Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Compare and contrast

On one side, we’ve got people talking about getting more women involved in politics, and releasing a comprehensive 10-point plan on how to do it, from appointments to crown corporations to women candidates and ministers.

And in that party on the other side, they want to eliminate the federal government’s Status of Women agency. (And before you ask which male Alberta MP heads it, the minister is actually Bev Oda.) According to the agency’s Web site, it’s purpose, in part, is promoting…

...gender equality, and the full participation of women in the economic, social, cultural and political life of the country. SWC focuses its work in three areas: improving women's economic autonomy and well-being, eliminating systemic violence against women and children, and advancing women's human rights.

Yeah, I can see how such work isn’t necessary anymore. Really, could the contrast between these two parties be any more stark?

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Eric said...

I'm all for women's rights, but two points.

Firstly, I think labelling Steve J. as representative of all conservatives is a bit of a stretch.

Secondly, I think the main point of his rant was that some women's groups are funded while others holding opposing viewpoints on things like childcare are not. For the sake of non-partisanship, I think both should receive funding. Do you agree?

Suzanne said...

It's basically state-funded feminism. Check out one of the abstracts of their publications:

This study examines the relationship between women's movements and state feminism in order to explore the opportunities and constraints for integrating diversity questions into public policy making. The research is based on a comparative analysis of women's policy machinery in Canada and Australia and focusses on the capacity of state feminist institutions to facilitate interaction between women's movements and the state in support of successful policy interventions around diversity issues. Case studies in the area of anti-violence struggles are presented from Quebec, New South Wales, Western Australia and South Australia. In an era marked by globalization that has contributed to the dramatic restructuring of state institutions, the report concludes that women's policy machinery can be an important site for integrating diversity questions into policy debates, provided effective linkages between feminists and state feminist institutions are in place.

Gee, never mind the majority of us women who aren't feminist. How is that democratic?

The notion that feminists speak for all women is obnoxious. The fact that this ideology is funded by the state is obscene. The obscenity comes from the fact that the only possible solution to any woman-related problem MUST come from the feminist ideology. Any idea at odds with that is automatically excluded.

They speak of "integrating diversity" but the definition of "diversity" is, of course, left-wing. It means including people of different skin-colour and different cultural origins, but they're all expected to basically be liberal leaning.

If there is a need for such gender-related studies, there are other government departments that can do this. What this department assures is ideological purity and political correctness in the results.

The government must eliminate this agency and fund groups based on their merit, and be representative of the people. Otherwise it is not democratic.

Jeff said...

While Steve is a very high profile Conservative blogger, I did say "in that party...they want to" meaning some party members do, and I think that's fair. Certaintly I haven't seen any Conservatives posting to say he's wrong.

As to the main point of his post that both you southern and suzanne mention, if you and Steve think the agency needs to be reformed, that's perfectly valid. But his post said "its time to eliminate the Status of Women." A headline I just love, btw.

Misrun or not, the stated purpose of the agency is sound, and I don't think it's purpose has been met yet. So if you support the goals but feel the agency has become a funding cow cow for "radical feminazis", then don't propose we kill it, propose we reform it. And if you think its stated purpose is crap, and the feminazi thing, then be honest and say that's why we should kill it (too).

Anonymous said...

Good points, BCITO... If the Cons had their unabated way, there would be Minister of Home Economics and Minister of Barefooted Womb Machines, and a return to the black and white 1950s. Ok, maybe that's a stretch, however, this is a continuation of their dismantling the smaller, less cherished (at least by the media, who will have trouble ignoring the wrecking ball brought in on the cbc-tv come a new mandate) programs and departments, like the multicultural plug they pulled earlier. There is little coverage on it, few people know about it, and yet they can go to their caves and whisper that they've 'taken care' of a few radicals. Troubling but just the tip of the iceberg.