I don’t take any of it for granted. Ever. My equal rights under Canadian law.
Once upon a time, you see, I didn’t have them.
I didn’t have them in Ireland where I grew up. Upon leaving college I was one of several women hired for the very first time as an accountant in a national organization. Great, you say? Well, the work itself was great, I enjoyed it.
Thing was, I was paid on the ‘female’ scale of pay. Yes, you read that right, all you born in the last 40 years. The ‘female accountant’ wages were half that of men. Even then, working for those 50% wages I was criticized by some (mainly those of the female persuasion) for taking the job over a deserving man.
And another thing: most days I was subject to verbal sexual harassment and double entendres by a few of my more primitive (and usually married) male colleagues. And complaining to the (male) boss was treated jovially, mockingly and could be summarized by the following phrases: “You should be flattered” and “Suck it up”. Par for the course. And I wasn’t alone, as my friends in other workplaces were harassed also. We would try and come up with strategies to minimise it, knowing we could never eliminate it.
It took until 1982 to have equality of the sexes enshrined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. 1982!
And who fought for those rights taken by so many young women for granted today?
That dirty F word. Feminists.
Definition of feminist:
Someone, male or female, who believes in social, political and economic equality between the sexes.
A word that has been taken and smeared and re-formed into “militant” and “bra-burner” and “lesbian” and “man-hater” by the patriarchal media to terrify women into becoming their old submissive selves.
I, for one, believe we are all born equal: male, female, gay, straight, cross-gendered, trans-gendered, black or white and all those wonderful variations between,
And I never take equality for granted.
And I will protest peacefully for equality, yours and mine and ours, till my dying day for the job is far from over: look towards the third world, look to any country which has a powerful religious stranglehold on the government - (Hello, Ireland and U.S.A!)
And I will speak out when I see injustice, prejudice and inequality based on gender, race or sexual orientation.
Feminist? Hell, yeah!