What Does Kerra Seay?: Okay ladies now let's get information

Beyonce used the music video for "Formation" to bring attention to police brutality and the failure of the U.S. government to properly respond to Hurricane Katrina. You don't have the same impact as Beyonce, so the only way you can get the change you want is to vote.

In the eternal words of Beyoncé, “I break chains all by myself, won't let my freedom rot in hell. Imma keep runnin' cuz a winner don't quit on themselves.”

Beyoncé is Queen Bey for a reason; her songs empower women, especially women of colour who are far too often objectified and marginalized in our culture. She inspires women to be themselves, to be powerful, to be leaders and to take charge.

She is not afraid to call herself a feminist; Beyoncé even famously quoted Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche in her song, “Flawless” and literally included the definition of feminism.

“Feminist: the person who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes.”

Though feminists, including myself, would argue that we have not quite yet achieved gender equality, some significant strides have been made; though full equality is not quite there, I believe that it is within our reach.

Though many people think that Canadian women were granted the right to vote in 1921 thanks to the diligence of suffragettes, that is not the case. Women of colour, in particular Aboriginal and Asian women, were not allowed to vote in federal elections until 1960.

That means that all Canadian women have only been legally allowed to vote for 56 years; female voices were not equally heard for the country's first 24 elections.

I find it difficult at times to imagine what my life would be like if I couldn't be the strong, independent woman that Beyoncé and all the other women in my life inspire me to be. I can't imagine watching people make decisions that will have a direct impact on my life and not be able to do anything about it.

According to Statistics Canada, 66.1 per cent of registered Canadian voters took part in the most recent federal election, up 7.6 per cent from the previous federal election in 2011. I made sure to be one of them.

These stats show that not even three quarters of the country decided to get out and vote, but these results actually show a fairly significant jump in voter turnout in just four years' time.

The largest increase in voter participation between the 2011 and 2015 election was in the category of female voters between the ages of 18 to 24, jumping up from 40.9 per cent to 60.5 per cent of the population. Male voters in this age group weren't far behind coming in at 53.8 per cent. 66.1 per cent of Canadians voted in 2015: 64.1 per cent of male voters and 68 per cent of female voters.

Comparatively, these are great numbers. Objectively, I still think they kind of suck. But only a few decades ago, the number of female voters would have been dramatically smaller.

I know you're all probably sick of people telling you to vote, but as a woman I feel that making the decision to not vote is a slap in the face for all those who have struggled to give you that right.

It's your way of telling the world that you are content with your life and that you don't care about the issues that others are struggling with. You don't care about the fact that Aboriginal women are far more likely to be murdered than white women, or that though the statistics say women make 77 cents to every man's dollar that this stat isn't intersectional and often doesn't report that women of colour often earn even less. You are complacent in the oppression of others.

That doesn't seem like something Beyoncé would do, does it?

I love that Canadians, Canadian women in particular, are getting out to polling booths and voting. According to StatsCan a higher percentage of women voted more than men in every age category excluding categories over age 65. That means, for the most part, the role of women in politics is ever-growing; it's our way of telling our government that we're paying attention, so they better shape up.

So to anyone who is unhappy with what our government is doing, make sure next time around you do the only thing you can do: vote. Beyoncé would.

Editorial opinions or comments expressed in this online edition of Interrobang newspaper reflect the views of the writer and are not those of the Interrobang or the Fanshawe Student Union. The Interrobang is published weekly by the Fanshawe Student Union at 1001 Fanshawe College Blvd., P.O. Box 7005, London, Ontario, N5Y 5R6 and distributed through the Fanshawe College community. Letters to the editor are welcome. All letters are subject to editing and should be emailed. All letters must be accompanied by contact information. Letters can also be submitted online by clicking here.