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Our Mission October 28, 2008

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The Women’s Centre at Queen’s functions first and foremost as a safe space for women and their allies, on campus and beyond to the Kingston community.  The Women’s Centre strives to be a point of connection between various different feminist and gender inclusive initiatives within Kingston. The Women’s Centre can support these initiatives financially, through use of our resource library, by way of volunteer involvement and advocacy, and by opening up our space. Members of the Women’s Centre intend to make full use of its resources in order to foster greater community, health and wellbeing. It is our belief that safe space is a priority, not a luxury, and our mission to bring this concept to life outside the centre walls.

We’ve changed our name! March 25, 2011

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And we’ve moved our website! Check us out

Resistance is fertile and we’re planting some seeds! August 6, 2010

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Friends & lovers,

The Women’s Centre is shaking off its roots and planting itself in new soil.  We’ll continue to locate ourselves upstairs in the Grey House (51 Bader Lane, Kingston ON — come visit!), but we’re changing our name, mandate, attitude, and (hopefully) vibe.  Most things are still tentative, but here’s a juicy spoiler: the Centre is striving for trans-inclusivity and broader ideas of gender empowerment (for people of all or no genders).  We will be looking to more strongly assert ourselves politically and provide radical and alternative feminist resources, programming, and community in Kingston and at Queen’s University.  GET EXCITED.  And also, get involved!  We’ll be searching for steering collective members and volunteers soon.

For now, we want you to lose sleep in anticipation for what is to come.  Just kidding!  Seriously, though, we need your help to learn and grow.  What kinds of things would you like to see from a feminist, sex-positive, anti-oppressive, trans-inclusive, queer-positive, radical group/space?  (Gasp! That was a mouthful.) What kinds of material would you like to see in our alternative resource library?  What are some zines you wish you could get your hands on?  What sorts of things make you feel comfortable in a space?  Where do you like to be kissed?  It’s all relevant!  Let us know what you think in the comments.  Or send us an e-mail at queenswomenscentre@gmail.com

Our space is not currently wheelchair accessible.  This is something we, along with other groups working out of the Grey House, are committed to working on and hopefully things will happen soon.  For now, we apologize for our inaccessibility and the message it conveys, promise to work on amending that soon, and hope to make things as convenient as possible in the meantime.  That means if you would like to meet a representative downstairs on the first floor of the Grey House or get some reading material from our library, please contact us and we’ll make it happen!  If there’s something specific you’d like to see that would make the space more comfortable and accessible to you, please let us know.

Anyway, keep your fingers on our pulse and let us know how we’re doing if you so please.  We’ve got a long road up ahead of us with lots of lofty goals and ambitious plans, and we need to be held accountable for everything we say we are and do.

Metaphoric feminist gardening forever,

The Centre

Queer/homo-phobia is not what feminism is about July 9, 2010

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July 9, 2010

To Shirley Dowell and the Women’s Art Festival Committee Members,

It has come to our attention that Reelout Arts Project Inc. has been denied a space in the Women’s Art Festival. Our understanding is that the festival’s primary focus is showcasing artists who identify as women, allowing artists to connect with other artists and fundraising for various causes that affect women. It disturbs us that Reelout was denied access because members of your board “had all agreed that [Reelout] just were not the right fit for [your] festival especially with children around” and “were not big fans of people flaunting their sexuality and related an example of a woman from a couple of years ago who made certain parts of the female anatomy out of paper mache and the organizers of the Art Festival were not very happy about that.” (Reelout)

These are incredibly insulting and offensive statements. “[F]launting their sexuality” assumes that any indication of non-heterosexual identity is unwelcome at the festival. What exactly entails “flaunting”? Photography featuring same-sex couples? Pro-LGBTQ slogans on clothing? Or perhaps, just the existence of visibly queer folks? Secondly, the female anatomy makes people uncomfortable? Shouldn’t your community and festival advocate for challenging the negativity associated with women’s bodies and genitalia? Why not explore that discomfort and examine and educate on issues of sexual violence and the degradation of female body image? The comment about Reelout being out of place, “especially with children around” is deeply homophobic and implies that queer folks pose a threat to children. It is clear that there exists a deeper issue concerning the group when even the suggestion of flyers handed out by the all-women volunteer team about Reelout was denied.

Reelout’s rejection from the Women’s Art Festival is extremely hurtful and divisive to our vibrant and beautiful community of artists, women and Kingstonians. Women who love women, transwomen and other allies at Reelout have done tremendous work in our community to showcase various types of bodies, sexualities and genders that make up the Kingston community. Your actions towards Reelout need to be re-thought and rescinded.

We, at the Women’s Centre at Queen’s University, fully support the inclusion of Reelout as part of the Women’s Art Festival. We hope that this apparent queer/homo –phobia does not set precedent to how the Festival plans on treating artists from the present to the future. We stand in solidarity with Reelout and other groups that have been, and continue to be, similarly marginalized in feminist and women’s spaces, and until the decision is rescinded and Reelout is allowed to take space within the Festival, we will actively boycott and encourage others to boycott the Women’s Art Festival.

With utmost sincerity,

Kym Nacita


Vlada Bilyak


A WEEK OF EVENTS! March 5, 2010

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The upcoming week marks International Women’s Week, Aboriginal Awareness Week and Pride Week for Kingston!

Come out to events!

Feminist Book Exchange for International Women’s Week

Wednesday, March 10 @ the Grad Club 2nd Floor – Check our events section for more details!

What is safe space? October 28, 2008

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The Women’s Centre understands safe space to be an environment that is non-oppressive, non-judgmental, non-hierarchical, and confidential. Safe space is also a state of mind. It starts with the individual and extends outward. Safe space is about respect and empowerment of oneself and others. The Women’s Centre is committed to ensuring and promoting safe space and expects all its members and users to do the same.