Feminism

I commented, very recently, about the nonsense that Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan spewed about a feminist defence policy. But it got me to thinking about what feminism is … I suspect that Team Trudeau sees its brand of feminism as a very popular albeit highly superficial vote buying tool. But what if we go a bit deeper?

Women have had a very, very hard time cracking various glass ceilings, it’s been going on for centuries. Think, for example, of Dr. James Miranda Steuart Barry (1795 –  1865) who was born Margaret Ann Bulkley but chose to live her adult life as a man because it was the only way she could go to medical school in the early 19th century. In fact Dr Barry served, in battle, in the British Army and rose to be its inspector general of hospitals. Florence Nightingale, of course, and Elizabeth Blackwell, in America, also come to mind. We could go back farther and consider, for example, Hildegard von Bingen (1098 – 1179), a medieval German abbess, writer, composer, philosopher, Christian mystic, visionary, and polymath. But let us look for better example closer to home, in time, at least.

The pantheon of real, modern feminists, in my view, must open with Soong Ching-ling (1893 – 1981) who was sometimes called the “Mother of China;” and it must include Golda Meir, (1898 – 1978), Indira Ghandi (1917 – 1984), Margaret Thatcher (1925 – 1913), Benazir Bhutto (1953 – 2007) and Aung San Suu Kyi (born 1945), Condoleezza “Condi” Rice (born 1954) and Angela Merkel (also born 1954) … 

 

… all did or do, now, dominate the world stage and contribute, mightily, to global affairs, not as women as much as, simply, leaders. It is a bit too soon to add Kim Yo-jong to that list, but she does bear watching. But many of those formidable women are far less than icons to the modern, progressive, feminist movement.

Well what about others? Consider, for example Malala Yousafzai; she is, surely, a modern icon, an example of what feminism is all about, isn’t she? She has been showered with honours, including here in Canada, but she is still criticized because she criticized Islam and because she cautioned against critizing Islam …

 

… and what about Canadian Irshad Manji and Ayaan Hirsi-Ali the Somali-Dutch-American activist? Young Ms Yousafzai is, pretty much, respected by all but a couple of lunatic fringes, but Misses Manji and Hirsi-Ali are highly controversial because they dare to stand against the mindless multiculturalism of the progressive left. Women can only be feminist models in Justin Trudeau’s feminist Canada, it appears, if they are actively engaged in the right causes.

I’m going to suggest that real feminists, women like Golda Meir and Margaret Thatcher, would shudder at the fake feminism being propagated by e.g. Justin Trudeau and Maryam Monsef. There are real feminists out there …

 

… in politics, in business, in academe, in our military and so on, and they aren’t all women, either. They are our friends and neighbours, our bosses, our colleagues and the guardians of our security and liberty.

Not every Liberal is a fake feminist and not every Conservative is a real one … not by a long shot in either case. Real feminists look at another person and see just that: another person, and they evaluate each person based upon how they comport and conduct themselves. It isn’t always easy to overcome innate biases. I lived and worked and commanded soldiers in the period when we were opening the military (mostly, but slowly) to women … I had to learn a lot about people and about myself. I came into the process assuming that women could not do pretty much anything and everything … I came to understand that not all people are as capable, physically, mentally, emotionally, as all other people: both men and women will succeed at some tasks and fail at others, but, I learned, character is 100% gender neutral, ditto for intelligence and perseverance and judgement, and I also learned, as life went on, that it is the same for race and creed. Does that make me a feminist? I don’t know … it’s not one of the ways I seek to define myself. But I’m pretty sure that I am at least as much a feminist as is Justin Trudeau because I am fairly certain he’s a fake feminist, just using women and feminism as a political bargaining chip, while I, at least, have learned that women can do an be whatever they want.

 

 

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