For the Love of Women

International Women’s Day

Grant McKenzie, Editor-in-Chief of Monday Magazine

Grant McKenzie, Editor-in-Chief of Monday Magazine

I love women. Always have. And although in my travels I’ve met a fair share with whom I would rather not be trapped on a submarine, I have been fortunate to encounter far more wherein the experience would be an altogether pleasant one.

This week is dedicated to our fairer sex with International Women’s Day having taken place Tuesday and the inspirational women of PEERS giving a special benefit reading of The Vagina Monologues on March 12.

All too often, these events focus on the trials women still face on this planet — especially at the hands of men. If I could apologize on behalf of the male population, I would, but without the ability to castrate the more serious offenders, it would lack teeth. In the time it took your eyes to cross the space between letters in this sentence, another violent crime has been committed against a woman.

The only pledge I can honestly make is that none of those acts were, or ever will be, committed by me. By itself, it’s not much, I know, but more and more men are making that same pledge, and together we can make a difference.

When more fathers wake up to how their words and actions directly affect and shape their sons and daughters, we’ll begin to see change. Unfortunately, as Darwin discovered, evolution is a long, slow process, full of bumps and setbacks and violent regime changes. But awareness is the first step, so I applaud those who continually persevere to keep the message alive.

As for the women in my life, I am doubly blessed.

My wife, Karen, is the branch I cling to when I dare reach further than my grasp, the rock who anchors me when I challenge the currents to swim upstream, and the net who catches me every time I fall. She is the first face I look forward to seeing each morning, and the one who makes it possible for me to close my eyes at night without worry or fear. She is my lover, my best friend and my constant inspiration.

The other woman in my life is equally as important. My daughter is the sun on my face and the air in my lungs. She is the smile in my eyes and the wrinkles that surround them. She is my heart and my greatest joy, and I couldn’t be prouder of the incredible woman she is becoming.

I am also blessed with a mother who allowed me to be the strange little boy I was. She didn’t try to change me into something I wasn’t — to fit in with the crowd. When I preferred comic books and Action Man to soccer, or using my imagination to turn a rainy day at the beach into an alien adventure, she would just smile and let it be.

My gran — who at 97 is mad as a hatter and stubborn as a Scottish mule — taught me what a strong woman could accomplish in a time when strong women were frowned upon. She gave no quarter and bore no fuss, but when times got tough and the economy crumbled she made sure her family was looked after first.

No wonder I love women. I would be nowhere without them.

Song stuck in my head

“The Milkman of Human Kindness” by Billy Bragg.

When I first heard this song on college radio many moons ago, I knew I needed to hear lots more from this never-gonna-be-mainsteam, song-writing troubadour. With cocked fists and a tender heart, Life’s A Riot launched Bragg into the collective consciousness of a generation. Through tender love songs and angry protest anthems, he speaks of being a rebel with a conscience without resorting to being a bastard. M

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Braden Holtby’s new mask designed in collaboration with Luke Marston and David Gunnarsson. (Mike Wavrecan photo)
Vancouver Island Coast Salish artist unveils new mask for Canucks goalie

Braden Holtby’s new mask features artwork by Luke Marston inspired by the legend of the seawolf

Alan Tudyk stars as Alien Harry Vanderspeigel in the new series Resident Alien (Photo by: James Dittinger/SYFY)
Resident Alien brings Vancouver Island to the small screen with January premiere

Quirky series shot in Ladysmith will air every Wednesday on the CTV Sci-Fi Channel

Comox-based cinematographer Maxwel Hohn’s new documentary captures the lives of Vancouver Island’s coastal wolves. Photo courtesy Maxwel Hohn.
New mini-documentary shot on Vancouver Island echoes the ‘call of the coastal wolves’

Photography heavyweights from B.C. come together for Maxwel Hohn’s second wildlife documentary

The 2021 Victoria Film Festival includes Vancouver Island produced feature film All-in Madonna. The festival looks a bit different this year, but film-lovers can still expect a full and diverse lineup. (Courtesy of VFF)
Victoria Film Festival returns with virtual viewing

Lineup features 50 films including Vancouver Island-produced All-in Madonna

Joy Sharpe holds a picture of her late husband Ray while posing for a photograph with the Sybil Andrews painting ‘hauling’ before donating it to the Campbell River Hospice Society. (Submitted photo)
$6 painting turned into $10,000 charity windfall

A 1952 original Sybil Andrews painting donation fetches Campbell River Hospice Society a nice return

<em>Chinook Salmon: Breaking Through</em> by B.C.’s Mark Hobson was selected among 13 entries as the winner of the Pacific Salmon Foundation’s Salmon Stamp Competition.
Stained-glass lighting casts a win to B.C. salmon artist

Painting of chinook is Mark Hobson’s third win in annual contest

Apollonian means “serene, calm, or well-balanced; poised & disciplined”. The natural photo art for the album includes Vancouver Island mountains, rivers and beaches. Scenes from the Cowichan River, Witchcraft Lake, Pipers Lagoon, Wall Beach and other popular Island recreation destinations accentuate the album. (RICHIErichieRichie Music Publishing photo)
Serenity Now! Richie Valley debuts third LP dubbed Apollonian

Apollonian means “serene, calm, or well-balanced; poised & disciplined”

Victoria artist Noah Layne is conducting online workshops on portrait drawing as part of the Metchosin ArtPod’s About Face portrait show. (Photo courtesy of Noah Layne)
Metchosin Art Pod doing an about-face

Renowned artist Noah Layne hosting online classes in portrait drawing

This weekend Amy Pye is holding a virtual book launch for her latest children’s book, <em>Bruce the Silly Goose</em>. (Photo courtesy Amy Pye)
Victoria writer and illustrator pens children’s book about COVID-19 safety

Amy Pye to hold online book launch for ‘Bruce the Silly Goose’

The pantomime ‘Snow White and the 5 Dwarfs’ has been cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions. (Submitted)
Pantomime cancelled in Cowichan due to COVID restrictions

A partnership of the Cowichan Musical Society, the Shawnigan Players, and the Mercury Players.

A rendering shows the entrance planned for the Hornby Island Arts Centre. Image supplied
Work on Hornby Island Arts Centre to start this month

Community worked with award-winning architectural firm on design

Western Edge Theatre artistic director Brian March and local theatre artists Brianna Hamilton and Daniel Puglas (from left) make up Western Edge’s new team of “artistic associates.” (News Bulletin file photos/Courtney Harder)
Nanaimo theatre company adds younger, diverse voices to artistic team

Western Edge hopes new ‘artistic associates’ will help form new ideas, reach new audiences

Sara Lopez Assu says she’s relatively happy with how the Campbell River Art Gallery team managed to weather the storm that was 2020. File Photo by Mike Davies/Campbell River Mirror
Campbell River Art Gallery director reflects on ‘maybe our hardest year ever’

‘It would be easy to look back and be disappointed … but that’s not going to get us anywhere’

Most Read