Transcript: Documenting Activism and Mental Health | Nov 26, 2020

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a dark blue suit, checkered shirt, and blue tie.

A caption on screen reads "Documenting activism and mental health. @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says ANYONE WITH A PASSING FAMILIARITY WITH THE WOMEN'S RIGHTS MOVEMENT IN THIS COUNTRY, PRETTY MUCH ANYTIME SINCE THE 1970s, KNOWS JUDY REBICK. SHE WAS A LEADING VOICE IN THE PRO-CHOICE MOVEMENT, FOR PAY EQUITY, AND ON LGBT ISSUES. SHE WAS A PUNDIT, A JOURNALIST, AND IS FOUNDER OF THE PROGRESSIVE ONLINE PLATFORM, Rabble.ca. BUT WE LEARN A LOT MORE ABOUT HER IN A NEW DOCUMENTARY ON HER LIFE: FOR EXAMPLE, PROFOUND MENTAL HEALTH DIFFICULTIES SHE SUFFERED, AND AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP IN HER PAST. IT'S ALL DETAILED IN "JUDY vs. CAPITALISM," WHICH SCREENED AT THIS YEAR'S HOT DOCS FESTIVAL AND IN OCTOBER AT THE RENDEZVOUS WITH MADNESS FESTIVAL. PLUS, SHE'S ALSO RELEASED AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY CALLED "HEROES IN MY HEAD: A MEMOIR." AND JUDY REBICK JOINS US NOW FROM THE ANNEX IN THE PROVINCIAL CAPITAL.

Judy is in her early seventies, with short curly gray hair. She's wearing glasses and a red plaid shirt.

Steve continues YOU ARE MULTI-MEDIA ALL THE TIME NOW, AREN'T YOU?

Judy says LATELY I HAVE BEEN, ALL SITTING IN MY LIVING ROOM.

Steve says GOOD ON YOU.

Judy says IT'S WEIRD BUT FUN.

Steve says LET'S START HERE, JUDY. HOW MUCH CONVINCING DID IT TAKE TO GET YOU TO CONSENT TO HAVING A DOCUMENTARY MADE ABOUT YOUR LIFE?

The caption changes to "Judy Rebick. Writer and Activist."
Then, it changes again to "The Activist and the Filmmaker."

Judy says NOT MUCH IN THIS CASE BECAUSE THE DIRECTOR IS A VERY CLOSE FRIEND OF MINE AND I KNOW THAT HE'S AN INCREDIBLY TALENTED FILMMAKER. SO WHEN HE ASKED ME, I ASKED A MUTUAL FRIEND, ALSO A FILMMAKER, MIKE ASKING TO MAKE A FILM ABOUT YOU IS LIKE A GREAT PAINTER WANTING TO TAKE YOUR PORTRAIT.

Steve says NICE.

Judy says SO I SAID, OKAY, LET'S DO IT. IT DIDN'T TAKE MUCH CONVINCING.

Steve says YOU WROTE THE MEMOIR NOT TOO LONG AGO. SO WERE THERE THINGS THAT THE MEMOIR COULD NOT COVER THAT THE DOCUMENTARY DOES?

The caption changes to "Judy Rebick. Author, 'Heroes in my head.'"

Judy says NO, IT'S NOT THAT THE MEMOIR... THE DOCUMENTARY WAS CREATED QUITE SEPARATELY FROM THE MEMOIR. I WAS WRITING THE MEMOIR WHILE HE WAS FILMING... WHILE HE WAS DOING THE INTERVIEWS. SO EVEN THOUGH THE BOOK CAME OUT TWO YEARS AGO, YOU KNOW, FILM TAKES A LONG TIME TO GET GOING, THE INTERVIEWS WERE JUST HIS INTEREST IN VARIOUS THINGS AND NOT SO MUCH BASED ON THE BOOK, BUT OF COURSE I WAS WRITING THE BOOK AT THE TIME. THE ONE THING I TALK ABOUT IN THE DOCUMENTARY THAT I DON'T TALK ABOUT IN THE BOOK IS MY STRUGGLES WITH WEIGHT. SOMEHOW THAT CAME UP WITH HIM AND IT WASN'T SOMETHING THAT I DECIDED TO WRITE ABOUT. THAT'S NOT THE ONLY THING.

Steve says RIGHT. WE SHALL GET BACK TO THAT. THE FUNNY THING IS, YOU'VE... LIKE, YOU'VE BEEN ON THE SCENE IN CANADA FOR SO MANY DECADES, PEOPLE MAY THINK YOU'RE FROM HERE. BUT YOU'RE ACTUALLY NOT. YOU GREW UP IN RENO, NEVADA...

Judy says I GREW UP... YEAH, SORRY.

Steve says GO AHEAD.

