Women’s struggle for equality continues


Regarding “Tactic to fight equality might make it worse,” a guest column in the Jan. 30 edition of the Albertan:

The premise of her argument is that women around the world who are demanding political and financial equality might be endangering their causes by talking about gender equality.

Yes women, in some quarters, the message is “father knows best.” Be patient. Don’t rock the boat. Wait your turn. Your reward will come when you go to heaven.

Remember the struggle the suffragettes had in Western Canada at the end of the 1880s and in the early 1900s? They were told they should stay home, cook and have babies. They were told that if they got the right to vote and other advancements, they would destroy the family and destroy western civilization. It was believed they were just too emotional to vote or hold office.

After the Second World War ended, women were told to leave the factories where they had been building ships, tanks, guns and planes and head back home to raise children and cook for their men. Men’s work was for men.

In the United States, the Republicans and residents of most of the western and southern states voted against the Equal Rights Amendment because it would have given women equal rights with men and that change would have upset the status quo in American politics.

Even today, one still hears snide comments in Alberta about women wanting gender equality even though they have equal protection under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in the Canadian Constitution.

In my opinion, women’s fight for equality with men is hindered by some church leaders who continue to emphasize that men must be dominant and women are to play second fiddle to their male counterparts.

The message seems to be yes, Mabel, if you are quiet, if you are patient, if you are docile, if you are meek, if you constantly defer to men, your reward will come on some far distant planet.

George Thatcher



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