my tattoo

I work at a Tourism Information centre and I talk to around 300 people a day. I mostly give directions or answer questions about campgrounds or what we grow in our fields (Saskatchewan), but quite often the conversation turns from pointing to a street on a map to personal questions. Sometimes I get asked about what I’m taking in school, my ethnic background, and often times, my tattoo. And since the people asking me are mere strangers, I don’t give them a long explanation but there is more to it than a couple of sentences.

My journey with feminism has been a long one and I’ll spare you the details in the post! (But if you want to hear more, you can watch this video). Feminism has always been evident in my life, I just didn’t know the language. My biggest influence has always been my grandfather.

My grandpa is a retired history teacher, and really nurtured an appreciation for the past in me. And being the feminist he is, my grandpa made sure I knew all about the suffrage movement. He stressed the fact that women’s liberation was not give, but fought for. My voting rights as a white woman came long before the rights of women of color, which goes to show that freedom is often is a slow, and unfair process. And I figure, if white women have been able to vote for only about 100 years now, I don’t believe it’s possible that every women is a recipient of perfect equality, not even close. And while most people are aware that women in poorer countries around the world still face a heavy amount of injustice, it should also be recognized that North America still has a long way to go. The topics of the gender wage gap, women’s reproductive health, child care, etc. are all controversial, but they have to be keep being discussed so we can solve the significant questions and issues so many women face today.

My tattoo is a reminder that the rights I have today were not always mine. That they were fought for by loud women, supportive men, resilient women of colour, feminists. And my tattoo is a thank you to them. Awareness and conversation is what brings attention to the many around the world still without basic rights and the many right here with their own shackles. I will keep fighting the good fight.

Proverbs 31:8 says, “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.” I know that as a middle class, white, Canadian woman, I have privilege and while I didn’t ask for it and can’t do anything about it, I can use my voice. While some think getting a permanent marking on my arm is dumb, regardless of the meaning it has, I love my tattoo and love the conversations it has started with strangers I meet.

the first

While the idea of a blog honestly seems draining and too much work for what it’s worth, I know the impact bloggers have had on my life and I think I may as well put my piece in as well. So let’s just get this introduction under way! I’m Martha Shareski, I currently live in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, and I turn 19 in the fall. I’ll be attending Ryerson University in Toronto at the start of September, for a degree in Fashion Communication. That’s the factual stuff about me. But really the core of who I am consists more of this:

  • I’m a feminist who loves Jesus
  • My favorite food is either pickles or cotton candy, can’t decide
  • The most dramatic movie scene of all time is the part in Karate Kid when Daniel throws his bike into the garbage bin, hands down
  • Dickies are the best fashion invention of all time
  • I’ve seen 16 (I think) Broadway musicals and I hope to rapidly expand this list
  • If I could ask God any question it would be: is Bigfoot real?
  • I have one tattoo (so far)
  • I took a gap year this past school-year and traveled Australia with three of my friends for 4 months and ate lots of bread
  • Jess from Gilmore Girls is my dream man
  • and lastly, I love to write

I’m a middle class, white woman from Canada, and though I know my ethnicity and background are represented much more than women of color or of different religions but I still feel a major lack of women who share my perspective. Being a young woman who loves Jesus and cares deeply about women’s rights, it’s very difficult to find sources of solidarity in that. I know how encouraging it is to find women who I can relate to, women who either love Jesus, or fight for women’s equality (or both!), and women who care about style and view it as expression rather than vanity. Basically, I hope to use this platform to encourage me to research the things I am confused/intrigued by and to possibly encourage those of you who feel similarly as I do about certain things!

All the best,