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Thoughts & Ideas

Posted by MonkeyMan on January 25, 2018 in Blog Post |

Well, it’s been quite a year in politics and gender issues.

In a lot of ways, they seem to be connected. It would be easy to just say it is the fault of our male dominated, chauvinistic society. Actually, that probably is the main problem.

Each decade seems to have its own sabre to rattle, or trumpet to blow.

The 40′s were about WW2 and beating the Nazis, or trying to forget the war with Hollywood musicals, Big Band music and dances.

The 50′s were all about living the good life, buying a home in the suburbs, a car, driving across the country for vacations, bringing up a family – you know – Leave it to Beaver.

The 60′s as we know were counter-culture, protest against the establishment, peace and love. Unfortunately 1969 seemed to bring that to a crashing end as we moved into the disco era of the 1970′s.

Leisure suits, gaudy colors, disco music. The 70′s seemed to be an attempt to escape reality completely, and to some extent it worked. It was in some ways a repeat of the 1940′s. Escapism. Huge cars, and a focus on fun and not so much on conservatism or work ethic.

Cue the 1980′s. Loved that hair. Not so much some of the fashion. Music was in a transitional stage. Disco was dead, Punk was new, Rock and Roll was not dead. The fuel crisis had changed the way we thought about cars. Huge land yachts were no longer cool.

I’m really not sure what to say about the 1990′s. Boy Bands? No real defining fashion or crazy issues. Kind of that filler episode.

But now. What was it about the new century that just flipped everything on its head?

In what crazy alternate universe do we have a <<enter appropriate descriptors here>> president of the U.S. and one-time powerful men having that fragile veil of power ripped away as women awoke and said “We’re mad as hell, and we’re not going to take it anymore.”

Many have already fallen. Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, and the incredibly awful acts of Larry Nasser.

More than 150 gave impact statements at a marathon sentencing hearing for Dr. Larry Nassar. Top row, from left, Mattie Larson, Emma Ann Miller, Megan Ginter, middle row, Jordyn Wieber, Olivia Cowan, Kyle Stephens, bottom row, Jessica Smith, Taylor Cole, Aly Raisman. Reuters; Getty Images

More than 150 gave impact statements at a marathon sentencing hearing for Dr. Larry Nassar. Top row, from left, Mattie Larson, Emma Ann Miller, Megan Ginter, middle row, Jordyn Wieber, Olivia Cowan, Kyle Stephens, bottom row, Jessica Smith, Taylor Cole, Aly Raisman. Reuters; Getty Images

Justice was served as Nasser was sentenced to 175 years in jail – the judge stating that she had ‘signed his death warrant’.

The power is clearly shifting, and quite quickly.

The latest alleged perpetrator of sexual assault is Patrick Brown – the leader of Ontario’s Conservative Party and until now, possibly the next Premier of Ontario.

brown-allegations-20180123

But while things are changing, you can’t just change the way some people think overnight. The reason that the U.S. is so polarized, and to a lesser extent Canada, is that there are basically two groups. To simplify, (and of course there are moderates in the middle), the U.S. has regrouped along the old civil war lines – radical Christian conservatives – evangelical, mostly white, male dominated, racist, misogynyst, and on the other side – Liberal, more socialist.

The attitudes of gender bias, and misogyny are often subtle but they are clearly there.

As an example, whether or not you agree or disagree with the policies of Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, she is routinely attacked online based on her gender and sexual orientation. Are males attacked in the same way?

The immediate response to the allegations against Patrick Brown included accusations that Wynne and her party basically planned the scandal to discredit Brown.

In reality Wynne would have waited until it was far too late for the Conservatives to put a new leader in place – probably timing it for during the election, not before.

It’s more realistic that the Conservatives urged the change now to give them time to put in a new leader in time for the election – hopefully a woman, perhaps Caroline Mulroney?

In any event, the lesson learned should be:

1: Elect or appoint more women to leadership positions.

2: Vet your selections more carefully. Find those skeletons before people are elected- whether they be illegal activities, conflicts of interest or significant character flaws or beliefs like white supremacy, racism, or other things like a history of habitual lying or abuse.

There is going to be a period of time where this is going to be a conflict. It doesn’t need to be. Instead of picking sides based on your upbringing and prejudices, why not stand for fairness, justice and equality?

It’s not that hard… and to those Christian conservatives – WWJD?

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