Evidence demands Oda’s resignation

This should be enough evidence to demand Bev Oda‘s resignation from her responsibility for the Status of Women in Canada. First, examine this, from her opening statement to the House of Commons’ Standing Committee on the Status of Women:

…Canada’s new Government fundamentally believes that women are equal.

As this New Government of Canada has demonstrated, it is very good at ignoring the facts.  Now, get a load of this load of dung:

…As far as capacity building goes, we believe there are a number of organizations that have had many years to establish themselves. On a going forward basis, we’ve made a commitment. We made a commitment prior to coming into office, and we’re fulfilling the commitment that we will make sure taxpayer dollars…. They’re hard-earned dollars.

They are not vulnerable and weak; they are taxpayers. They work very hard for their taxes, not only as women but as citizens of this country. Consequently, we believe and we know they support more direct action to help overcome the identified barriers. After years of identifying the issues and the problems, we are now committed to doing something.

First, what does it mean for organizations to “establish themselves?”  Is she suggesting that women’s groups should be self-sufficient, even though women continue to earn less than their male counterparts and even though more women than men live in poverty in their senior years?  Is she suggesting that women’s groups should cosy up to the corporate sector that needs that cheap labour pool and that feeds off women’s inequality?

Second, who said that women are vulnerable and weak? Not a single feminist I know or have read calls women vulnerable and weak. It is only the Conservative supporters and (un)R.E.A.L. women who use that language. So, why is the Minister Responsible for the Status of Women in this country using such discriminatory language? Why is she pitting women as taxpayers against women as equality-seekers? Is it that she’s trying to divide women, just as Bush & Co. divided U.S. citizens? Is this yet another attempt to win that Harper Majority? It smells desperately like Bush’s, you’re either with us or you’re against us rhetoric.

Third, Status of Women Canada is doing something. Or was until the New Government of Canada took office. The research and programming within SWC and collaboration with women across the country brought gender-based analysis to the federal government. SWC’s response to our nation’s grief after the Montreal Massacre brought the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. The work SWC does to highlight statistics on violence against women, for example, is crucial to making our society a safer place for all.

To suggest that SWC does nothing is to ignore its almost 30 years of working to improve the status of women in Canada.  It is also a lie.  And, worst of all, it degrades the work that women and women’s organizations in this country have done to improve the lives of women living and working here.

I suggest Canadian women are too smart to fall for Oda’s kind of nasty politicking. Canadian women know there is a power imbalance in this country and though we desperately want to feel equal and to be treated as equals, we know we are not.

Minister Oda has demonstrated that very clearly.  She must now do the right thing and resign.

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8 thoughts on “Evidence demands Oda’s resignation

  1. Taxpayers should not fund any special interest or advocacy groups. If they fund even one then they would have to fund them all.
    THAT’s equality. Your pet projects are no more important than other Canadian’s pet projects. And, there are literally thousands of women oriented organizations and groups in this country who DO NOT suck off the taxpayer’s tits. I am really really sick of hearing you women scream and holler that the word “equality” has to be demanded. I am a woman. I have equal rights i this country. If a woman wants to earn the same as a man, for example, she can get the training – she has the freedom to choose. If she is disadvantaged, as many men are as well, we should give her and him help. STOP being sexist as if women are somehow inferior without your type of rants.
    If you women feel inferior no taxpayer’s money is going to change that. And you are not going to keep using taxpayer’s dollars to treat other women like they need some kind of special treatment or protection. Give it the heck up.

  2. If taxpayers should not fund any special interest or advocacy groups as you say, then why should taxpayers foot the bill for huge tax breaks and enormous subsidies to the oil and gas industry to the tune of 1.4 billion dollars, not to mention give-aways to other corporate sectors and wealthy families? That’s not fair, especially when there are kids all over the country who are going hungry through no fault of their own.

    And yes, you may be guaranteed equal rights in this country, but don’t forget that those equal rights came about as a result of feminists working for change. And just because you are guaranteed equal rights under the law, it does not mean you are treated equally. It has been proven that women are not treated equally in this country. Even Minister Oda admitted that one. Is that fair? Or do you not want to live in a fair and just country? Or would you rather forfeit those equal rights?

    Now, if you would read something other than right wing propaganda and blogging tories tipsheets, you’d know that women do not have the same freedoms to choose as their male counterparts do. There is an economic disadvantage to being a woman (an average of 75 cents on a dollar). That reduces choice. That’s a fact. Women are sexually assaulted more often than men (86% to 14%). That is a fact.

