Wednesday, 8 March 2017

#TomorrowInHand: An International Women’s Day Flub

Hey there Sophie Grégoire Trudeau -  let’s have a chat.

In the wake of International Women’s Day, you posted what I hope was an innocent attempt at opening a dialogue about the importance of men being involved in the gender gap conversation. You did so using the hashtag: #TomorrowInHand.

The post/call-to-action.
You asked all women to post a picture of them holding their male counterpart’s hand, as a means of acknowledging the men in their lives that have supported them and/or helped them to get where they are. So - here’s my photo of me holding the hand of "my male ally"... as you’ve referred to it:

Notice the absence of the male? It’s because I didn't need a man to get where I am. I was raised by a single mother who served the role of both mother AND father. I’ve worked hard on my own to become educated, embark my own entrepreneurial endeavours, and financially support myself. I didn’t need a boyfriend, husband, or any other guy in order to achieve this (although admittedly, there were male figures that either provided the courses required to achieve my degrees or that I had to do business dealings with in order to progress with my work, but they are not directly responsible for my accomplishments). That you have consciously made a plea for women to pay homage to the men in our lives assumes a) one exists and b) we couldn’t have made it without them. Is the the message you’re wanting to pass on to your children?

So, thanks for undermining the very purpose of what this day is meant to represent. Men can have the rest of the year to be celebrated, worshiped, and unconsciously adored. We can work at balancing the gender gap and the fight for equity tomorrow - THAT’S when you should be holding your husband’s hand and asking him to join your fight. But insinuating that I need a man to get to where I am is exactly what is wrong with this world and your campaign.

The funny thing about all of this, is that lately I have been struggling with my female identity. Not because of what it represents, how I’ve been perceived, or the expectations that have been set out for me from the moment I was born, but because the biological aspects - the things society can’t control.

Oh, and might I also add that in Uganda, today is a National Holiday? Why isn’t this a thing in Canada? Perhaps you could be fighting for this instead of holding your husband’s hand and giving him credit for who you are.

So, to all the single mothers and ladies brave enough to diverge for what society expects from us - here’s to you! Here’s to the working women who still have to take care of a household after a hard days’ work. Thank you of all you do not only for barrier breaking, but for the people you love! And a massive shout out to this lady who did more in an average day for those around her, than most do in a lifetime!

End rant.

-the Ranty-Not-Normally-So-Feminist Canadian

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