Judy says I WAS BORN IN RENO, NEVADA, BUT MY PARENTS MOVED BACK TO NEW YORK... MY FATHER WAS STATIONED THERE DURING THE WAR. MY PARENTS MOVED BACK TO BROOKLYN WHEN I WAS ABOUT THREE MONTHS OLD, SO I DIDN'T GROW UP IN RENO, I GREW UP IN BROOKLYN.

Steve says YOU SCREAM NEW YORK, I HAVE TO TELL YOU, AS YOU KNOW.

The caption changes to "Growing up Judy."

Judy says I LEFT THERE WHEN I WAS 10 BUT I'M REALLY A BROOKLYN JEW THROUGH AND THROUGH. I KNOW THAT. IT'S KIND OF WEIRD BUT TRUE.

Steve says WELL, I'M TRYING TO ASK THIS IN AN APPROPRIATE WAY WITHOUT HAVING YOU GET INTO... BECAUSE I KNOW THERE'S AN ISSUE WITH YOUR FATHER THAT WE'RE GOING TO TALK ABOUT EVENTUALLY, BUT I DON'T WANT TO TOUCH ON THAT YET. SO MAYBE YOU CAN GIVE ME A BROAD BRUSH STROKES OF WHAT A CHILD IN BROOKLYN, NEW YORK, FOR YOU WAS LIKE?

The caption changes to "Judy Rebick, @judyrebick."

Judy says I GREW UP IN FLATBUSH, WHICH NOW IS LIKE LITTLE JAMAICA IN NEW YORK, BUT THEN WAS ALL JEWISH. TILL I WAS FIVE, WE LIVED IN MY GRANDMA'S BASEMENT, SO I SPENT A LOT OF TIME WITH MY GRANDMA, WHICH WAS GREAT. SHE REALLY TOOK CARE OF ME I THINK... I REMEMBER HER MORE STRONGLY THAN I DO MY OWN MOTHER. YOU KNOW, WE HAD A VERY EXTENDED FAMILY IN THOSE DAYS. I SPENT A LOT OF TIME WITH MY COUSINS AND MY COUSINS' COUSINS, AND THAT'S WHAT I REMEMBER MOST. SCHOOL. WE MOVED OUT OF MY GRANDMA'S HOUSE WHEN I WAS ABOUT... WHEN I WAS FIVE. AND THEN WE LIVED ON OUR OWN, AND THAT'S WHEN I STARTED MAKING MORE FRIENDS. YEAH. IT WAS PRETTY, IN SOME WAYS, UNEVENTFUL. YOU KNOW, YOU HAVE JEWISH HOLIDAYS. MY GRANDPARENTS WERE VERY RELIGIOUS, SO WE PRACTISED... MY FATHER NOT SO MUCH, WHO PRACTISED ALL THE RELIGION. AND ALSO MY FATHER WAS A GREAT BASEBALL PLAYER. LIKE, HE WAS... HE WAS... THEY INVITED HIM TO COME ONTO THE FARM TEAM OF THE BROOKLYN DODGERS. LIKE, I THINK HE WOULD HAVE GOTTEN ONTO THE BROOKLYN DODGERS TEAM.

Steve says IF NOT FOR THE FACT THEY DIDN'T PAY VERY MUCH.

Judy says THAT'S RIGHT.

Steve says YOU WOULD HAVE LIVED PRETTY CLOSE TO ABBOTT'S FIELD, RIGHT, IN FLATBUSH. SO DID YOU GUYS EVER GO TO THE BALL GAMES TOGETHER?

Judy says EVERY WEEK. WE WENT SATURDAY TO THE DODGERS AND SUNDAY TO WATCH MY FATHER PLAY BALL. SO I WAS BROUGHT UP WITH BASEBALL. I CAN'T STAND IT NOW. BUT I WAS BROUGHT UP WATCHING BASEBALL.

Steve says WELL, OKAY. NOW WE GET TO THE UNCOMFORTABLE QUESTION THAT I WAS HINTING AT A MOMENT AGO, WHICH IS, LATER IN LIFE YOU HAVE... YOU HAVE COME TO UNDERSTAND THAT YOU AND YOUR FATHER HAD A PARTICULARLY DISTRESSING RELATIONSHIP. WANT TO TOUCH ON THAT?

Judy says YEAH. WHEN I WAS IN MY 40s, MY LATE 40s, I GUESS, YEAH, 45, SOMETHING HAPPENED, IT WAS IN THE MIDDLE OF... IT WAS TOWARD THE END OF THE PRO-CHOICE STRUGGLE, AND YOU MIGHT REMEMBER THAT THERE WAS A DEAF WOMAN IN TORONTO... THIS IS AFTER ABORTION WAS LEGAL... AND HER BOYFRIEND TRIED TO STOP HER FROM GETTING AN ABORTION. AND FOR SOME REASON... HER SISTER FREAKED OUT AND I WAS TRYING TO CALM HER SISTER DOWN, AND FOR SOME REASON, IT TRIGGERED MEMORIES. AND I REMEMBERED... I REMEMBERED BEING ABUSED AS A CHILD, AS A LITTLE GIRL. AND I JUST... MY MIND WAS JUST FLOODED WITH THESE MEMORIES. SO I CALLED SOMEONE I KNEW IN THE PRO-CHOICE MOVEMENT WHO WAS A THERAPIST AND I KNEW SHE SPECIALIZED IN THIS CHILDHOOD SEX ABUSE AND I STARTED TO GO TO HER AND WITHIN TWO SESSIONS I REALIZED THAT THE PERSON ABUSING ME WAS MY FATHER. AND THEN ABOUT FIVE SESSIONS AFTER THAT, THIS VOICE STARTED SPEAKING OUT OF MY MOUTH. I DON'T KNOW IF YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT THAT.

