There is a gigantic disconnect between social taboos and the actions of our citizenry/government. For instance, I think we can all agree that excluding women from participating in society and making sexist remarks are pretty much prima facie no-nos. Not that it doesn’t happen, but there are laws, Bills of Rights, and etiquette norms against it. And yet…
Despite it being not OK to hate on women, it’s totally fine to hate on feminists. I believe this is the case for many reasons, but one important one being that the majority of people feel that the work of feminism is done: we can vote, serve on government, take maternity leave, control our reproductive destiny, and have an all-access pass to the public world. Great. Except that women by and large don’t serve on government, feel immense pressure to choose between career-baby-career/baby/double-day of labour, suffer depression and hormone-related disease from the pill, and make .67 to a man’s loonie. Oh! and 1/3 of us are sexually assaulted in our life time.
Yet the people who are working towards solutions to these systemic problems are constantly belittled and forced to explain themselves via one monolithic answer for ‘what does feminism even mean’? I wonder if judges and lawyers are constantly asked ‘what does justice even mean?’ only to be told that their clearly relative, personal, and complicated answer demands that they should give up their struggle for it.
And while punidts and politicians alike scratch their heads over the lack of gender-representation in Parliament, our public school system still has yet to teach a history which includes a meaningful discussion about women or the proper emotional curriculum necessary to influence gender interaction towards health and mutual respect and away from violence and oppression giving young women no empowering role models and no empowerment.
Not even Canadian post-secondary institutions and supposedly learned people **can stop themselves from undercutting progression towards a society wherein women gain parity of participation and freedom from rigid gender construction and violence.
And who can forget this stunning move on behalf of the Harper government?
What do we want? “A fair and just society!” When do we want it? “Once it stops requiring us to do something about it or change our attitudes!”
** Interesting that this person claimed progressive education is ‘brainwashing’…more on this in next the post.