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Tugging at Political Shirt-Tails

“Feminism is the radical notion that women are people.” ~Cheris Kramarae and Paula Treichler~

Hey you! You. Yes, you out there. I see you reading this you sexy reader you. You’re so deliciously gorgeous when you read. What’s that? Speak up, I can’t hear you…..

I bet you don’t get told very often that you should talk more. I bet on average you’re made to feel like you need to keep your mouth shut more than you’re made to feel like you need to speak up and have your opinion heard.

Last night, as I watched and listened to Nancy Keenan a glittering Michelle Obama give their speeches at the American Democratic National Convention, I was proud to be a woman, and a bit ashamed too. After all, have we made that much progress in the past 50 years?

As all of this really big stuff swirled around my pretty girl brain, I was reminded of our own little election going on right her in Canada. My politically minded cousin was posting madly to keep me abreast of Canadian issues. Gun shots rang out just after Michelle Obama’s speech, as the newly elected Partis Quebecois leader Pauline Marois was about to give her victory speech.

According to an early Globe and Mail article, the french-speaking suspect was wearing,”glasses, a black shirt and shorts, a black balaclava and a blue bathrobe.” What on earth?! In the article the suspect was quoted as saying, “Les anglais se réveillent”. I thought it meant, “The English are dreaming”, but it means, “The English are waking up.” This just goes to show you what ten years of publicly funded advanced french class will get you twenty years later.

Today, Toronto Star Columnist Chantal Hebert sums up the election results with nary a whisper of the events that caused a provincial leader to be swept off the stage in what is assumed to be an assassination attempt. Very Canadian, very Canadian indeed. CNN covered it on their news ticker last night. Go figure.

As Canadians, we tend to be apathetic. Check that. We are completely apathetic when it comes to politics. I overhear people in the cafe wondering aloud why our politicians lack leadership. It’s because we don’t demand it. We are very, laissez faire indeed.

Last night as I watched a parade of women grace the stage and enchant the audience at the U.S. Democratic National Convention, I hoped that it not only inspired American women to vote, but every woman.

We make up more than fifty percent of the population, and our voice, when united, can create a pretty powerful roar. Women in Canada and the United States of American may still suffer from wage discrimination and unfair health care policies, but we are far better off than many other nations. If we stop voting, stop pushing for what we know is right and good and just, then who has the strength to lead?

Do the world a favour. Read the news. Do the world a bigger favour and question the news. Educate yourself, your friends, your daughters and never, ever let anyone make you feel like you should be quiet.

2 thoughts on “Tugging at Political Shirt-Tails

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