#ABWomenSpeak - Charlotte Garrett

03/05/2021

On Sunday, May 2, 2021, we joined various women's groups in Canada, including WHRC Canada, Alberta Radical Feminists, and caWsbar (Canadian Women's Sex-Based Rights) and took to the grounds of the Alberta Legislature to hold a protest.

What follows is a transcript of Charlotte Garrett's remarks!

A video of this speech and those of the other speakers is available on our facebook page!

Charlotte Garrett is a born-and-bred Albertan who currently lives in Saskatchewan and is the WHRC Saskatchewan Coordinator. She is a teacher and writer who became active for girls and women's rights when a family member headed for elite sport realised her place could be taken by a male competitor.


Hi, everybody, can you hear me okay?

Thank you Raine, and thank you Alline, I'm so pleased to be here today.

I am a teacher, I am a mother, I'm a grandmother, and I care, I have a duty of care. I'm only able to stand here today because of the women before me who fought for sex-based rights. You all know what those rights are. 

What are they?

The right to vote. To private washrooms. To go to school. To play sports. To win scholarships. To choose to have children. The right to equal pay, which of course we still haven't met yet. We want to walk freely. We want to be able to speak to our truth.

So here's a pop quiz: what's 5 + 5?

[There are shouts of 10! from the audience]

Ah, good, okay so you're firmly grounded in material reality. But, what happens when a child responds to 5 + 5? Hopefully, well, in fact we are supporting that child to feel secure in the material world, to help her to realise the space that human beings occupy is a physical body-mind relationship in a finite time as all are living things in a precious ecological, intricately connected system. We all know that that system is plundered almost beyond the earth's capacity to support life. This life support includes our children. If a child is taught that 5 + 5 equals whatever you feel it to be, you are destabilising material reality; the very ground the child occupies. Of course, I am speaking here to the current Canadian educational system that teaches to an ideological "gender" rather than evidence-based scientific facts of human biology. 

What are the biological rights of girls? They are protected, as we know, since 1981 under the United Nations Committee of the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, and since 1982 by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which enshrines the sex-based rights of girls and women. 

Yet, these freedoms are being undermined in the very place that the children's hungry selves are to learn: a classroom. 

Linda says, you can see her sign, "identities don't play sports, bodies play sports."

I say identities don't go to school, bodies go to school. From playschool through university, identity formation is a life-long process. We all grow up, we can't help it, right? Unless of course we're given all kinds of drugs and hormones to stop that. We are able to make sound decisions when our frontal development completes, our frontal lobe, [at] age 25. In that process, the children are supposed to be supported by teachers in the context of Maslow's hierarchy of needs

A solid foundation in reality for children is necessary in order to flourish, to be able to discern fact from fiction, and to sort truth from ideological nonsense as they mature. Adolescents we know are like the prairie weather: it changes every five minutes. 

As the Canadian doctor Susan Bradley has said, "Sometimes kids don't know what they want for breakfast," never mind consider the concept of gender based on regressive stereotypes.

Last September, the UK new school guidance instructed their educators and administrators that no outside material be brought into the classroom. They were instructed that teachers may no longer say that kids can be "born in the wrong body." They are instructed to say that a child can choose whatever they want to wear and no one says "oh maybe you're really a boy!" "maybe you're really a girl!" But that doesn't happen here. It is not so.

Here, a child's right to safety of the person is not protected. Safeguarding the child is not a priority in Canada: the word safety has been co-opted. 

Now, girls are taught to move over, to give up the ground that they stand on, to give up space in all areas of their lives. Safety does not mean for them, but for others. We teach our cherished girls to trust their instincts, to feel their bodies in their physical space, which is then undermined when they are taught to move over. That their body could be wrong. That they could be "born in the wrong body." If kids are disturbed at this fundamental level of being, their entire reality is up for grabs. 

Girls must trust their instinctive knowledge of their body-mind, that is the XX chromosomes that are in every single cell of the body. It is an innate intelligence. 

My mother told me when she was giving birth to me that she experienced a vision of her mother Ida giving birth to her, that she witnessed in her imagination, in her feeling, her mother Maggie giving birth to her, and her mother Charlotte giving birth to her, and her mother Ann giving birth to her, and her mother Mary back and back and back, as Alice Monroe said, back and back. It is this XX body-mind that gives us the connection to go back and back. To understand the back and back.

It is *ours* to claim, to know, to teach *our* daughters this sense of belonging in time, not to be severed from it. The rights of girls includes the right to know what they know, to trust their instincts, to say what is true, to maintain their language, to use the verb "to be" and to not shut up.


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