REALity Volume XXXVI Issue No. 2 February 2017
Since the 1970’s, whenever a Liberal government has been in power, radical feminists have gained both financially and in influence. Feminists would never have been so powerful in Canada if it were not for the Liberals rolling the taxpayers’ money into their coffers. In fact, feminists have been more influential in Canada than in any other country because of the Liberals’ support which has led to sweeping changes to our society.
Under the Conservatives, radical feminists went through a dark time: in September, 2006 the Conservative government ceased to fund their advocacy work as well as their operational costs. It also refused to fund their “research” used to promote their cause, and refused to fund feminist lobbying of the government. The feminists cried out in agony, claiming that they had “lost their voice” because of this shameful decision by the Conservative government. The unions and universities came to their rescue, however, with some minimal funding to sustain them.
In contrast, REAL Women of Canada never “lost its voice” because we have always been independent, and have never relied on government funding. We just went merrily along, doing our work, never once considering that we were entitled to the taxpayers’ money.
The dark period for feminists under the Conservative government is now over, with the election of the Liberals again in October, 2015. Feminists are now back in the money. The Liberal government announced in October, 2016 that it will again fund feminists’ advocacy work as well as their operational expenses and research projects. The government also announced that it also intended to renew a commitment to gender impact analysis on policies, legislation, and programs. Gender analysis is meant to flag whether an initiative may have unintended consequences or impact on women, (what about men and children)? Gender analysis will be mandatory across all government departments and agencies. It is another marvellous opportunity to create work for public servants and feminists, at the taxpayers’ expense.
These policies are strikingly discriminatory and prejudicial against all the many Canadian women who do not agree with the feminist ideology. Should not the views of all women be of interest to this government? Are not all women supposed to be recognized as equal and treated with dignity and respect? Apparently not in Justin Trudeau’s government in which only feminist women are to be granted special rights and advantages.
The Trudeau government does not appear to be aware of the fact that Canadian women do not all think alike. Their views differ according to their social, economic, religious and cultural backgrounds, the same as men. Just as no men’s group can claim that it represents the views of all males in Canada, similarly, feminist groups cannot claim that their ideological views represent the views of all Canadian women. To suggest this is to insult both the intelligence and integrity of women. Feminist views are just a single thread among the many threads that make up the fabric of women’s views.
It appears that the Trudeau government is caught in a time warp of the 1970’s and 1980’s in its belief that the only women of value are feminists. Women today, however, have moved on from the calcified feminist policies of the past, and have more pressing concerns such as the economy, jobs, balancing work with family, terrorism, etc. Trudeau’s feminist policies are not progressive but are regressive, invoking the past.
Feminists Have Problems
Despite all the money and recognition given to the feminists under successive Liberal governments, they have continued to have major problems. This is due to the fact that the feminist movement largely consists of middle class or upper-middle class white educated women. Racial diversity is not their strength, as women from other countries and cultures are not comfortable with feminist extremism. In short, because feminists are largely white, well-educated, professional women, their values or core beliefs do no resonate with the majority of women whether new Canadians or otherwise, who do not share their concerns.
Women in Today’s World
As stated above, most women today are coping with the problem of balancing their life between responsibilities in the work place and responsibilities at home. Many women are also struggling financially in a difficult economy with high unemployment. Also, women in substantial but less glamorous careers, such as those working in restaurants, home care workers and retail clerks, etc. are not part of the social circle in which the feminist activists operate. Consequently, feminism does not have grass-roots support from women. Instead, feminist leaders march at the head of a parade with few followers.
The Status of Women is currently funded by the taxpayer with $31 million annually. However, Trudeau announced a 15% increase in his 2016 budget to $35.8 million over 5 years. Money only to go to feminist groups. Nothing could be more discriminatory.
Feminism in Quebec
The province of Quebec is having special difficulties with feminists as a curious development has unfolded in that previously ultra feminist province. The new Quebec Minister for the Status of Women, Lise Theriault, shocked an array of feminist groups when she refused to identify as a feminist and even opposed quotas and “positive discrimination” to advance women. She approved closing Quebec Status of Women regional offices and reducing its budget. She stated, “The realities of the seventies and today’s reality are not the same”. She could not recall one Quebec feminist who inspired her to advance her career. She suggested other women should make their own way, like she did. An uproar ensued. Feminists called for her resignation. A University of Laval law professor, Louise Langevin, claimed that with Minister Theriault at the helm, “the enemy was within”, that progress was threatened and that this was a “public danger.” Obviously, opposing views are not acceptable to feminists.
Journalists called the attack against Minister Theriault inquisitorial and McCarthyist. In the end, however, the Minister softened her stance, to quell the explosive rhetoric, by admitting she was a feminist “in her own way”. Premier Philippe Couillard first suggested that the debate, for him, was not useful, but later stated that it was, and that there were different kinds of feminists and he didn’t want the affair to turn into an “inquisition” in Quebec. Silence on the issue has now ensued, but it’s doubtful anyone will soon speak the truth about feminists in Quebec after their fit of pique.
Feminists not only do not speak for women, but they refuse to let other women speak. Some equality.