Niece the eldest was at dinner on Sunday night, and she was talking about her Human Geography class, and more specifically she was talking about Christy Clark’s Council of Women.
Which the class had agreed was unfair unless there was a council of men.
:: blink ::
There are so many places I could start with this and if I’m honest, I wanted to take her into my kitchen and shake her until her teeth rattled.
I thought about starting with an obvious point – telling her that there are already council’s of men, they are every Board of Directors (where men will make up 86% of a corporate board of directors), they are every C level suite at a major company (where men will make up 70% of executive), they are our government (where men make up 75% of our Member’s of Parliament).
I thought about telling her about the times in IT, where I am the only woman at the table. And as good as the men I work with are (and I work with a lot of the good guys), I still have to tell them that there I don’t want to hear about blow jobs or their wives, and I still have to fight to make them believe I’m not dumb, and that they should listen to me.
I thought about how I tell her that all of these years into my career, if we are in a situation where someone needs to scribe, I never, ever volunteer, because I’m a woman and people will assume that I’m the secretary.
I wondered if she would get that I don’t tell clients or work colleagues that I live with Mr. California, because someone, somewhere would assume that I’m sleeping with him, and they would wink and nudge his arm, and it would destroy my career because I would be a slut.
I have to be just a little bit tougher than the guys. But not too tough, because then I’m a ball busting bitch who hates men. And if I have a bad day, it’s because I’m hormonal, not because I’m tired and you aren’t listening to me.
She lives in the safer environment of a university, and that’s what she should do. University is the place to try out new thoughts and ideas. University is a place filled with experiments and concepts. She’s 19, if she isn’t young and determined to make a better world, heaven help us all: at the end of the day, I’m tired and my feet are killing me, and I just want to collapse on a couch somewhere and eat cheese, and if she doesn’t save us, we are in deep trouble.
More than that, I believe she can and will effect change. I believe the world is changing, and she will be the vanguard. The world my mother worked in is not the world I work in, and the world she worked in won’t be the world I do.
And maybe that world will be more gender blind. Only more. Not totally.
If you are still with me, I finally hearkened back to my poli sci days and talked about collective vs. individual rights. I talked about histories of systematic oppression, and pointed out that in our neighbour to the south, there was some discussion about whether or not she had the legitimate right to control her body.
Women are more equal than we ever have been, but the statistics I started off with, my own experiences tell me we aren’t there yet.
And I asked her, given this, how did a council of men make things more fair for anyone?