By Kirk Starratt
Colin Archer has two sisters and it’s important to him that sexism and violence toward women become a thing of the past.
Archer, a member of the Acadia Axemen hockey team, was among a group of about two dozen protesters who converged on the streets of downtown Wolfville Nov. 25 to take part in a march linking the Real Men Wear Heels and the Take Back the Night movements. The message was clear: protesting sexism and violence toward women. Those taking part carried colourful signs and chanted slogans such as “no means no” and “stop the silence, stop the violence.”
“It has to be a thing of the past,” Archer said. “We have to grow to progress.”
He said there were a few members of the hockey team there to take part. Archer said it was important to him to participate because “if you can’t take the initiative, you can’t expect others to.”
Acadia Women’s Centre coordinator Megan Muise said the march, from the Anvil downtown up to the Axe, followed the route many women often walk. Women often face a lot of harassment and violence because of alcohol, she said.
“The basic premise is to show solidarity toward sexism,” she said.
Muise said she was pleased with the turnout, especially considering the cold, snowy conditions. She was particularly pleased with the number of men showing solidarity. They had invited participating men to wear heels so they could literally walk a mile in women’s shoes, but the potentially slippery conditions didn’t make it advisable.
Wolfville Mayor Jeff Cantwell said he has been an adamant supporter of the movement to end violence toward women for as long as he can remember. He said it’s important that men respect what women’s lives are all about.
“It wouldn’t be anything without the women in our lives,” he said. “I’m a real believer in this.”
The event concluded a 10-day Sex Fest at Acadia University and marked the first day in a 16-day period of activism to protest violence against women. A memorial will be held at the university Dec. 6 for the 14 women murdered at Montreal’s Ecole Polytechnique in 1989. The anniversary of the massacre has been commemorated as the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.
To watch a video clip from the march, visit www.kingscountynews.ca.