Erin Flegg is a Masters student in creative writing at the University of British Columbia and is one of the executive editors of PRISM International magazine, working toward becoming a part of Vancouver's vibrant magazine culture. She writes about women in education, literature and the perils of living in a city that won't stop raining.
There were hundreds of people gathered to hear more than a dozen speakers. People brought flags and banners and signs with all kinds of messages on them, mostly demand for fair treatment, recognition of indigenous rights and solidarity.
Vancouver is the first place I’ve had any firsthand experience with women-only spaces. Women-only gyms, a women-only pharmacy, women-only night at the bike shop. This kind of place seems to be telling me one thing: the city at large, the places designed to serve humans as a general group, are not designed for me. But rather than seek to change these things, we are told it’s better to step outside of them. Make our own spaces.
When I tell people I am working on a masters degree in creative writing, the inevitable jokes centre on two things: money, and respectability. The perception of my MFA is often that it’s something I do for fun, something to pass the time before I get a real job and actually learn to support myself.