“How We Dare” by Colleen Doty

Issue 18 / Summer 2019 / Abortion Ban Protest Special Issue


It’s a women’s only event—

Men should be allowed.

To celebrate international women’s day.

I’m outraged men aren’t welcome to attend. How dare you?

The event is to honor the struggles faced by those who identify as women.

My husband has struggles. How dare you?

Women around the world face struggles unique to women.

My husband’s family are genocide survivors. How dare you?

Women have to maintain their consciousness.

My husband is a cancer survivor. How dare you?

This day is about acknowledging women’s history and the structures that impact our lives.

We need men as allies.

Some men are allies. This day is about the women.

I’m outraged that men who show up may be shamed.

The world we live in requires that women maintain vigilance.

Isn’t it better that men be on our side?

Women can never forget the struggles and gains they have made.

Moving forward means inclusivity.

We slide back when we forget.



Colleen Doty is a writer and researcher living with her family on what is now known as Galiano Island on the west coast of Canada. A past three-time winner of the Surrey Young Adult fiction contest, she writes poetry and short stories, and is currently working on a novel.

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