectives and questions.

The diversity of folks in the room coupled with a sense of calm celebration to create a genuinely intriguing and giving conversation. Everything from personal stories to broader political issues was discussed. Practical advice was given, such as how to stand up for yourself and/or others in everyday sexist situations. History was passed down, with people describing what it was like to be a feminist in the 50s, 60s, and 70s (it was both wonderful and difficult). Folks noted things like feminism giving us the words to describe women’s issues, such as the phrase “domestic violence? to finally put a label to “that thing that happens to women and is just accepted,? but also struggles within feminism, such as issues of class, race and gender.

The relationships of all our numerous –isms threaded the discussion throughout the night. Classism, racism, sizism, ageism… for many, these issues all seem interconnected and also, unfortunately, all these –isms seem to be experiencing an upswing in this country currently. While people were visibly relieved and appreciative to be in a room of like-minded women and feminists, there was a pressing consensus that right now such dialogue, clarity and unity is desperately needed as people from all walks of life feel or are literally under attack.

Going strong for over two and a half hours, the conversation wrapped up around 9:30pm, with everyone expressing keen interest in such events in the future. After a brief break, the night’s celebration of International Women’s Day continued with a round of performances, while the figurative hat (or literal coffee can in this case) was passed for the Richmond Reproductive Freedom Project. Poet Ceres and musician Trouble wowed people with original works that spotlighted issues of gender and sexuality. This humble reporter filled in the gaps with readings from female poets about women’s issues, feminism, and activism.

We get one day out the year to celebrate and commemorate women. For everyone at Queer Paradise last night, at least we had that several hours together. Wouldn’t it be nice if we had much more than one day? How many days would it take to finally properly and appropriately give women all the due they deserve? Could we ever throw a party big enough?

Yesterday in Brazil, 35,000 women marched in part to celebrate Women’s Day. Women in India put out the call for a Global Women’s Strike. Women and their allies came together to share and struggle together across the US. Maybe this time next year, Richmond can pull off a bigger and better Women’s Day on March 8 here in our hometown.

Tomorrow, March 10, is the U.S’s National Day of Appreciation for Abortion Providers, a date created in 1996 commemorating the death of Dr. David Gun, the first abortion doctor assassinated by anti-abortion terrorists. Perhaps next year we can unite March 8 and March 10, tying together these crucial remembrances and creating even more time together. Yesterday's post-discussion performance served this purpose terrifically, as it was a benefit for the Richmond Reproductive Freedom Project. Hopefully, we can get together and work together long before next year comes around.

Did I leave anything out, fellow female and feminists attendees? Please chime in with any additional info and insights (and photos! I know one of you’s got some).

If people have any women’s history, or perhaps I should say womyn’s herstory, to share, particularly if it’s local or regional, please do by using the comment section below.

Know about anything especially cool or inspiring that happened on Women’s Day? Tell us all about it below.

 
 


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