So YouThink You Can Grab My Pussy You Angry Old White Guy?

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Premier Christy Clark, Pamela Martin, Carmen Cruz (The World Famous CFox!), Leah Costello, Almira Bardai are just some of the fabulous women gathering on November 12, 2016 at the Fairmont Pacific Rim. Women’s health doctors, a dating coach, a privacy lawyer and medical marihuana experts are a few more of the powerhouse ladies that will enlighten us. Others will entertain. Some will dress us, a few will even rejuvenate our faces and vaginas! We'll talk the taboo; sexism, misogyny, discrimination, bullying, gossip, fertility, fibroids, sexual desire, vaginal dryness, menopause and more.

And we will drink……. Nasty Woman Cocktails.

Why am I doing this?? I overheard someone say, “what ever are we going to talk about once the US election is over?” Are you kidding me, I thought? An angry old white guy tells the world that he can grab our pussies without our consent because of some ill perceived power? Women the world over woke up, shocked, disgusted and angry and and I was one of them. 94 million women took to twitter to share their personal stories of sexual assault when writer Kelly Oxford put a call out for women to share them.  You wonder what we will talk about after we elect a President?

Cassandra MacLean, a psychic who will be in the house on November 12, 2016 predicted I would face a significant challenge prior to this big event. How right she was! A series of disappointments ensued not only at work but also in my…. yes my circle of….girlfriends! Ugh! Time for my very own pity party!

I then did what any good Irish Catholic girl would do at her pity party; I counted my blessings; roof over my head, food on my plate, ability to look down at the grass. But “none of it” was doing it which reminded me of Nunavut, the newest, largest, northernmost, and least populous territory of Canada with one of the biggest problems for women. Nunavut boasts the highest rate of infant mortality in Canada, a rate five times higher than the country’s average, according to Stats Canada 2012. Our babies are dying. Our sisters suffer. My heart is breaking.

I am working during my "pity party" when Jane a 52-year-old weary looking woman presented to my clinical practice. She had been sexually abused as a child by her mother’s boyfriend and her mother didn’t believe her when she told her. Her story is far too common. Longstanding anxiety, she never enjoyed a healthy intimate relationship, common amongst the "1/5 of women who are raped at some point in their lives," according to National Sexual Violence Resource Centre. Ladies, we need to believe girls and women. No man is worth your daugher's soul even if it is your husband, boyfriend, uncle, son.....Women usually know their abusers.

At age 19, Julie’s doctor prescribed powerful narcotics (hello Fentanyl) for shoulder pain. Julie’s father had been deported for beating her mother which rendered her incapacitated, unable to work. Julie, the family breadwinner had anxiety as a result and was now at risk for addiction. Anxiety is the most common mental illness in Canada and financial stress a major contributor. Ladies, let’s de-stigmatize mental illness and addiction.

My pity party in full tilt, I realize "hurt people hurt" but that’s not my style. However, social media IS so I turned to her and considered a “look at how amazing my life is photo-shopped post” except no selfie stick was long enough to hide my own pain or imperfections. But that is OK. I usually feel pretty darn good in a flannel nightie, sweater, wool socks, hunter boots, hair tossed up, coffee in hand on my computer. If only you could see the real me.

I was about to see my last patient of the day. It’s actually night time but keep in mind, women work twice as hard for half the pay. Need I say more?

Johnny, a strapping 22-year-old jock who lay motionless in his hospital bed from the chest down because of a traumatic spinal cord injury. I said hey kiddo, you look SO much better than the last time I saw you. His smile lit up the room as he burst out laughing and said, “well I hope so!”  My pity party came to a screeching halt. Johnny’s smile, my opiate, his laughter pure love.

His mother sat vigil by his bedside since his injury, taking leave from her job, not to mention her life as she knew it. Mothers working in and outside of the home, financial issues, multitasking and oh that glass ceiling. Are there other moms like us?

Sarah an 84-year-old patient once told me that in “her day” wives were not invited to company Christmas parties. Women couldn’t have purses at their desks either and were forced to give their job to single ladies, once their pregnancy was revealed. We’ve come a long way baby. Not.

Women have been hurt throughout history. Roe V. Wade. Right to Vote. Right to say no to husband's request for sex (1993).

We can blame men all we want, but the time has come for women to support women. The truth is we don’t always do so. We gossip, judge, exclude, and aren’t all that happy when other women succeed. We’re mean girls all grown up. We keep secrets which breeds shame. And we are teaching all of this to our daughters. We need to break this cycle but first we need to break the silence.

When women are not united, we are perceived as weak. Men get away with sexism, misogyny, sexual assault, pay inequity, and pussy grabbing when there is dissension in a group. Don’t get me wrong, there are many good men in this world which is why men are on the invitation list. I am not blaming women either because women have been socialized this way for what our mothers and others may have taught us.

We will never solve the problems that plague women today with the same mindset that perpetuates societal malignancies like sexism, misogyny, sexual assault and discrimination, glass ceilings. We must share our secrets to success at home and in our careers. Women need to unite through connection, compassion and networking.

Behold feminine power and reclaim your pussy!  Let's support each another. There is no better medicine than hearing another woman say, “I believe you” or “I’ve been there.”  Let the healing begin. We must continue talking about women’s rights long after the US Presidential election is over. That is what the Vancouver Women’s Conference on November 12, 2016 at the Fairmont Pacific Rim is all about. Proceeds to Ending Violence Association British Columbia. Get ready to be wowed!

If you take one small step now, miracles are bound to happen.

To purchase your tickets, go to: vancouverwomensconference.com

 

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