Resisting Patriarchy

For quite some time my secret plan for “saving the world” has been for women to take over. Imagine a Canadian Parliament entirely composed of women like Irene Mathyssen!

Alas, despite how far we have come with respect to gender equity, that incredibly persistent and pervasive form of entitlement and privilege, patriarchy, is alive and well (“well” at least to those who enjoy and carefully guard its benefits!).

Fortunately I belong to a party, the NDP, which seriously values and promotes gender equity. Did you know that by actual constitutional requirements or firmly entrenched practice at least 50% of such NDP bodies as convention delegations and EDA executives must be women? This does at times create some logistical challenges, and it overlooks our increasingly sensitive understanding that gender is far from a binary matter, but there is no doubt that the NDP is a seriously pro-woman and pro-equity organization.

One curious belief of those (actively or subtly) embracing patriarchal values is the fear that an equitable world will cost them their voices. Well, it would mean they would have to remove their cloak of unexamined and undeserved male privilege, and would have to respect the voices of all people. What’s wrong with that? They would have the same opportunities as everyone else (ah, there’s the rub – no more special status!). But they would actually experience the pleasure of listening to, and valuing, others: dialogues and discussions rather than lectures, monopolizing the air-time. mansplaining, he-peating and other patriarchal atrocities.

So, welcome to the world of the NDP: one that’s far from perfect, but which certainly does get some things right!

Joe Wilson
Secretary, London-Fanshawe EDA Executive