Steve says WELL, IN FACT, YOU CALLED IT I THINK DISSOCIATIVE DISORDER. IS THAT PART OF IT?

The caption changes to "Personal struggles."

Judy says YEAH. THE MEDICAL TERM IS DISSOCIATIVE IDENTITY DISORDER, BUT BACK THEN, THEY CALLED IT MULTIPLE PERSONALITY DISORDER, WHICH MOST PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT BECAUSE HOLLYWOOD HAS REALLY SENSATIONALIZED IT, RIGHT, THREE FACES OF EVE, YOU KNOW, CYBIL, ALL THAT STUFF. YOU KNOW, IT'S NOT AT ALL THE EXPERIENCE THAT I HAD, BUT... SO EVERYBODY KNOWS THAT TERM. AND IN TERMS OF MY EXPERIENCE, THAT TERM MAKES MORE SENSE TO ME, BUT IT'S NOT USED MEDICALLY ANYMORE.

Steve says DO YOU THINK ANYBODY ELSE IN YOUR FAMILY KNEW WHAT WAS GOING ON IN TERMS OF THE ABUSE AT THE HANDS OF YOUR FATHER?

The caption changes to "Subscribe to The Agenda Podcast: tvo.org/theagenda."

Judy says NO. I DON'T THINK THEY KNEW. BUT, YOU KNOW, IT'S HARD TO TELL BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, BACK IN THOSE DAYS... EVEN NOW, IT'S TRUE. BUT BACK IN THOSE DAYS, YOU KNOW, NOBODY TALKED ABOUT ANYTHING LIKE THAT, YOU KNOW. AND I TOLD MY GRANDMOTHER, WHO IS THE PERSON I WAS CLOSEST TO, THAT MY FATHER WAS MAKING ME TOUCH HIM. AND MY GRANDMOTHER HIT ME AND SAID "DIRT." DON'T TALK LIKE THAT, RIGHT? SO THAT WAS MY ATTEMPT TO TELL SOMEBODY, AND IT DIDN'T WORK, AND SO I HAD TO PROTECT MYSELF, AND THE WAY I PROTECTED... THIS IS THE WAY I SEE IT. THE WAY I PROTECTED MYSELF WAS TO CREATE IMAGINARY FRIENDS THAT TOOK THE ABUSE AND HID IT FROM ME. THAT'S HOW I EXPERIENCE IT. THE WAY THAT PSYCHIATRISTS WOULD EXPLAIN IT IS THAT A CHILD... IT'S VERY RARE, IF EVER, THAT SOMEONE DEVELOPS THIS CONDITION IF THE ABUSE TAKES PLACE LATER. THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT THE MOBILITY OF YOUR BRAIN THAT IT CAN BE THIS CREATIVE, THAT IT CREATES THESE CHARACTERS WHO TAKE THE ABUSE AND HIDE IT FROM... YOU KNOW, IT'S KIND OF UNBEARABLE, A PERSON WHO IS SUPPOSED TO TAKE CARE OF YOU IS ABUSING YOU, AND SO WHEN YOU'RE FIVE YEARS OLD, YOU CAN'T... LIKE, IT'S UNBEARABLE. YOU CAN'T STAND THAT. SO YOU DISSOCIATE FROM IT, AND THE PROBLEM... AND IT WORKED VERY WELL. THE PROBLEM WAS, YOU KNOW, IT CONTINUED TO BE BURIED AND CONTINUED TO AFFECT MY HEALTH FOR MANY, MANY YEARS, UNTIL I COULD DEAL WITH IT.

Steve says HOW OLD WAS YOUR FATHER WHEN HE DIED?

Judy says HE WAS... I THINK HE WAS 89. IN HIS LATE 80s.

Steve says DID HE EVER FACE A DAY OF RECKONING ON THIS ISSUE?

Judy says WELL, I CONFRONTED HIM. I BASICALLY... WHEN I WAS GOING THROUGH THIS, I WAS PRESIDENT OF NAC, AND I COULD DO THAT BUT I COULDN'T DEAL WITH TALKING TO MY FATHER.

Steve says THE NATIONAL ACTION COMMITTEE ON THE STATUS OF WOMEN.

