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December 31, 2005

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You've come a long way, baby. NOT!


I don't want to end the year on a grumpy note, but it's better than starting the new one on a grumpy note. So please, let me get this off my chest (and you know how THAT can hurt!)

A few weeks ago there was a fatal shooting of a police officer in Laval, Quebec. The headline in one of Canada's national newspapers read "Female police officer slain." Tragic. Valerie Gignac died in the line of duty. But I wonder... if it was her partner who was killed, would the headline have read "Male police officer slain"?

It reminded me of a day at work at CBC Radio in the early 1990s when one of my supervisors was taking some bigwig on a tour of the Morningside studio. Here's how he introduced me:

"This is Trish, one of our female technicians."

I burned holes into his pointy little head with my glare. I asked him later, "Did you introduce Tim as one of our male technicians?" Thought not.

Now I'm not a card-carrying feminist or an "ist" of any kind really. Well, a humanist, perhaps. Thirty years ago the United Nations declared 1975 to be the Year of the Woman and I quite happily covered my bedroom walls with a few NOW posters that were inspiring and made me feel okay about being the only girl in my school who played hockey. Around that time, Virginia Slims ads were telling us "You've come a long way baby." I guess smoking cigarettes in public meant that women were equal with men...I dunno...

And today there are the clowns who want my vote. Jack Layton, the hip, urban guy with the old fashioned rhetoric told the country that we need more women in parliament because then it would be more refined, more respectable, not so much carrying on. Good Christ! Have we come to this? You thought you were praising me and buying my vote when in fact you're insulting me. Get more women in the House (but never the prime minister...NO!) and it's all Emily Post and charm school and women know their place and they'll keep quiet while the men spew and spit... it's enough to make an IST out of me!

I don't really know what purpose any of this is...as Stipey once said, "I know that this is vitriol, no solution, spleen venting. But I feel better having screamed don't you."

That is all.

Happy New Year.

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