Friday, September 25, 2009

Take Back the Night Hamilton

"Can we go to 'Take Back the Night?' Please?" asks my daughter getting off the phone with her dad whose just announced the event's taking place this evening. I'm tired and not wanting to go but it's important to her,so we go. And I'm glad we do.

The energy is high; women of all ages wave their arms, singing in preparation for the march. Take back the night. There is excitement in the air as we begin walking down Main Street. Women we pass smile and wave. We are sensitive to the male on-lookers- be they honking their support from out of car windows or drumming their fingers impatiently on the steering wheel. Some stand by the side of the road in groups; small groups of men looking humbled and subdued-maybe considering the struggle women still have,maybe reflecting for a moment on the respect they deserve. We hope. Others clap with us, cheer loudly. Larger groups of males take photos of the parade of women going by-they are enjoying the free entertainment.

We continue up the road through intersections manned by motorcycle police who with a command of their hand wave us through;impersonal, burly men wearing tall,black leather boots stopping traffic, controlling the situation. I pause to consider the strange juxtaposition of this maleness in a sea of femaleness.
We go by a woman wearing a scarf around her head and face; she encourages a little boy in her arms to clap with us. We pass women at a bar who stand up and raise their beer glasses to us.
We pause to watch a group of young males breaking dancing, hip hopping, back flipping , somersaulting at the side of the road, their muscles strong and popping, slim, confident and agile; beautiful in their movements. We see all this as we sing and hold our banners high; educating our husbands and lovers, our fathers, our sons. Behind me a male (where did he come from?) begins the chant, "No means no," and a few people take it up but it dies away almost immediately. Who wants to chant when you can sing and dance and laugh? We are here to celebrate ourselves and our presence tonight is a testimony to the strength and joy that women are.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...