Judy says YES. I CUT OFF CONTACT WITH MY PARENTS FOR IT TURNED OUT TO BE TWO YEARS. I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE A COUPLE OF MONTHS BUT IT TURNED OUT TO BE TWO YEARS. AND WHILE I WAS PRESIDENT OF NAC, A VERY MAJOR WOMEN'S GROUP, I GOT INVITED TO SPEAK AT A NATIONAL ORGANIZATION OF WOMEN CONFERENCE IN MIAMI AND THEY LIVED IN FORT LAUDERDALE, AND MY BROTHER SAID HE WOULD GO IF I WANTED TO... MY BROTHER WANTED ME TO TALK TO MY PARENTS. AND SO HE SAID HE WOULD GO. SO HE WOULD BE THERE TO SUPPORT ME BECAUSE HE HAD BEEN MY PRIMARY SUPPORT THROUGH ALL THIS. AND AT FIRST I CONFRONTED MY MOTHER. I HAD NO INTENTION OF CONFRONTING MY FATHER. AND MY MOTHER ACCEPTED IT AT FIRST, BUT, YOU KNOW, SHE WAS SORT OF A GENIUS AT, YOU KNOW, DENIAL, RIGHT? LIKE, SHE DENIES SHE LIVED WITH THIS CRAZY GUY... MY FATHER, I THINK HE WAS, YOU KNOW, A NARCISSIST, BUS HE WAS VERY ANGRY, AND HE NEVER... THERE WAS NEVER VIOLENCE, LIKE PHYSICAL VIOLENCE IN OUR HOME, BECAUSE HIS FATHER BEAT HIM. SO HE PROMISED HIMSELF HE'D NEVER BEAT HIS WIFE OR KIDS. BUT IN THE WORLD, HE WAS QUITE VIOLENT. HE'D GET FIGHTS IN BASEBALL. WHOEVER SAW ANYBODY FIGHT IN A BASEBALL DIAMOND? MY FATHER DID, YOU KNOW? SO SHE LIVED WITH THAT AND PRETENDED EVERYTHING WAS OKAY. IF YOU OBJECTED TO HIS BEHAVIOUR, SHE'D SAY, DON'T YOU KNOW YOUR FATHER BY NOW, RIGHT? SO SHE DID ACCEPT IT AT FIRST AND THEN SHE SAID, PLEASE, PLEASE, CONFRONT YOUR FATHER. PLEASE TELL HIM. AND MY THERAPIST DIDN'T THINK I WAS READY TO DO THAT, BUT SHE WAS WRONG. I WENT. AND I THINK IT WAS THE MOST TERRIFYING EXPERIENCE I EVER HAD DRIVING FROM MY MOTEL TO THEIR HOUSE, GETTING READY TO CONFRONT HIM. BUT OF COURSE BY THIS TIME, HE WAS A FRAGILE OLD MAN, AND SO WHEN THE... THE OTHER PERSONALITY SAW HIM, THEY STOPPED BEING AFRAID OF HIM, AND I CONFRONTED HIM AND HE DENIED IT, BUT HE DENIED IT IN A WAY THAT WAS VERY PRO FORMA, YOU KNOW? AND THEN MY MOTHER SAID, WELL, CAN'T WE ALL JUST PUT IT BEHIND US NOW? THAT WAS MY MOTHER'S WAY OF DEALING, RIGHT? YEAH. SO THEN I COULD TALK TO MY MOTHER AFTER THAT. I DIDN'T TALK TO MY FATHER MUCH UNTIL THEY CAME BACK TO CANADA. SO I DID CONFRONT HIM, BUT HE NEVER ACCEPTED RESPONSIBILITY FOR IT.

Steve says WAS IT AT ALL SATISFYING TO HAVE THAT MOMENT, THOUGH, OF FINALLY CONFRONTING HIM WITH THAT?

Judy says WELL, YEAH. THE WAY IT WAS IS THAT MY ALTER STOPPED BEING AFRAID SO IT ENABLED ME TO HEAL AND INTEGRATE THEM. IT WAS REALLY A TURNING POINT IN THAT WAY, THAT THEY SAW HE COULDN'T HURT THEM ANYMORE. BECAUSE EVERY TIME ONE OF THEM WOULD COME OUT IN THERAPY, THEY'D SAY, "WHERE'S JACK IN REQUESTS THAT WAS MY FATHER'S NAME. "WHERE'S JACK?" ONCE THEY SAW HE COULDN'T HURT ME ANYMORE, THEY JUST PRETTY WELL DISAPPEARED. AND SO IT WAS REALLY VERY PROFOUND. AND ALSO IT WAS A PROFOUND HEALING MOMENT BECAUSE WHEN I STEPPED... MY BROTHER SAW THAT I WAS STARTING TO DISSOCIATE, TURN INTO A LITTLE GIRL, YOU KNOW, IN FRONT OF THEIR EYES, RIGHT? BECAUSE IT WAS SO HARD TO DO. AND MY BROTHER SAW THAT AND HE SAID, JUDY AND I ARE GOING TO GO NOW. AND AS SOON AS WE STEPPED OUT THE DOOR, HE PUT HIS ARMS AROUND ME, AND I HAD THE BIGGEST CRY I EVER HAD IN MY LIFE, LETTING IT GO. SO IT WAS VERY HEALING, THAT MOMENT, EVEN THOUGH DISAPPOINTING.

