They say a woman who knows what she brings to the table is not afraid to eat alone. This echo in the back of my mind applies to two of the most powerful women in law and justice, Amal Clooney and Catharine Mackinnon.
When I first saw Amal Clooney in person at her conversation in Toronto last year, I felt so undeniably moved by the way she can captivate an audience, making you feel as if you are the only person in the room speaking with her. Just by listening to her passionate tone, she reassured me in my field, that investigative and human rights journalism was going to be a life long love affair. How could one as a female not want to even pursue half of what someone like her can achieve? There is no definition of education or “how to be a movement shaker” rule book. At one point Amal was a pupil to the justice system, till, she decided to take on cases that most in her practice would be nervous to defend. Especially, when she voices her activism on a higher level than most, which one of them happens to be women’s rights.
There are women of course before Amal, who followed suit in a time where marches and hashtags who act as lobbyists was not an option.
Catharine Mackinnon by biography is a radical feminist legal scholar. She demanded to shine a major spotlight on sex trafficking, harassment, rape, and other exploitation classifications. On a long list of achievements, Catharine also was one of the first to argue that pornography is a civil rights violation.
Law holds an extremely important piece in a female’s life, which the education system doesn’t seem to implement at a young age. Even if you are not a barrister or a justice student, it’s important as an activist or citizen to know the system as if it’s a fluent language.
Catharine is also an author of educational casebooks that leads to my next point of where you come into this article.
Thankfully, the internet holds many emporiums where you can order this material. Catharine’s crowd-pleasing volumes “Sex Equality (both Family Law and Sexual Harassment) and Lesbian and Gay Rights, can mostly be found on sites such as Amazon, both digital and in print. She as well has multiple lectures you can view on Youtube to listen at any given time. If you want to further your practice, FutureLearn has a Women’s Rights course that views history to now. The first 6 weeks is free which includes articles, videos, peer reviews, and quizzes. You can later upgrade if you choose unlimited access and certification.
A hot tip for any activist that is interested in learning multiple angles is to keep posted on University events. UofT provides open talks at multiple locations such as the Sexual & Gender Diversity office and Monk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy.
Women supporting women is a stand-alone herculean muscle. We all provide a diverse range of stories and knowledge. You never know when your role model or known leader, needs someone like you on her team.