September 17, 2008

Election

Women's Issues: When the fuck are we going to talk about them in a meaningful way?

Do you agree with Judith Timson? Her recent Globe and Mail article is optimistic, saying that Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign and Elizabeth May's backers fighting to get her into the Canadian electoral debates are changing the landscape for women and politics. Apparently our votes are being recognized as valuable in this current Canadian election.

In Canada, Timson writes women's votes may well decide who wins the October election. That's true. But does that mean we'll get lip service or real policy change? And have May and Clinton really changed much in our politics? Hillary was WAAAY more qualified than her opponent, if you recall, and she still LOST. May might also have won her battle to be in the debate, but her party still only has ONE seat. None of the other party leaders are women, and they haven't been women for a VERY long time. Harper practically destroyed The NAC AND removed equality from its mandate. I haven't once heard any of the politicians who are supposedly courting my vote mention that. I also haven't heard a lot about the retarded Unborn Victims of Crime Act the Conservatives are pushing, which would made pregnant women liable for hurting their fetuses by not making their womb the perfect vessel for their development. It's a vague and convoluted bill, and it's unsure what would constitute a crime here. Would a drug addict who used go to jail? If I got injured on the job at a factory, would I be told I should have known better? Would I be able to refuse a ceasarean if I didn't want one? Can we talk about this, please! As a woman of reproductive age, I really need to know what could happen to me if I decide to start a family. Will I be on lock-down just because I have fruit in my good ol' womb? Or worse yet, is this a back-door to recriminalizing abortion by giving embryos fetal rights? Will the next step be to tell me I can't terminate a pregnancy at ALL now that my fetus isn't just part of my body, but has separate rights of its own (DESPITE BEING INSIDE ME!!!!)
Yeah, so, I might be a cynical bitch, but I'm pretty sure neither Harper nor most of his major male competition even know what women's issues in this country really are (or maybe they know but just don't care enough to talk about them that often?). I'm willing to bet they are simply paying lip service to support May's participation in the debate to look all progressive without having to promise all the hard work associated with meaningful policy change. Yes, I do want May in the debate (because she is a party leader, not because she has a vag), but having a woman on stage won't suddenly make me feel all Canadian women are being heard. That won't happen until those old white guys actually start listening to us....

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