Writer, teacher, Star columnist: “Samosas and Maple Syrup.” @UzmaWrites
Did you march? What should happen now?
I didn’t march but fully support the women who did. I’m an activist in daily life, behind the scenes. I think there’s a sense that something very fundamental about American society is under attack right now and people feel it on a visceral, personal level. For me, as someone who is very visible, I understand so many people who are being placed, viewed and treated as outsiders. They are in a position that is unfamiliar to them but I’ve lived within and without the outsider status all my life. I live in the intersection of faith, culture and feminism. All the social justice movements, especially feminism, need compassion, empathy, understanding and tolerance. It would also be nice to see a wider variety of stories out there. I believe in the power of words. I think that feminists need to read each other’s stories.
How can feminism bring people in?
The way forward is not just to lean in but to lean on each other. Once we realize that (it will) make us feel our voices are heard and empower us. Instead of being exclusionary, now is the time to welcome and celebrate what we all bring to this movement. The idea of not discounting people who don’t look like us or talk like us is so important, especially in Toronto.