Miss G Project comes to Queen's Park

Thursday, June 8, 2006

  • Photo By Alex Tang

    Photo By Alex Tang

Written by Holly Kent-Chrishop

Just after 10 am on June 6, 2006, acclaimed Canadian singer/songwriter Jill Barber crooned to a small crowd on what can only be described as a ‘soapbox’ in Queen’s Park in Toronto, in honour of a woman history knows only as Miss G___. Behind her was a banner that read, “Put your three cents in ‘cause history owes you one.” Accompanying her was a gardener with an unfortunately loud hedge trimmer who just couldn’t get that hedge in the desired shape.

Whether this noisy gardening fiasco was an order from those at Queen’s Park who, hours earlier, refused entry (and use of their washrooms) to a woman wearing a shirt that read “This is what a Feminist looks like” until the offending t-short was removed, or just an unlucky coincidence, was anyone’s guess.

Amplifiers and microphones were soon assembled and the voices of artists like Karyn Ellis and Elena Juatco drew in a crowd. Brescia N. Reid, Carmen Elle and Sarah Keshenof the Whoremoans and the Waterloo Chapter of the Miss G___ project joined them.

Authors and Politicians came to read their own and others’ work as a statement: “We need Women’s Studies in Ontario Secondary Schools, and if we can’t access women’s writing in the classroom, we’re bringing it here.”

The Miss G___ project has been working hard to bring Women’s Studies to the high school level for over a year now. With support from teachers, politicians and students, The Miss G___ project is closer than ever to introducing Women’s Studies to Ontario High Schools as a Grade 11 and 12 Open and University credits.

Two Ontario MPPs from the Liberal Women’s Caucus, Kathleen Wynne and Deb Matthews read from Anne of Green Gables and the Paper Bag Princess, respectively, while Sandra Pupatello, Minister of Education and Women’s issues quotes India Arie’s Video.

Emma Donoghue, Angela Rawlings, Tanis Rideout and Lillian Allen all read their own works, and famed second wave feminist and pro-choice activist Judy Rebick enthralled the audience with stories from her fight for legalized abortion, and pulling the second and third wave of feminism together. She also led an invigorating and nostalgic “What do we want? Women’s Studies! When do we want it? Now!” chant.

To get involved in future Miss G___ events, contact , or to find out more about Miss G___ in general visit www.themissgproject.org.

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  1. Posted by: Corey on Jun 21, 2006 @ 11:23am

    John, do you really think there is no "multicultural studies" course? What about world religion? And the sociology/psych/anthro course had a component that included queer studies.

    Right. Because learning about right for all people, is wrong. Not to mention a waste of limited resources.

    I am shocked by your comment.

    I am disgusted that the individual had to remove her feminist t-shirt to use the bathroom. It didn't say "Feminists are angry and want to hurt you". I would take it as meaning...this is what one looks like, we don't all look like what you think.

  2. Posted by: Rachel on Jun 23, 2006 @ 9:43am

    Wow, John. If only you had said some things from your second entry in your first entry, I wouldn't have caught my stomach in my throat reading the first one.
    I understand your concern about the current situation with the high school curriculum. There are so many ideas and concepts, as well as skills, that we as a society want to teach our youth of today, that it is extremely difficult to know which ones to share and which ones to hold off on. We hope that we can share the most important ones, so that we can shape our youth into self-supportive, intelligent beings.
    That being said, I believe that there must be a place in high school for discussion of women in today's world. Young women need to know what makes them who they are, and the great power and responsibility they have, not just as a woman, but as a PERSON, in such a tumultuous time. I also believe that young MEN need this same discussion. Because women's roles are changing, so are men's. The young men of today need to know who they are and what great power and responsibility they have as well! (con't)

  3. Posted by: Rachel on Jun 23, 2006 @ 9:43am

    Being in the "Under 25" age group, I feel as though I can both remember my youth, as well as look towards my adulthood, with fondness and understanding. Being a Sociology graduate, and wishing to pursue a career in the youth justice system (someone out there is now saying, "she's a supporter of 'slap on the wrist' justice!"), my greatest question in life is how society can best raise smart, reponsible youth, both male and female, to value the lives they have and make correct decisions. I truly believe that part of the answer lies in the comparison and contrast of male society and female society, and emphasizing the fact that these two worlds may be SO different, but ALSO co-exist, and MUST be viewed as ONE society.
    I hope that my thoughts do not create the feeling in my stomach that yours did, John. I hope that you can accept my concerns as valid, and not as "socially useless". Because if my greatest question in life is socially useless, I am a) a failure as a Sociology graduate, and b) a failure to the youth of today.

  4. Posted by: Shaun on Jul 11, 2006 @ 2:12pm

    This is intolerable. Public education and funds should not be used to advance any one political school of thought. Precious school time is for teaching mathematics, literature, science, technology, languages, history, arts, etc. This knowledge will teach student who they are. And why women’s studies? Almost 50% more women than men graduate from college today. Women are not victims. We certainly don’t need to push a philosophy in school that, in the option of many men and women, is more about hating men than striving for equality.

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