Ilene Sova is an artist, feminist, activist, and community builder. [...]
Often times activism is seen strictly as people in the streets protesting with signs and chanting. Although protesting is an important part of feminist activism, it’s far from the only way to engage meaningfully in creating social change. One of my favourite ways to engage with the fight for gender equality is through my art and through my work with the Feminist Art Conference, a Toronto-based showcase for multi-disciplinary art that touches on themes of rape culture, transphobia, racism, violence, environmental degradation, Indigenous issues, Islamophobia, and more. The conference aims to provide a space for discussion and the exploration of these issues in order to initiate progressive change.”
As a grade 12 student, I can clearly remember the stress of having to decide where I was going to apply to university. Would I apply to schools close to home, or to schools far away? Maybe even outside of Canada? It was a busy time, but one area in which I didn’t have any stress was what major I was going to apply for. I knew very clearly that I was going to study engineering.
You see, I had been told since I was young that I’m good at math and science, and therefore, I should go into a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) related field. I took great pride in the fact that I planned to study engineering. However, there was a negative side to this STEM encouragement. The praise for my early success with math and science courses often went so far as to mock those who excelled in English, sociology, or art.
This post has been edited and was originally published on CarlyFriesen.com
I was, as Britney Spears would put it, not a girl, not yet a woman, when I excitedly started my first year of Engineering at the University of Guelph. I thought I was going to become an engineer, change the world, and bust through the glass ceiling Wonder Woman style. I had absolutely no doubts in my mind that I could and would do it.
As time passed, I started to wonder how thick this glass ceiling really was. With each year I began to see gender come into play more and more.