The Recovering Farmer

Saturday, November 5, 2011

What Women Want

Who remembers the movie What Women Want starring Mel Gibson? In the movie Gibson, through a freak accident involving pantyhose and a hair dryer (don’t want to go there), has the ability to hear what women think. Now for most of us that is a scary thought. Usually I hear enough verbally that any more information would be detrimental to my well-being. Self-esteem is enough of an issue without more information. However, in the movie, it is rather humorous. The point of this dialogue is really not the movie at all. Rather, when I thought about what I wanted to write about, the name of the movie came to mind. Read on and you will understand why.

I started writing this blog some time ago. I have resisted posting it as I want to make sure that I am politically correct, as to state my case in any other way would result in. . . well, put it this way, I wouldn’t live it down. After all, in my counselling training, I learned that being able to think and communicate as a feminist is very important. Feminism, to me, had always been about women’s rights. I have found out different. Wikipedia defines feminism as a collection of movements aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights and equal opportunities for women. “As a feminist we want it all but we want it for everyone”.

Did you know that October 18 is the anniversary date of women getting the right to personhood? Quite astounding actually. Not that they got the right, but that they did not have it prior to that. What’s up with that? Based on the article women have had the right to vote since 1918. However, women were not considered “persons” under the British North American Act till 1929. The article goes on to say that women in Canada were considered “persons in matters of pains and penalties, but not persons in matters of rights and privileges”. This until a mere 82 years ago. Something that happened in my parents’ lifetime.

I have often wondered why women were at one time considered lesser than men. Just never quite made sense to me. I was raised in a church (that is a topic best left for another day) where there is still dialogue regarding women in leadership roles. Recently I heard a woman talk about the fact that it continues to be difficult, and in some cases, impossible for women to achieve equality in the workplace, particularly in wages and salaries. Definitely something wrong with this picture.

Going back to a previous discussion, I talked about the movie The Help. The movie depicts the exploitation of black women. Again, events that happened in my parent’s lifetime. I could cite many more instances where women, people of different color, various ethnic groups and people with disabilities get discriminated against. I know of someone that suggested that the problems of the world can be laid squarely at the feet of white males. As much as I hate the thought, perhaps there is more truth in that then I would like to admit.

So what next? There have been vast improvements but still so much that can be, and needs to be done. What can I do to make this world a better place? What can I do to ensure equality? It would seem to me that if we reach out, if we strive for equality, if we do what we can, this world will be a better place. Jimi Hendrix says it well, “When the power of love overcomes the love of power there will be peace”. Make it a good one.

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