There are so few environments in the world where if you turn to the person to your left and the person to your right, chances are they will identify as a feminist. The women’s college I graduated from was such an environment. Though not perfect, everyone discussed queer issues and combating rape culture as the natural and logical way of being in a human being in the world. There is some nasty racism that needs to be addressed, and there are nay sayers who refuse to watch their language around pronouns and accessibility issues.
And yet. I am a product of a women’s college bubble.
I recently read a post on a high school friend’s facebook page about how she’s a prominent feminist organizer at the University of Toronto and is afraid for her life. Just as their classes were starting there anonymous online bloggers and people on Reddit made threats made about shooting feminists on campus, both students and faculty.
One user named “Kill Feminists” wrote the following on 5 September 2015:
Next week when a feminist at the University of Toronto tries to ruin your life with false sex rape allegations, rent a gun from a gang and start firing bullets into these feminists at your nearest Women’s Studies classroom.
A Reddit user agreed:
go into the nearest Sociology or Womens Studies classroom next week, and fire bullets into the Professor’s head and spray bullets all over the room until all the feminists are dead.
And though the university increased security and sections of the Canadian news media, as well as Feminist news media, like Jezebel, are covering the issue, as of September 11, The Globe and Mail decrees in its headline: “Police Find No Credible Threat After University of Toronto Investigation.”
That’s that then, right? Wrong. This is terrorism and feminists are still afraid.
This fear is thankfully not what I experienced as a feminist in college, but I need to recognize that this is the day to day life of many feminists. Whether I know you personally or we have never met, I want to take a moment and stand in solidarity with you, the feminists who live this struggle and press on through this very real and terrifying threat. I want to do more for you and with you.
To all the feminists who organize and work toward a more just world, thank you for all that you do.