The Conservative government is shutting down 12 of 16 Status of Women offices across Canada by April of next year. Ostensibly the money to keep these offices open will go directly to women in need. Perhaps to shelters and so on. If that happens, well and good. And if there can be some tuning within the department, fine. (It amounts to a 5 million cut from a 23 million dollar budget.)
But having done a bit of checking consider this: REAL women, (REAL meaning that all other women and especially feminists are hereby declared as somehow fraudulent and fake?) were one of the only groups that were given an audience with Status of Women minister Oda this past summer.
REAL Women have long called for a legislative return to Judeo-Christian values. And this of course has traction within the Harper government. For example, the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff, Ian Brodie, said that REAL Women raised interesting points that warrant close inspection. Well, here we are a few months later and Status of Women department is being de-constructed.
It is possible of course that Status of Women’s best days are behind them. And of course the department needs to address the perception (a perception it wanted but is ultimately damaging because it isn’t true) that they speak for all women. This will always rankle. So maybe there needs to be a resurgence, a refocusing of some kind within Status of Women. I don’t know.
What I do know is that traditional Judeo-Christian values are what women don’t need. What we understand as traditional values are clearly and firmly patriarchal. And so I’m at a loss as to why REAL want to return to something that is principally anti-Christian. I’m not throwing out everything REAL stand for. They have a place. But their anti-feminist stand is a at best a curiosity. Because if it wasn’t for the feminists they would not only be dismissed, they would not exist.
It was a tenacious feminist element that managed to gain entrance to certain spheres of government that lead the charge for women’s equality, while the church and its traditional Judeo-Christian values, assumed, excuse me, a piano-tied-to-the-government’s-ass role. I know, I was part of that church.
We Christians carried our NIV’s to church, read the overarching charter of equality outlined in Paul’s letters, saw within the gospel text how explosively Jesus lived out the new emancipation of all, women particularly, and then promptly vetoed any budge toward say, having women as pastors. Exactly where they’re needed.