I’m wishing you all a Merry Christmas – because that is part of my history and culture. Although I am an atheist, I was fortunate to grow up in a happy nuclear family and Christmas has always been a time of love and warmth for me.
But for those who don’t celebrate Christmas I wish you a happy and safe holiday.
Christmas is not happy for everyone. For many women it evokes memories of trauma and abuse. For many women and children the patriarchal nuclear family is the site of male violence and abuse. For those of you who were physically and/or sexually abused as a child; those of you who witnessed male violence against your mother and whose Christmas time is fraught with distressing and painful memories, I wish you a safe and peaceful holiday.
As a result many women are ostracized or estranged from their families and face a lonely and isolated time. I send you much love at this time.
There are many women and children who continue to face trauma and abuse at this time of year. The holiday season sees an increase in calls for help from women facing male violence from their partners. May you find safety at this time and I hope that the support services that are so desperately needed are available to you.
Many women face Christmas without their children. Children who may be forced to visit or live with their abusive fathers. May you have the strength to continue to fight to protect your children and provide them with the support and love they need.
There are also women, particularly indigenous women, whose children have been forcibly removed from their care because of the racist and misogynistic policies of our society. May you have the support of the community behind you to give you strength and love at this time.
It is a difficult time for incarcerated women who are often locked up for reasons of poverty and male violence.
And our refugee women who as a result of our draconian and inhumane policies are facing years of imprisonment, degradation and assault in their bid to flee from war, violence and abuse. Be aware that whilst our government is enacting such inhuman treatment, many Australians are advocating for change.
I have also been fortunate to have in my life many strong and committed feminists who have given me strength and support over the years. It is important to know that throughout the world women are gathering , meeting, sharing and struggling – across many and varied issues – to end the oppression of women; to end male violence in all its forms; working towards the demise of patriarchal rule.
So may next year be one of hope, joy and strength as all women continue in their struggles against patriarchy.