Take Back the Night is almost here. It’s nearly time for women to take to the streets to assert our inherent right to walk in freedom and with dignity Ã and without fear of violence.
Originating in the 1970s, the Take Back the Night march is a response to men’s violence against women. Strongly symbolic, the march’s women-only nature signifies women’s bold refusal to be fearful, and it is a declaration of women’s right to be safe Ã alone Ã in public spaces.
Take Back the Night is also a call to action: to lawmakers to ensure that laws addressing violence against women are sufficient; to law enforcement to assess the history and context of each abusive situation; to the city for accessible (evening!) transit; to our neighbours to guarantee that they’ll act to address violence; and Take Back the Night is a call for action from men.
It calls men to stand for peaceful, egalitarian communities, to shoulder responsibility as role models, to wear proudly a masculinity that unequivocally refuses to commit or condone violence against women.
It calls men to organize parallel events, to create safe spaces for men to talk about their experiences of masculinity, to watch feminist films, to challenge sexist jokes and to cultivate a full and vulnerable humanity.
And it calls men to respect the safe spaces of women Ã to allow women to organize independently, to call for the change we need and to fight for it Ã and to be ready to do the work when women ask for help.
This year’s march will begin at Teegatha’ Oh Zheh Park (at 7th and Main) at 7:30pm, Friday, September 18. It will be followed by a celebration of women’s music Ã open to everyone Ã at 8:30 p.m. at the Old Fire Hall.
Victoria Faulkner Women’s Centre