Note: This post is part of a blogburst. For more info, click here.
It has always struck me as ironic that the colloquial term for the female reproductive organ is used pejoratively to denote great fecklessness, while the male reproductive organs are considered a symbol of bravery and courage.
Examining this proposition further, the vagina is designed to expulse an object roughly ten times wider than what a cursory inspection would tell you is strictly comfortable. The testes, on the other hand, are notoriously sensitive to pain, and generally the first place you want to be aiming if your goal is to incapacitate their owner. And, as the famed Seinfeld episode taught us, they are also the first to retract in an unfriendly environment such as cold water, in a phenomenon known as shrinkage.
I do not claim that this is one of the weighty issues grappled with over at the Status of Women, a Canadian governmental organization not generally referred to by the acronym SOW.
Founded in the heyday of Trudeau-era socialism, there have been many objections to its existence. Some resent its perceived radical feminist agenda. In part due to Status of Women Canada, Canadians today enjoy the most lenient abortion laws of any country in the world. Canadian women have access to taxpayer-funded abortion-on-demand during all stages of pregnancy, subject to virtually no restrictions, while polls have repeatedly shown that a majority of Canadians favor some restrictions on abortion.
But my objection to the organization is far more fundamental. The very concept of a governmental organization dedicated to the advocacy of women not only presupposes a non-existent homogeneity among Canadian women, but the marginalization of reproductive and family matters and their relegation to mere “women’s issues”. And I resent my gender being infantilized and consigned to perpetual victimhood.
Feminists would have us believe that what unites an inner-city crack-addict prostitute and a suburban female professional from an affluent neighborhood is a common suffering under the bonds of patriarchy. But in truth, bring these women together over a café latte and there’d be plenty of awkward silences, and, I’d wager, no bra-burning.
At a time when birth rates are plunging and Canadians are witnessing the erosion of the nuclear family, wouldn’t Canadians benefit more from a Status of the Family? Or better yet, a Status of the Child? Children, after all, are the only social entities in Canada with no political voice.
Its mission statement proclaims that Status of Women is dedicated to promoting “gender equality”. But what is this nebulous concept? Do we quantify gender equality by the number of women in Parliament, or by the number of female doctors or engineers? What of those women who choose instead to be stay-at-home moms? Are they indicative of pervasive “gender inequality”?
Consider these statistics. In Canada, male high school dropouts outnumber their female counterparts by a ratio of 3 to 1. 58% of university students are female. Males of all ages are three and a half times more prone to terminating their own lives than women. Mothers are more likely to be awarded sole custody of children than fathers in 4 out of 5 divorce cases.
In less fortunate parts of the globe, on the other hand, women are subject to gender apartheid, genital mutilation, and honor killings. They are the victims of systemic discrimination, and their basic human and reproductive rights receive little protection under the law.
We’ve heard a lot recently about “broad strata” of society, but nowhere does the term apply better than to women as a group. Canadian women as an entirety represent a diverse range of concerns and needs, and yet Canadian taxpayers fund an organization with an ideological bias towards a narrow segment of them to the tune of $23 million. Grassroots women’s organizations already exist for the purpose of just such advocacy, and the organization’s other activities should fall under the purview of existing government departments. Status of Women Canada does not speak for me.