Why I’m Wearing Red Today

by matttbastard

“We call these people ‘missing women’ – Aboriginal women are missing in so many ways in our society. … I really believe there are aspects of society that have to change so that things like this, in the best case, don’t happen, but more realistically, if they do happen, that they aren’t brushed aside – that the issue isn’t missing as well as the women.”

– Dr. Ellen Bielawski, Dean of the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Native Studies

I’m wearing red for Bernadette Lynda Ahenakew, Edna Bernard, Katie Sylvia Ballantyne, Delores Dawn Brower, Bonnie Joanne Jack, Rachel Liz Quinney, and other disposable Edmonton sex workers whose violent deaths are being investigated by Project KARE.

Many were First Nations women, women of colour. Some were allegedly (“allegedly” *blinks*) murdered by smiling (suspected, accused, etc) serial killer Thomas Svekla. But there are several suspects (“and potential rapists all are…“).

43 unsolved murders; the earliest one dates back to 1932.

The majority of the fallen will likely never receive justice. These women dared to reside outside of society, beyond the boundaries of bourgeois interest and patriarchal, proprietary outrage; far away from the glare of the 24 hr news cycle spotlight. Marginal corpses lying in a ditch, an alleyway, a cheap, tobacco-stained motel room, surrounded by the dirty implements of self-destruction (“they got what they deserved” *blinks*).

Outside of society.

Goddammit; their lives had-have-just as much value as a (blond-haired, blue-eyed) cheerleader, soccer mom, or business executive.

That’s why I’m wearing red*: for those used, then tossed, crumpled up like soggy, sperm-soaked tissue paper; to represent the blood of the forgotten and recycle their valuable legacies.


Related: More from Daniel MacIsaac of the Edmonton Sun here and here; CBC News backgrounder on Svekla and 25 years of unsolved Edmonton area sex worker slayings.

Update: Prole in comments:

You can help. Give to Pretty Bird Woman House.


Update 2: Kevin is wearing red for “the strong, brave women who refuse to stay silent about the increasing violence perpetuated against women, particularly women of color.”

Please read the whole thingespecially the links.

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers

*When I woke up today, I realized I don’t own anything red, not even socks nor underwear. So, I’m wearing red directly on my skin.

5 thoughts on “Why I’m Wearing Red Today

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