Steve says YOU KNOW, ONE OF THE THINGS AS I WAS WATCHING THE DOCUMENTARY THAT OCCURRED TO ME IS, I'VE KNOWN YOU FOR ALMOST 40 YEARS BECAUSE I'VE COVERED ALL OF YOUR EFFORTS TO MAKE PROGRESS ON A WHOLE HOST OF ISSUES THAT YOU'VE CARED ABOUT, YOU KNOW, AND AS I'M WATCHING THE DOCUMENTARY, I'M ASKING MYSELF: ALL OF THIS TRAUMA AND TRAGEDY FROM HER PAST, HOW HAS THIS HAD AN IMPACT ON, YOU KNOW, THE RABBLE-ROUSING SOCIAL JUSTICE CRUSADER THAT SHE BECAME? WHAT DO YOU THINK THE ANSWER TO THAT IS?

The caption changes to "Watch us anytime: tvo.org, Twitter: @theagenda, Facebook Live, YouTube."

Judy says I THINK THE ANSWER IS A COUPLE OF THINGS. ONE IS, I GREW UP IN THE '60s. SO, YOU KNOW, IT WAS JUST LIKE LIVING AND BREATHING TO BE A RADICAL. AND WHEN I WAS IN UNIVERSITY. SO I THINK THAT'S PART OF IT FOR SURE. BUT THE OTHER PART IS, BECAUSE OF WHAT... I THINK BECAUSE OF WHAT I WENT THROUGH... I SAY THIS LIKE... THE DISSOCIATION GAVE ME A KIND OF SUPERPOWER, WHICH WAS I WAS FEARLESS. I NEVER FELT FEAR. I NEVER EVEN FELT ANXIETY. NOWADAYS I FEEL ANXIETY, ESPECIALLY AROUND COVID, AND I SAY TO PEOPLE, HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH IT BECAUSE I'VE NEVER FELT ANXIOUS BEFORE. THEY GO WHAT? HOW HAVE YOU NEVER FELT ANXIOUS? AND I NEVER FELT AFRAID EITHER. SO IT WAS KIND OF A SUPERPOWER AND IT HELPED A LOT IN THE PRO-CHOICE MOVEMENT, AS YOU'LL REMEMBER THERE WAS REAL VIOLENCE IN THAT MOVEMENT, PEOPLE TRYING TO STOP US. THE OTHER THING IS I THINK IT MADE ME MUCH MORE EMPATHETIC BECAUSE I WAS, YOU KNOW, HURT SO BADLY AS A CHILD AND BECAUSE I HAD THIS EXPERIENCE OF BEING DIFFERENT PEOPLE, IN A WAY. I COULD UNDERSTAND BETTER, I THINK, WITH MORE EMPATHY, WHAT IT WOULD BE LIKE TO BE IN A DIFFERENT SKIN, FOR EXAMPLE, OR A DIFFERENT CULTURE. AND SO I THINK I WAS MUCH MORE EMPATHETIC, AND THAT ALLOWED ME TO GET INVOLVED IN ANTI-RACIST WORK AND INDIGENOUS SOLIDARITY WORK WELL BEFORE MOST WHITE PEOPLE DID, RIGHT? I COULD IDENTIFY WITH THOSE STRUGGLES.

Steve says YOU MENTIONED THE PRO-CHOICE MOVEMENT, AND WE'RE GOING TO SHOW A SNIPPET FROM THE DOCUMENTARY BECAUSE, WELL, HERE'S JUDY REBICK AT WORK. SHELDON, IF YOU WOULD?

A clip plays on screen with the caption "Judy versus capitalism. 2020."

As black and white clips show a younger Judy, she says ONE DAY, I GUESS IT WAS IN THE HEAT OF THE STRUGGLE, THIS GUY CAME UP TO ME... HE WAS A PRETTY BIG GUY TOO. AND HE STARTED, YOU KNOW, YELLING AT ME ABOUT KILLING BABIES, RIGHT? AND THEN HE PUT HIS HANDS ON MY THROAT AND HE STARTED TO PUSH ME. AND I THINK HE WANTED TO PUSH ME INTO THE TRAIN. BUT THE THING WAS THAT I HAD SOME CONCERNS ABOUT, ESPECIALLY CROSSING THE PICKET LINE AND VIOLENCE, TAKING A TAI CHI COURSE. ONE OF THE GREAT THINGS ABOUT TAI CHI IS THEY TEACH YOU TO TAKE A STANCE SO THAT NOBODY CAN PUSH YOU. YOU TAKE THE STANCE AND, YOU KNOW, THE TAI CHI INSTRUCTOR WAS A BIG GUY, HE WOULD TRY TO PUSH YOU WITH ALL HIS MIGHT AND YOU GET TO THE POINT WHERE HE CAN'T MOVE YOU. SO I TOOK MY STANCE AND THE GUY COULDN'T... HE COULDN'T DO IT AND I MANAGED TO GET HIM AWAY FROM HIM AND THE TRAIN CAME AND I WENT INTO THE TRAIN.

