The holidays always seem to have us wanting. Wanting to reconnect with old friends, wanting massive servings of stuffing, wanting white fluffy snow, and wanting Christmas carols on a never ending loop. But for some of us, the holidays leave us wanting a little something more. They give us the opportunity to tell the world exactly what we want.
So here is my (non-exhaustive) feminist holiday wish list.
- I want (along with my good pal Gloria Steinem) an apology from Donald Trump.
I want that racist, fear mongering, misogynistic maniac to apologize for shaming women for having periods, for suggesting we should ban all Muslims from entering the country, for calling Mexicans ‘thieves’ and ‘rapists’, and for referring to women as “slobs”, “fat pigs” and dogs”.
- I would like for all Canadians to thank Justin Trudeau.
I want Canadian citizens to take a moment to revel in the glory that a candidate finally ousted Mr. Stephen ‘Horrible’ Harper. I would like us all to appreciate what Trudeau has so far accomplished or set in motion. I want us to recognize he has appointed a cabinet of gender parity, announced a national inquiry to missing and murdered indigenous women, promised to open a long-awaited, all-access road to Shoal Lake 40 First Nation reserve, and committed to resettling 25,000 Syrian refugees (in a responsible manner).
- I want people to take violence against transgender people seriously.
I want, no need, for North American citizens to finally open our eyes and accept that there is an epidemic of transphobic violence, in which at least twenty-one transgender women have been murdered this year. I want us to recognize that the vast majority of the victims of this targeted violence are transgender women of colour. I want us to read about it, I want us to scream in the streets, I want us to educate one another. But more than anything, I want us all to feel very, very different on November 20th, 2016; the next National Transgender Remembrance Day.
- I would like to never again hear the words ‘all lives matter’.
I want no one to deflect the issue of police brutality against black individuals in North America. I want people to stop negating the desperate need of the black community by stating that everyone has the same needs (when white people never have to worry about their physical safety needs being met). I need people to stop for a moment, think, do their research, and never utter those ignorant three words again.
- I want every American man buying a gun to be subjected to the same scrutiny that a woman seeking an abortion endures.
Every man shopping for a gun should be required to go through a mandatory 48-hour waiting period, present a written permission form from a guardian or a judge, together with a note from a doctor proving that he understands what the gun salesman is about to do. I want every man to be obliged to watch a video on the implications/dangers of gun use and the prevalence of mass murders. I want every man to have to travel hundreds of miles--at his own expense--to the nearest gun shop, and then walk through a hostile mob shouting “murderer” at him while waving photos of people who have been killed by gun violence.
- I want us all to welcome refugees with open hearts, open minds and open arms.
I would like each of us around the world to consider the pain, misery and unbearable suffering of the hundreds of thousands refugees and asylum-seekers. I would like us all to promote policies to bring these individuals into our countries. I want the global community to welcome these humans with empathy and compassion.