We are absolutely thrilled with the turn out of supporters for CASE's first event! This past October 29th, we proudly presented a screening of the independent documentary My Feminism followed by a panel of leading Calgary feminists; Dr. Adrienne Kertzer, advisor to the President on Women's Issues at the University of Calgary; Dr. Nancy Janovicek, Department of History at the U of C; Mr. Joe Campbell, Sexual Assault Educator with Calgary Communities Against Sexual Abuse (CCASA); Dr. Susan Francheschet, Department of Political Science at the U of C; and Dr. Sullivan, Director for the Institute of Gender Research at the U of C. CASE is very grateful to have been joined by such a wide panel of distinguished speakers. Although there was unfortunately no time for a question and answer period, the attentive audience was wholly engaged with each speaker's brief but insightful remarks in reacting to the film and providing us with their expertise on rape law reform, the role of men in ending gender-based violence, the importance of feminist-organizing, and the necessary steps of re-framing sexual violence.
Each speaker took their turn in discussing issues faced by women today, providing a framework of previous and significant successes of feminists and laying the groundwork for the work that still has to be done in order to reach the ultimate goal of ending gender-based violence. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, grassroots feminism groups created safe spaces for discussing each woman's experiences with sexual violence. Feminists organizing in civil society has been a key player in pressuring government to enact rape law reforms and to promote a public policy that is all encompassing and acountable. In discussing the role of men, one speaker emphasized the distinction between labelling rape culture as "learned" and "taught" behaviours. When it is recognized that the behaviour is "taught," it indicates that the behaviours are coming from a leaders, so it is our responsibility to critically re-evaluate the way that we are enculturating our young boys and girls. Perhaps most memorable, one speaker challenged all those in the room by asking each attendee to reflect upon what was their solution to erasing the stigma attached to the word "feminism."
Thank you to all those that attended and we hope to see you at our future events next semester!
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