I want to encourage you to read some of the words of local skeptic and activist, Jamie James, who has posted some experiences with sexism and racism in Vancouver.
Jamie is routinely on the frontline for LGBTQ and women’s rights in Vancouver. From confrontations with pro-lifers to challenging racism within the feminist and freethought communities, Jamie consistently challenges the status quo and is worth the read, even if you don’t necessarily agree with the specific tactics (which can be quite provocative).
In the blog, Jamie relates a couple stories. First, comes a discussion of the annual SlutWalk and East Side Pride that occurred last weekend. A number of writers, including Jamie, have expressed their disappointment that the organizers have retained the word “Slut” which they feel is racially-charged and offers no space for women of colour. Meanwhile, Jamie was unfortunately too ill to participate in East Side Pride, which commemorates the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots that historically marked the beginning of the gay rights movement. The post goes on to discuss some misogynist comments that Jamie has received while protesting topless, as well as some interactions with pro-lifers before discussing a few racist comments.
In the firebrand/diplomat debate, Jamie falls squarely in the confrontationalist camp, which fulfils and important role in shifting the Overton window of our public debate.