The clip ends.

Steve says WE'RE GOING TO FOLLOW UP ON THAT STORY WITH ANOTHER ONE BECAUSE THERE WAS... YOU'RE LAUGHING BUT THIS WAS SERIOUS STUFF.

Judy laughs and says YEAH.

Steve says THE MAN AT THE FOCUS OF THE...

Judy says I DO LOOK FUNNY GOING ON THE TRAIN, YOU MUST ADMIT, THAT IT LOOKS FUNNY.

Steve says LET'S PUT IT THIS WAY. THE DOCUMENTARIAN, HE'S VERY ARTISTIC IN THE WAY HE TELLS YOUR STORY, LET'S PUT IT THAT WAY.

Judy says INDEED.

Steve says THE MAN AT THE FOCUS OF THE PRO-CHOICE MOVEMENT AT THE TIME WAS AN OBGYN NAMED DR. HENRY MORGENTALER AND SOMEBODY CAME AT HIM WITH SCISSORS OR WHATEVER...

Judy says GARDEN SHEARS.

Steve says GARDEN SHEARS. AND YOU SAVED HIS LIFE. TELL THAT STORY.

The caption changes to "The fight for reproductive rights."

Judy says THE CLINIC WAS OPENING... DR. MORGENTALER LIVED IN MONTREAL AND WE OPENED THE CLINIC IN THE MORNING, REALLY FOR THE MEDIA, WE DIDN'T HAVE ANY PATIENTS YET AND THE MEDIA TOOK SHOTS OF ME OPENING THE DOOR AND, YOU KNOW, UP AND DOWN THE STAIRS AND OPENING THE DOORS ON HARBOURED STREET HERE IN TORONTO. AND THE DOCTOR ARRIVED AND WE ESCORTED HIM ACROSS THE STREET. WE DIDN'T EXPECT ANY TROUBLE. YOU REMEMBER AT THAT TIME IT WAS A CONSERVATIVE GOVERNMENT AND ANTICHOICE THOUGHT THE GOVERNMENT WOULD TAKE CARE OF IT AND THEY DIDN'T HAVE TO PROTEST. THAT WAS AT THE BEGINNING. SO WE DIDN'T EXPECT ANY TROUBLE BUT, YOU KNOW, WE DID STAND ON EITHER SIDE OF HIM JUST IN CASE. AND IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREET THERE WAS ABOUT 100 MEDIA THERE. AND OUT OF THE MEDIA COMES THIS GUY. HE WALKS RIGHT UP TO US, A MIDDLE AGED GUY, AND HE GRABS DR. MORGENTALER WITH HIS ARM. AND I TOOK HIS ARM TO PULL IT OFF BECAUSE I REALIZED HE WAS UP TO NO GOOD. I DIDN'T SEE THE GARDEN SHEARS AT FIRST. AND HE HAD GARDEN SHEARS IN HIS RIGHT HAND. IT WAS HIS LEFT HAND THAT I PULLED. HE HAD GARDEN SHEARS IN HIS RIGHT HAND. AND I PULLED HIM OFF DR. MORGENTALER AND CHERYL, THE OTHER PERSON WHO WAS ESCORTING HIM, TOOK DR. MORGENTALER INTO THE CLINIC. THEN I SAW THAT HE HAD THE GARDEN SHEARS AND, YOU KNOW, I JUST PUSHED HIM AWAY, AND I SAID "GET BACK! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" YOU KNOW? AND THEN I START TO CHASE HIM DOWN THE STREET. THAT WAS THE CRAZY PART. DEFENDING HIM AGAINST DR. MORGENTALER, THAT PART WAS MY JOB. BUT THEN I FOLLOWED HIM SO I COULD FIND OUT WHERE HE LIVED AND THAT WAS THE CRAZY PART.

Steve says YEAH, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING THERE, EXACTLY?

