“Absolutely not. You know, I’ve been dealing with the constant sexism and prejudice towards women and people of colour here, but it’s been going on long enough. I quit. You’re right, there’s no future for me here, but I will find someone who will respect me and my work. You’ll see, one day this book will be all over the world, all over the news and my face will be everywhere you look. You’ll regret this.”
The blue-suit spectator chuckled and walked up to us then. The one in black and white quirked an eyebrow at him and asked, “Would you like to do the honours?”
He handed him my book and I watched, helplessly, as he tore it up, page by page and threw it all on the ground like garbage. Which apparently, I was meant to feel like.
All my hard work, just like that, gone. Right before my eyes and I couldn’t do anything about it. I slowly lowered myself to the ground and attempted to pick up whatever was left.
Blue suit crouched down to look me in the eye and makes sure I hear what he said after grabbing my chin. “We regret nothing, here. If you want to leave, leave, but just know that no other publishing house will take you and your sh*tty work. So, good luck or whatever, Maya.”
And with that, they both left me there, gasping for breath as I stared at all my months of hard work
demolished and reduced to nothing,
helpless and broken.
But not for long.
I wipe my tears and stand with my back straight and chin upwards. They won’t bring me down, not today, not ever.
My name is Maya. I was not taught how to be weak. They think they can break me, but they forget, I am a woman. The strongest being on the planet. They can never weaken me. They can never weaken a woman. A woman fights back. And so will I.
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WUSA recognizes that much of the work we do happens on the traditional territory of the neutral, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. The land we work on is covered by the Between the Lakes Treaty, No. 3 (1792), and this region is still home to First Nation, Inuit, and Metis peoples from across Turtle Island. We are grateful to have the opportunity to work, play and live on this land and acknowledge that it is our collective responsibility to make our community and world a better place for all people. We acknowledge that educational institutions have not been a safe space for Indigenous students in the past and we continue to work to ensure that this is no longer the case. The work towards truth and reconciliation is ongoing, please do your part and take time to learn more: TRC 94 Calls to Action | MMIWG Calls to Justice Report | Native-Land.ca | Student Supports & Clubs