This March marked the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day. To honour the occasion, The Globe and Mail’s Margaret Wente got her hate on and wrote a scathing letter to Canadian feminists. The message: it’s 2011 and feminism is irrelevant. Get over it!
Shameless blogger Emma Woolley fought back. On our newly re-launched and fresh-faced blog, she brought forth the kind of sass that does us proud — the smart, articulate kind — the kind that takes a pretty bogus argument and challenges it, point-by-point, until the only thing you can possibly do after reading it is take to the streets, rally, march and celebrate the 100th International Women’s Day with more gumption than ever.
This year is Shameless’s seventh anniversary, and my fifth year with the organization. Admittedly, it hasn’t always been easy. Working for an independent magazine means a lot of deadlines and responsibilities. It means barrages of emails and lots of long days and late nights. But I re-discovered, after reading Wente’s article and Woolley’s response, that words are powerful. They have the ability to anger and to inspire. The words that we write, edit and publish here at Shameless have that potential as well. And, navigating that potential and doing my part to keep Shameless alive has grown to become my own act of feminist resistance.
The power of words, the power of language: that’s what this issue is all about. In it, we learn the meaning of the word stud (see “Sexy. Sef-Assured. Stud,” p. 28), and question the true meaning of justice (see “Justice for Girls Makes the Case,” p. 24). And we explore the ways in which we use language to resist (See “The ABCs of Words: An Activist’s Toolkit,” p. 18), reclaim (see “What is a Bitch,” by Shameless Wire grads, p. 10) and reflect (See “This is About Having an Accent,” p. 48). With that, I leave you to eagerly await this issue, these words and this feminist act.