international women’s day: misbehaving women

it’s international women’s day week and this is my blog from the misbehaving women event, a fundraiser for the avalon women’s centre, organized by zoey ryan.

5:50 i’m sitting here at the heritage hall with glenda watson-hyatt and her husband darrell. unfortunately, they cannot partake of the wonderful spread here because they’ve been assaulted by a stomach bug but i can!

i have on my plate a samosa, a skewer of chicken satay, a fruit skewer, chickpeas, thai noodles, naan bread, sesame yam and some fancy salad. oh, and buried under this i just found a spring roll! for dessert, some sinfully decadent chocolate from rubens. no, not the painter, the canadian chocolate company.

it’s 6:18 and we’ve started. they have someone who’s translating everything into sign language. cool!

zoey starts it all of with a very short metta. may we be happy, may we be healthy, may we be peaceful, may we be free. what a lovely way to set the tone. thanks, zoey!

6:22 michelle shares a few words about avalon. avalon helps women who are dealing with abuse and addition. alcohol, drugs, eating disorders … “addictions of the lost soul”. they support women to take back their lives. last year, they had 30,000 visits and phone calls. very happy to be able to help out a bit.

6:28 key note by glynnis osher-anderson of mystic masala. she has an ayurvedic aromatherapy business and works on a fair trade program with a group of women in nepal, “wild earth nepal“. she spoke so passionately:

our herbs bake in the himalayan sun and bathe in the himalayan moon. each one small bar of soap is a beautiful miracle. every time i have a shower, i feel the work of these women and the himalayan herbs on my entire body. what we give back to them is fair trade. every bar of soap goes to education, maternity leave, vocational guidance for the women, food and a career that nourishes the spirit like nothing i have ever seen. it literally touches the lives of thousands of women all over the world.

6:55 the “misbehaving woman of the year” awards are based on the laurel thatcher ulrich quote “well behaved women seldom make history” and honors a woman or women who have refused to be pulled into the cultural drift of complacency, who have dared to make a difference, taken a risk and enhanced the lives of women in her community.

the award winners:

karen taylor – she was kicked out of kindergarten five times. she is deaf (which doesn’t prevent her from being extremely articulate). the first deaf person in UBC’s deaf teacher training program. travelled europe alone as a deaf woman. built first private school for the deaf in canada. built her own two-storey log cabin. built a summer camp for deaf children in canada.

bonnie morgan – a kindergarten teacher who dances with her students every day. misbehaving is a spirit, a way of saying, i’m not better than you, we’re all equal. if you’re perfectly behaved, you can’t be empathetic. only the misbehaved know how to behave.

alma vaugeois – “one of the most quiet and unassuming misbehaving women you will ever meet.” she heals as a psychologist, as a singer (through song) and as a yoga teacher.

carole tulpar – “i’m out there and i don’t give a damn”. she lives way, way outside her box. teaches ESL, writes, and … ask her about her underwear!

susan borax – she dares, she said! stands up on the stage and sings clutter away. supposedly, she has an online clutter museum but i couldn’t find it. maybe it was – sung away?

glenda watson-hyattand last but very much not least, glenda watson-hyatt, who i had the pleasure to nominate (here she is in the picture). glenda’s whole life is about misbehaving. lots of people didn’t expect her to talk – she was supposed to be institutionalized. she was never expected to make a living, never mind write a book, win a gold medal in horseback riding or give speeches! today, glenda is an author, a blogger, and an accessibility specialist. oh, she also has cerebral palsy. you know why glenda is this success maven? because she said, “i’ll do it myself”.

glenda doesn’t listen to the people who say, oh, you can’t do this. she doesn’t listen to the people who say, oh nobody can do this. she just goes ahead and does what she puts her mind to.

and glenda inspires us. most of all she inspires us with her life but she’s also made it her business to inspire others. on her blog, there is a whole section on that. there’s inspiration from a flushed toilet – i’m am glad i’m not the only one who blogs about stuff like that; from just one word that can inspire you for the rest of the year; and from the excitement of the first time you dare to do something new and risky.

that’s why she wan the misbehaving women of the year award in the category of inspiration.

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