Today is the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.
23 years ago in Montreal, 14 women, mechanical engineering students, were murdered by a man that believed feminists ruined his life.
Although nowhere as severe, I have experienced threats due to my gender. And it angers me as more recently, especially in the geek communities, that sexist attitudes still prevail and women still face threats of violence for standing up for themselves, or disagreeing or cosplaying or even simply playing a video game against a man.
The amount of harassment I have experienced is unreal. Or so I thought. Too many women get harassed a lot. Frequently. I am willing to speak out about it. People constantly write me about their experiences. People have told me they wish more women were like me. There are so many others out there that never say a word because of shame and guilt. I am happy to help but I can’t do this alone.
It is not just a matter of case-by-case basis, there is a problem with society and we need to fix it. And it’s not a job just for politicians or police. It’s not something that only “strong women” can or should be expected to fight for. I am happy if the things I do leads the path for others, but we need to work together. To learn to respect one another. To educate that it’s not okay to treat others like crap and to help teach the victims that they are not alone and show them the way out.
But for today, evaluate how you treat others around you. Look into yourself and consider ways that you can improve yourself and become an example to others that would make society and the culture around you more interested in equality and respect.
Then take a moment to tell the important women in your lives that you care about them. Because they are the ones that make your works go round.