Happy 100th International Women’s Day

Are you doing anything to mark the day?

You may wish to start with a look at the International Women’s Day website or how about the public service announcement “Equals” staring Daniel Craig (in drag) and the voice of Judi Dench?

The statistics of abuse are startling. You hear about it on the news but there is nothing like cold, hard, irrefutable numbers to slap you in the face. I haven’t looked up the numbers for Canada but to hear that two women die at the hands of a current or former partner every week in the U.K.? Shocking.

Even more shocking are some of the comments people have made about this PSA. If you had thought this kind of thing was not necessary, skim through them and prepare to be stunned by the ignorance.

About 20 years ago I was sharing a house with a bunch of people while at university. I don’t know how we got on the topic but this one guy was telling us how hard it was to be a white man in Canada. I must have given him the WTF look and asked him to explain himself.

I believe in dialogue and I really wanted to know what was in his head.

He felt maligned because of the quotas in place to give visible minorities and women a chance to get work. I did point out, that while these initiatives were not perfect, it was an attempt to redress wrongs.

If ever there was a candidate to live one day as a woman or better yet, a woman who happened to be a visible minority, it would be him. He wasn’t evil but he did not understand how much of an advantage it was (and still is) to be a white man in our society. That he had a fairly privileged upper middle class upbringing in Leaside may have added to the feelings of entitlement but also the lack of understanding what it meant to struggle.

I think a small part of him understood that he had it pretty good because he would get very defensive when we teased him about his librarian mother pulling the research he needed to do his papers.

He just didn’t get it.

I know I am a very lucky person but it isn’t always easy. I have been with this company five years and I think I have hit the limits of where I can go. People have argued with me on this point but there is definitely a boy’s club element. I am not saying women couldn’t help themselves and each other- in fact, we would go far if women tried to support each other instead of throwing other women under the bus.

It is important to understand that while we are not all the same (thank god!) we all deserve equal opportunities.

We’ve come a long way in 100 years but we have a long way to go.

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~ by angryegg on March 8, 2011.

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