My life has become a complete fucking mess this month. Since publishing the two-month summary of Action Against Misogyny (here), one of my former friends has come under the media spotlight and multiple simultaneous ongoing investigations for a) misconduct as an officer of the law, b) suspected involvement (the degree to which, if any, has yet to be determined) in the Robert Pickton serial murder spree of 49 women (most of whom were aboriginal) he abducted from Vancouver’s Downtown East side, and c) being as icky a complete creep as an unapologetically sexist pig could possibly be found to be by a psychologist who has worked with law enforcement for over 30 years. Read about my personal (sometimes intimate) relationship with him here, about the beginning of a localized red herring panic wave about privacy within the pervert community here, and about where I finally lose my patience and ask the same community to stop and think instead of resorting to tearing my own hair out by the fist-full here. I’m also losing my housing and will have to resort to indefinite couch-surfing for the second time in my life, in order to avoid becoming homeless for the third time. Read about how that news made me feel here.
So after Week 7, we decided as a group to try and occupy the intersection on Fridays and Saturdays. I wound up standing there alone (but still down to my skivvies), picketing a huge posse of these misogynist assholes, on the Friday. That was all sorts of wacky and powerful. The cops made it plainly apparent right away that they are there to protect me, I was truly moved that two men who had just been released from prison took the opportunity to stand up for women’s rights when they saw me, and a woman (a fucking WARRIOR) told me her rape survival story. On the Saturday, I was joined by more people, and it rapidly became apparent to us that we are making a difference and they are getting desperate. Read about Week 8 here.
During Week 9, as I limped around on second-degree burns on the bottom of both my feet, utterly desperate pro-lifers resorted to punching and grabbing pro-choice women. My friends. I was fury, bro. It wasn’t enough that a bus driver actually refused me service because my exposed arms and cleavage were offensive to him (I was wearing a bra). But on a scale of 1 to 10, I was only at 10 until the cops showed up and pretended no crime had been committed because the offenders in this case are elderly. Now I was mad out of 10. I took it out on sexist assholes by yelling at them — while wearing a loincloth. Read all about it here.
All the time I had to spend sitting around because of the holes in the bottom of both my feet sure made me stop and think about finishing my post about why all aspects of prostitution shouldn’t just be de-criminalized, but legalized as well. You can learn about why I of all people would say that despite having a turbulent and often extraordinarily dangerous history with sex work, in this post.
In between Weeks 9 and 10, I declared I was going to take a week off to go camping next to a lake. But when I woke up and observed that I’d spend at least 24 of the next 48 hours with a guarantee of hypothermia from being soggy, I put on a pair of duct tape pasties and tossed my camping plans out the window. When I got there, the pro-lifers had brought their own adult babysitters to badger us (because I think they think that’s self-policing?); so I wore a copy of the Criminal Code of Canada section 264 (1) on my back the next day, and when I pointed out to a gay-basher that it was the part that deals with criminal harassment, he gay-bashed me, trans-bashed me, then threatened to smash my head in and ran off like a proper coward while I panicked through a 9-1-1 call. Meanwhile, a really scary dude tried to intimidate my friends across the street. We would have to be stupid to think that these are all just random strangers and complete coincidences, rather than recruited friends and family of the pro-lifers who need to bring babysitters with them to prevent them from punching women. Read all about it here.
Since I posted a picture of the man on Facebook, and someone saw that I identified my friend who was gay-bashed (and myself) as white people, but they didn’t get why, I explained that he was attacking us using the only vulnerabilities he knew would shake the ground under us. Here is the longer and better-articulated version of what I mean by that.
Right before our Week 11 demonstrations is when I found out about my housing crisis, and I answered this by scrambling to get rid of as much of my shit as possible for whatever money I could get for it at the time. As a result, I wasn’t there. If I had writing from someone who was, I’d happily link it here. But at some point before Week 12, I found out about the “Ask A Rapist” thread on reddit, and flipped my fucking gourd, because everything on that thread is fabricated (partially or wholly), and I seem to be among a minority of people who get that. So I wrote this entry about shit rapists actually say vs. shit they aren’t telling anyone.
Finally, Week 12 occurred on Pride weekend, but I still attended the demonstrations, even though it broke my heart a little. And then my heart broke wide open. In Wisconsin, a Sikh temple was also shot up by a white supremacist gun nut and multiple people died for being a shade of brown in the right place at the wrong time. I spent all weekend thinking about how I felt the same sadness well up inside me when I was attending a candle-lit vigil organized by the Sikh community to honour their dead, as when I was attending a candle-lit vigil organized by the queer community to honour ours. And while we were out there this particular weekend, the man who gay-bashed my friend and I two weeks earlier returned to antagonize and incite more of my friends. When I finally did start writing that weekend, I focused on ways that we can (and do) increase the effectiveness of safety in numbers in our demonstrations, and how we can make our presence visibly distinguished from the pro-lifers we are picketing. Especially since the police told us this week that we relinquish our right to protection from criminal harassment when we protest, so the last thing we would want to be mistaken for out there is the people we are picketing. Great job, VPD. When you’re not beating the shit out of us, you’re just telling us anyone else can. But will you start finally doing your job when it happens? You can read about Week 12 here.