    Facts are facts. They are what they are. But it certainly doesn’t mean that women are inferior! These are simply the facts of life. It is a fact that women are discriminated against in this country simply because they are women. It is a fact. Accept it.

    According to the dictionary, sexism is Attitudes, conditions, or behaviors that promote stereotyping of social roles based on gender. For me to point out facts about the reality of women’s lives in Canada is not a sexist act. It is being honest and realistic.

    And for you to deny or ignore these facts does absolutely nothing to make the situation better for any women in Canada! As I implied in this post and as I pointed out in others, taxpayers’ money — my money — has been well-spent by SWC on improving the status of women in Canada.

    But why aren’t you thankful for that? Why don’t you want full equality? Why rail against feminists for making your life better?

    And if your life isn’t a good life, then make changes in it. You are a woman with freedom of choice, after all. Aren’t you?

  3. “And if your life isn’t a good life, then make changes in it. You are a woman with freedom of choice, after all. Aren’t you?”

    Berlynn, I think you answered one of the very important questions we have been putting to SWC.

    It is as you say, up to each of us to make changes, through our own choices.

    Women can do it, have done it and will continue to do it.

    And so many of the big changes in what women have won, have had little to do with government funding, or having media access, or the internet.

    Afterall, we cannot round up all the men and lock them in some hole, can we?

  4. What? Are you and Lorraine a blog-a-tory tag team between Edmonton and Burnaby or something? Am I your designated target?

    Alas and alack, this blog does not have the capacity to denote the sarcasm intended in the line you quote. And that is unfortunate, because it is thicker than Ellie-May Clampett’s coffee.

    In fact, many of the recent, more difficult changes that women have won have come about as a result of SWC, as I have already stated.

    And, if we really, really wanted to, I’m sure we could find a way to round up all the men and lock them in some hole. You’d like that, wouldn’t you?

  5. nice post, berlynn. and timely, given that oct 17th is the international day for the eradication of poverty. you’re right, most of minister oda’s comments at FEWO on oct 5th are enough to call for her resignation, let alone her (in)actions of the months prior. shameful, really. and that we have to discuss any of this within the contrived ‘taxpayer’ framework (yawn) that our choice-full freedom-y sisters insist on using makes the debate as archaic as they think feminism is.

    you’ve asked the million dollar question, berlynn: what are all the swc opponents and anti-feminists really afraid of? if you’ve got it so good, why should it bother you in the least that others should want the playing field leveled so all women can have the good you’ve got? and why shouldn’t the state ensure that access for everybody? stop boring us with all the unsophisticated rhetoric about taxes and pet projects — come clean about whatever dark force inspires you to regard equality and those who seek it with such hate.

  6. “..this blog does not have the capacity to denote the sarcasm intended in the line you quote. And that is unfortunate, because it is thicker than Ellie-May Clampett’s coffee.”

    Not there isn’t any sarcasm in that specific comparison, huh;)

    If SWC, funded by government, claims to want to represent women, isn’t it incumbent upon them to include all women?

    I have no known connection to Lorraine. I note some of our points are similar, but no matter, this is a place where women, or men-can they?- come together to discuss points of view about women in Canada.

    If we all think the same, losing the voice that tests the conclusions, women may have already lost their way.

    Ask any lawyer, or mom, or business woman what happens if objective review is set aside, in favor of expediency.

  7. Sarcasm absolutely intended, jt. Now let me address your comments.

    For the benefit of P’n’P readers, please let me explain that SWC works to improve the status of all women in Canada. Why do you not want the status of all women in Canada to be improved? Do you like inequity?

    Interestingly, the alternative statistics recorder I use on this blog has identified both you and Lorraine as hailing from Victoria, not Burnaby and Edmonton, as the other does. I must find time to dig into that a little more deeply.

    Your suggestion that feminism encourages everyone to think the same shows how absolutely little you know about it. Some of the best and most disagreeable debates I’ve had privilege to be party to have taken place in rooms full of feminists. In fact, on one of the feminist listservs in which I participate, there are three or four threads where women hold radically differents views on specific issues. It is quite challenging to be open enough to actually hear all sides of the issues. You might want to try it one day.

    As well, your suggestion that women may have already lost their way is symptomatic of the patriarchal nonsense women in this country are continually up against. It’s the traditional male way or no way, eh?

    And finally, it is most ridiculous of you to suggest that an objective review can be provided by right-wing extremists such as yourself who support a government that displays the most dictatorial and oppressive behaviors this country has ever seen!

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