Judy says I WASN'T THINKING. IT WAS JUST INSTINCT. I'VE GOT TO SEE WHERE HE'S GOING SO THE POLICE CAN GET HIM. IT WAS STUPID. AND CHERYL CAME OUT OF THE CLINIC TO FIND ME, AND SHE YELLED MY NAME BECAUSE SHE REALIZED I WAS IN SHOCK, RIGHT? SO I WAS NOT BEHAVING RATIONALLY AT THAT POINT. SO, YEAH. THE WORST PART OF ALL OF THAT, THOUGH, WAS TESTIFYING AT HIS TRIAL. THAT WAS THE HARDEST THING... ONE OF THE HARDEST THINGS I'VE EVER DONE BECAUSE HE LOOKED SO PATHETIC. SO ANYWAY... I REALLY DIDN'T FEEL ANYTHING UNTIL THE NEXT DAY. LIKE, ALL THAT NIGHT... I DON'T SAY THIS IN THE FILM... BUT ALL THAT NIGHT I WAS DOING MEDIA, YOU CAN IMAGINE, IT WAS A HUGE STORY, RIGHT? AND THEN I WAS STAYING AT A FRIEND'S HOUSE IT SO HAPPENED THAT NIGHT, AND THE NEXT MORNING I JUST KEPT THINKING, I HAVE TO GO HOME, I HAVE TO GO HOME, I HAVE TO GO HOME. LIKE I SAID, I WAS IN THERAPY AND I CALLED MY THERAPIST... IT'S NOT LIKE NOW THAT EVERYBODY KNOWS EVERYTHING RIGHT AWAY. HE HADN'T SEEN THE NEWS SO HE DIDN'T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED. SO I EXPLAINED IT TO HIM AND HE SAID, WELL, YOU'RE IN SHOCK, JUDY. YOU SHOULD GO HOME AND REST. AND THEN I STARTED TO CRY AND I CRIED FOR QUITE A LONG TIME AND I STAYED HOME THAT DAY AND THEN I WENT BACK TO WORK.

Steve says HOW WOULD YOU CHARACTERIZE THE STATE OF YOUR MENTAL HEALTH TODAY, BECAUSE YOU ALSO TELL US IN THE DOCUMENTARY YOU WENT THROUGH A TERRIBLE DEPRESSION FOR A WHILE AS WELL?

Judy says YES. I THINK [undiscernible] THE TWITTER HANDLE... SORRY, HER TWITTER HANDLE, WHO IS A POET, SHE SAYS MARGINALIZED PEOPLE NEVER REALLY COMPLETELY GET OVER A TRAUMA, AND I THINK IT'S TRUE FOR MOST PEOPLE. IF YOU'RE TRAUMATIZED, YOU LEARN HOW TO HANDLE IT, IT GETS BETTER, BUT IT'S ALWAYS THERE. SO, LIKE, AT THE BEGINNING OF COVID, FOR EXAMPLE, YOU KNOW, FACING... LIKE, I LIVE ALONE. SO FACING BEING ALONE SO MUCH AND... I STARTED TO GO DOWN INTO THAT HOLE, I KNOW IT, YOU KNOW? IT BECOMES FAMILIAR AFTER A WHILE. BUT NOW I HAVE THE TOOLS TO STOP MYSELF, YOU KNOW, AND SAY, NO, THIS IS NOW. THIS IS NOW, AND I'M IN A GOOD PLACE NOW. I'M SAFE. YOU KNOW? AND SO I LEARNED TOOLS TO DEAL WITH IT. THE PERSONALITIES HAVE BEEN INTEGRATED. THE LAST TIME I CAN REMEMBER I THINK ONE OF THEM CAME OUT, I'M NEVER REALLY SURE, IT WAS PROBABLY ABOUT 8 YEARS AGO, AND, YOU KNOW, IN TERMS OF DEPRESSION, I THINK I'M ALWAYS AT A RISK FOR DEPRESSION, BUT I HAVE TOOLS THAT I'VE LEARNED TO NOT LET MYSELF GO DOWN THAT PATH, IF YOU WANT.

Steve says GOOD.

Judy says AND SO THAT'S HOW I LEARNED TO HANDLE IT. I ALSO THINK I'M A NICER PERSON NOW, ACTUALLY. I THINK I'M MUCH MORE SYMPATHETIC, I'M LESS ANGRY. YEAH. AND POLITICALLY, I GOT MORE RADICAL, NOT LESS RADICAL, SO...

Steve says WELL, SINCE I SEEM TO BE IN THE HABIT HERE OF ASKING YOU VERY PERSONAL QUESTIONS, BUT THEY ARE ALL ADDRESSED IN THE DOCUMENTARY, SO I HOPE YOU THINK THEY'RE ALL FAIR GAME...

Judy says YOU HAVE PERMISSION.

Steve says WELL, A LITTLE BIT OF LICENCE, YES, LET'S SAY THAT. LET ME ASK YOU ANOTHER ONE. YOU NEVER HAD KIDS, JUDY. DO YOU EVER REGRET THE FACT YOU NEVER HAD KIDS?

