By Michael Udom
Kennedy-Glans, D. (2017). The sexist language of politics: Both men and women need to change. CBC News.
How can female politicians hold power without weaponizing sex or collapsing into victimhood? Donna Kennedy-Glans, for CBC News
Donna Kennedy-Glans, a former Progressive Conservative MLA talks about the politics of language and how female politicians use every opportunity to play the victim when their style is being criticized. She believes that since there is zero tolerance for gendered criticism against women, there should be no tolerance for gendered criticism against men as well. Although men and women (including herself) face criticism in politics a lot especially based on gender. The criticism was usually structured in a way that undermines their ability to function as a leader. She uses multiple examples to illustrate this, including various examples from the male side while comparing both.
Although she believes women in politics weaponize their sex, feeding off of every critique while calling out men by using sexist language. This creates a double standard. She uses an example that a man would not get away with calling a woman barren, but Jason Kenney was told by a woman that he can't speak on an issue because he doesn't have children and got away with it. The #MeToo movement has made it nearly impossible to criticize a female politician on any ground that relates to emotions, gender, style of leadership, but it seems okay to use that for men.
Bindel, J. (2017). Salma Hayek is right: compared with women, men are lazy and entitled. The Guardian.
Despite decades of feminism, the sexes are still profoundly unequal, in everything from appearance to pay, housework to childcare. - Julie Bindel
Julie Bindel, founder of 'Justice for Women' is a political activist and freelance journalist who talks the feeling of entitlement men have and how she agrees with the actor, Salma Hayek that men do less and get more in return. She argues that in addition to the facts that women already feel pressure to do well, they have to worry about their male counterparts who tend to be more relaxed about things and get away with less effort. When it comes to household chores, women are not given praise for doing it because it is seen as a norm and is expected. Males who choose to be stay-home dads are idolized for their "selflessness". She explains that males are more likely to get promotions in the workplace and receive more pay than women in equal positions and with an equal workload. In conclusion, she believes that even after decades of feminism, feminists still have a lot of work to do in closing the gap. This piece is important to my topic as it gives an example of how profound inequality is in the society.
Amphlett, J. (2017). Sexism, harassment & double standards in 2017. The Sentinel.
Why are men portrayed as predators and women as victims, asks Jenny Amphlett
Jenny Amphlett, talks about the double standards in the society when it comes to dealing with sexual harassment cases. In a similar scenario, women can openly make sexual remarks targetted at men and it will be overlooked, but if a man did that, it will become a big issue. The idea of a man even being sexually harassed by a woman is not one that people often consider. The slightest sexual joke made publically by a man about a woman would not be condoned but sexual and risque jokes about males have become commonplace. She makes sure to distinguish between what is criminal behavior and what is not (but people just get offended by). She believes that a lot of these incidences depend on the context in which it is interpreted.
We live in a world where people are easily offended and actions are often misread. People deal with issues emotionally rather than logically in most cases and this always creates bias.
BY MICHAEL UDOM
Remember how we were brought up as kids, the birthday gifts we received and common phrases our parents or guardians would say to us. Do you remember being told as a male child to “look after your sister or sisters”, “be the man of the house”, or to say “ladies first”. The young girls were usually told, “Act like a lady”, “be kind” and so on. We have faced expectations, norms and standards that have been tailored into the society. Males and females always experienced double standards for the most part of their everyday life. And this has created expectations and social standards for adults. These expectations have led to double standards and gender inequality today.
Imagine the feeling that comes with being treated differently because of your gender, not given the same freedom or opportunities as the opposite sex. Have you ever felt cheated because of your gender? Have you ever faced gendered criticism? Or have you ever faced any type of criticism and just assumed that it was because of your gender and then used that gender as a weapon to play the victim?
Donna Kennedy-Glans highlights the double standards that exists in politics today and how some female politicians use their gender as a weapon to play victim whenever they face criticism for their style. She says, “it is nearly impossible to criticize a female politician’s style today”. Donna acknowledges that women have faced a lot of gendered criticism but she believes that the male counterparts have it worse.
We have seen many politicians have their style criticized because of their gender. I agree with Donna because, so often we hear things like “of course he would not understand since he does not have children” or “what does a single man know about raising a family anyway?”. These are common but think about the backlash a man would face if he says a female politician is “too emotional” or “barren”. Just thinking about what that man would go through from the moment he says those words sends chills down my spine.
You are about to learn how it got to this point and what was the driving catalyst?. Does history show that it is just mere karma? Stay tuned to find out the surprising way this has shaped modern politics.
Simon, L. (2017). 'I'm just a mom': Mothers suffer lack of pride as their work remains undervalued. CBC News.
In this article, Libby Simon looks at the extent of progress made in the fight for gender equality since the December 18, 1979, United Nations treaty. This treaty called for the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women. Using various statistical data, Libby Simon argues that women spend a significantly larger amount of time than men in unpaid jobs and are still undervalued in the society. She points to the economic double standards for men and women and how women are expected to handle "Mothering", which is viewed as a secondary role. This article is important to my topic because it shows yet another section of the society where inequality among genders exists.
Strong W. (2017). Calling more women: Nunavut's 1st woman premier says equal representation a work in progress. CBC News.
In this opinion piece, Walter Strong talks about Eva Aariak's call for women to play more active roles in politics. Eva Aariak is Nunavut's 1st woman premier and was the only woman elected by her colleagues that year. The argument made in this piece was that women need to start stepping forward in politics even though it is an attempt just to raise the number of female representatives/candidates. Young women would need people to look up to as role model to gain that will and confidence that they can take part in politics and this would be a step in the right direction to balance gender in politics. This piece is important to my topic because it proposes a solution to inequality.
Mlambo-Ngcuka, P. (2015). It’s Time to Step It Up for Gender Equality. Our World.
In this piece, Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Women Executive Director reflects on the last twenty years from March 8, 2017 (International Women's day). Twenty years ago, there was a historic Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing that looked at ways to improve the state of gender inequality. She uses numerous statistical data to make an argument that although there has been a slight improvement to the state of things, it is moving at a very slow pace and would take a very long time to achieve the expected goal. This is an important article to my topic because it shows that although steps are being taken to achieve equality, there are very slow steps and need to be faster.