Earlier this year we celebrated the 100th anniversary of women being allowed to vote in Canada. A few decades ago, it was a tobacco company that got a lot of mileage out the the catchy slogan “You’ve come a long way baby”. The events of the past seven days must surely give us reason to wonder just how far we have come.
In Toronto, Jian Ghomeshi, a high profile man who fully admitted to behaving inappropriately towards women in a romantic setting, was brought to justice by three of his conquests. He was defended by Canada’s most expensive and talented female lawyer, and tried by a highly respected male judge. He walked away a lot poorer financially, but otherwise free and innocent of sexual behavior that society regards as criminal in nature.
The reasons why have a lot to do with the shortcomings of our legal system when it comes to sex crimes. When all is said and done, it far too often comes down to he said, she said. Safe to say that Jian will never make it as a poster boy for honourable men of the new millennium.
Thanks to birth control and the availability of medically safe abortions, women in Canada have a freedom to choose when they will have children that the suffragettes could scarcely imagine a century ago.
When it comes to political correctness in the digital age, we now disqualify male candidates who refer to women inappropriately on social media. The case of Wab Kinew tells us there are exceptions, and men are still free to act and speak inappropriately if they’re reasonably sure that no one is watching or listening.
To put things in a larger world perspective, these local events were totally overshadowed by a terrorist group who chose to kill dozens more innocent travelers, both male and female, in Belgium. In addition to all their other despicable qualities, the terrorists regard women as considerably less than human.
I say again, it makes you wonder.
How far have we really come in 100 years ?
I’m Roger Currie