Judy says NO. BECAUSE IF I HAD KIDS... WHEN I WAS THINKING ABOUT HAVING KIDS, WHEN I WAS IN MY 40s... IN MY LATE 30s, I WAS LIVING WITH A MAN, AND I THOUGHT, HMM, YOU KNOW, MAYBE I SHOULD HAVE KIDS, YOU KNOW? IT DIDN'T HAPPEN. AND I'M GLAD. BECAUSE I THINK IF I HAD KIDS, I WOULD HAVE HAD TO DEAL WITH IT EARLIER AND I WASN'T READY YET. BECAUSE I WOULD HAVE... AND THEN I WOULDN'T HAVE BEEN ABLE TO ACHIEVE ALL THE THINGS THAT I ACHIEVED IN MY LIFE. I WOULD HAVE HAD TO SPEND ALL MY TIME DEALING WITH MY MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS SO I COULD BE A GOOD MOTHER. AND I THINK BEING A GOOD MOTHER WOULD HAVE BEEN SO IMPORTANT TO ME THAT I PROBABLY WOULD HAVE DONE THAT AND I WOULDN'T HAVE ACHIEVED WHAT I DID ACHIEVE. I DON'T BELIEVE IN REGRETS. I THINK THEY'RE A WASTE OF TIME.

Steve says IN WHICH CASE YOU ARE GOING TO LOVE THIS LAST QUESTION. YOU ARE 75 YEARS OLD NOW, RIGHT?

Judy says MM-HMM.

Steve says YOU JUST SAID A MOMENT AGO, YOU'RE A LITTLE MELLOWER, YOU'RE A LITTLE HAPPIER THESE DAYS. DO YOU STILL HAVE THAT ZEALOUS FIRE IN THE BELLY TO FIGHT THE NEXT GOOD FIGHT?

The caption changes to "tvo.org/theagenda; agendaconnect@tvo.org."

Judy says OH, BOY. YOU KNOW WHAT? I GOT A TWEET FROM JOE CRECI, MY COUNCILLOR, WHO SAID FOR THANKSGIVING THAT THE NEW RULE IS GOING TO BE THAT YOU CAN'T... THE BUBBLES ARE FINISHED. DO YOU REMEMBER THAT? THE BUBBLES ARE FINISHED. THIS IS A FEW WEEKS AGO. THE BUBBLES ARE FINISHED. YOU CAN ONLY BE WITH PEOPLE IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD. AND I SAID WHAT? LIKE, NOT EVEN MENTION THAT THERE'S LIKE A PERCENTAGE OF THE POPULATION THAT'S SINGLE. MOST OF THEM LIVE ALONE, MOST OF THEM WOMEN. AND I LOOKED IT UP. AND IT WAS 17 percent. THAT WAS IN CANADA. IN TORONTO, IT'S 32 percent OF PEOPLE... I CAN'T EVEN BELIEVE THAT STAT BECAUSE I READ IT IN THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA, SO IT MUST BE TRUE. BUT ANYWAY, YOU KNOW, A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE SINGLE AND THEY DIDN'T EVEN THINK OF THEM. IT MADE ME REALLY MAD. SO I IMMEDIATELY TWEETED JOE CRESSY AND I GUESS EACH PEOPLE DID BECAUSE THEY CHANGED IT. I FELT THAT FIRE THEN AND I'M STARTING TO FEEL IT A BIT ALONG THE LONG-TERM CARE STUFF. AND FOR SURE I FEEL... I WENT TO ALL THOSE BIG BLACK LIVES MATTER DEMONSTRATIONS. THAT'S WHAT PULLED ME OUT OF MY FUNK. YOU KNOW, FOR ME, FIGHTING TO MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE, THAT'S HEALING, YOU KNOW? ALL MY ACTIVISM HAS BEEN HEALING. AND WHEN I WENT ON THOSE DEMONSTRATIONS AND THEY WERE SO BEAUTIFUL, THEY WERE SO DIVERSE AND YOUNG BLACK WOMEN LEADING THEM AND GREAT POLITICS AND PART OF THE GLOBAL MOVEMENT, OH, MADE ME FEEL SO GOOD AND TOOK ME OUT OF MY FUNK COMPLETELY. SO I STILL HAVE THAT PASSION FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE AND THAT'S WHAT... YOU KNOW, IT'S WHAT GIVES ME FIRE, GIVES ME ENERGY.

The caption changes to "Producer: Colin Ellis, @ColinEllis81."

Steve says WE ARE HAPPY TO REMIND PEOPLE THAT THEY SHOULD KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR "JUDY VS. CAPITALISM," WHICH IS THE MOVIE ABOUT YOUR LIFE, AND AS I SAY, I'VE KNOWN YOU FOR DECADES AND YET I LEARNED SO MUCH NEW ABOUT YOU THAT I DIDN'T KNOW IN THAT DOCUMENTARY.

Judy says YOU SHOULD READ MY BOOK TOO.

The caption changes to "Subscribe to The Agenda Podcast: tvo.org/theagenda."

Steve says THAT WILL BE NEXT ON MY AGENDA. VERY GOOD. WE'RE SO GLAD YOU COULD SPARE TIME FOR US ON TVO TONIGHT, JUDY. YOU BE WELL, OKAY?

Judy says MY PLEASURE. THANKS FOR HAVING ME.

Watch: Documenting Activism and Mental Health