Someone commented to me personally regarding my post: “What Came First: The Chicken or the After School Program
?” They made the argument that it is not mutually exclusive to support women like Sandberg and her lean in manifesto AND fight for more basic family/feminist/human rights, that we could do both.
No, I really don’t think WE can. Leaning in, as another pointed out to me on Twitter, is a luxury. I agree. Using that message to teach our daughters not to settle is a nice idea but I maintain that it is the kind of rhetoric that distracts us from the real issues.
The proof is in the pudding. Even women who have “made it” by whatever definition of professional success you care to use, continue to be maligned and misjudged. That to me clearly demonstrates that we still have not gone far enough with the root issues around feminism and families. We have not won the battle. Examples? This article
from Ms. Magazine reminded me of a prime example in recent history: the Anita hill testimony during the Clarence Thomas confirmations. This was an accomplished woman who clearly had no difficulty speaking up for herself and what was right, who had, to use more recent parlance “Leaned IN”. Nonetheless, she was lambasted in public spheres for her testimony, her appearance, her words, her choice of action, and yes, even for the fact that she was harassed. That was in 1991.
But that was over 20 years ago, Chantal!
Surely things have changed more than enough for us to move forward? Really? A recent poll about Hillary Clinton running for president says otherwise… I’ll let you take a look
. And don’t get me started on the rumour mill smear campaign that seems to have taken Alison Redford down in a blaze of innuendo and startling phrases like “She’s really not a nice lady”.
And so it continues. At age 42, I have been dealing with the SAME issues of inequality that my mother dealt with when she had me. It has changed a little, but not nearly enough.
How do we get there? I’m not sure yet. I do know this won’t be the last post of this kind though. Arlene Dickinson (Best known by many for her appearances on CBC’s Dragon’s Den) said it best on Facebook, following all the discussion about the #BanBossy campaign:
Couldn’t have said it better myself.